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Cisco Systems centralisation of European call centres
Cisco System’s European incoming calls were received through individual receptionists in 30 countries. There was no database, or connection between the offices, this meant that if somebody called into Amsterdam and wanted to speak to the reception in London, the receptionist was unable to transfer the call or even supply the correct phone number.
Cisco wanted to:
- Streamline their processes in order that all front line calls were answered in the same manner
- Implement a knowledge database for the call centre to be able to look up information
- A way of gathering new or missing information and update central database
- Improve cost margins by leveraging resources for holiday and lunch coverage
- Finding a lower cost and lower risk resource location in Europe
We helped by
- Managing the end-to-end supplier selection process over two months with a structured process
- Creating and managing a global project plan meeting all key deadlines, with stakeholder buy in
- Building stakeholder team and communication plan, including managing political situations as they arose
- Assisting in final negotiations with new supplier
- Project managing the move from local offices to new location
- Working with human resources to reduce the impact to existing teams
- Implementation with new supplier including, setting up clear roles and responsibilities, key performance indicators (KPI’s) and quarterly management reporting
The key to our success
Getting buy in from key stakeholders by using a structured supplier selection process, and involving them in the vision and selection process.
With our help, Cisco Europe had a fully operational centralised call centre in Belfast within just seven months.
Cisco's revenues were growing exponentially, $4 billion to $40 billion within 15 years.
They needed to
- Ensure the ongoing management of accounts receivable, which had doubled in size
- Maintain aggressive collection targets and improve days it took to get paid
- Control costs as revenue increased
- Ensure that the right skills were in place to keep pace with the additional complexity and responsibility
- Ensure that the tools and processes to manage lower dollar accounts receivable were scalable
To outsource the lower dollar accounts and focus on a fast track development program for the existing team.
We helped by
- Selecting a well-know and experienced outsource company within Holland as a stepping stone to moving to a lower cost location
- Creating a new scalable organization
- Outlining the skills needed for the future success of the team
- Identifying how to build those skills, including:
- delivering training courses
- encouraging learning from others in the team
- facilitating on-the-job exposure and 1:1 coaching
- Managed shareholder cash flow expectations from operations, share price rose from $7 to $100
- Met aggressive collection targets and stretch targets 30 months consecutively
- Best in class days to get paid of 32 days globally
- Reduced days to get paid by 12 days on sales of $6 billion - Cisco's cash flow increased quarterly by $4 billion
- Highly motivated team, 80% made it to the next grade level, zero attrition
- Scalable processes left in place for future growth
The key to our success
We developed a unique visual tracking system to monitor the skill level of the individual and linked to a easy to follow development programme. Their development was reviewed in regular 1:1 sessions. This allowed their progress to be easily discussed and closely linked into the performance review and promotion cycle.
In such a fast moving environment, it is essential for Cisco to develop the skills of their team. This project became highly motivational as the team now had clear goals, they were learning new skills and their input was acknowledged and rewarded.