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Case No.

1: Scanim Call Center:

Prepared by: Raza Moghal (6642557)


Prepared for: Scott McKee

Conestoga College Spring 2013

HRM8050 Sec1
Strategic Human Resources Planning

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents

Executive Summary and Introduction

Questions

4 -11

Conclusion

12

Appendix A: Demand Forecasting Techniques Implementation Plan

13

Endnotes

14

Bibliography

14

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This paper, prepared by the Ontario HR Manager for Scanim, argues the company is
ready to start the new Inbound Service and Warranty Claims Contract for Chrysler
Corporation. Scanim managements recognizes they have to boost their workforce by
100 inbound operators. However, a disruption in service to existing customers will not
be tolerated. Furthermore, call center operating costs must remain as low as possible
during and after the personnel changes.
In order to take on the additional workload, the HR Manager wanted to ensure the call
centers operational readiness. Thus, he wanted to assess their ability to determine HR
Demand, as well as ascertain HR Supply and do more for succession management.
Two methods for forecasting HR Demand, namely the quantitative method of regression
and the qualitative envelope/scenario method will be examined. This will be followed
by completing a Markov Model to determine HR Supply. Three developmental
opportunities within succession management will follow next, namely job rotations,
formal training and development, and mentoring and coaching. Finally, this paper will
look at movement analysis as another method to ascertain HR Supply.

INTRODUCTION
As the Ontario HR Manager for Scanim, we are looking forward to starting our new
Inbound Service and Warranty Claims Contract for Chrysler Corporation. We want to
ensure, however, that we will not disrupt service to our existing customers.
Nevertheless, this report argues that we are ready for the challenge. The expansion of
our operation by 100 operators poses some operational hurdles. We have to ensure
that our expanded operations will not reduce service quality to existing clients. In
addition, we will have to hire externally to fulfill most of our personnel needs. And our
call center manager assures me we will have enough trained inbound operators to
ensure the optimal trade-off between maintaining customer service levels and low call
center operating costs.

In order to prepare for the additional workload, we will look at two methods for
forecasting HR Demand. The first is the quantitative method of regression and the
second is the qualitative envelope/ scenario method. Secondly we discuss how a
Markov Model can help us to complete a forecast of our internal HR Supply. Then we
look at three 3 developmental opportunities as part of our new succession management
program. Finally, well look another HR Supply method known as movement analysis.

1a) Comparison of 2 Demand Forecasting Techniques


As the Scanim HR Manager for Ontario, I recommend implementing Regression
Analysis and Envelope/Scenario Planning as our demand forecasting techniques.
Regression analysis is a very effective quantitative forecasting technique for short-,
medium and long-range time horizons and can be easily updated. 1 A simple linear
regression model is a mathematical relationship between two quantitative variables, i.e.
X and Y. Y is the variable we seek to predict based on the other variable X, for which we
have information. Regression can predict Scanims personnel requirements for inbound
operators at varying levels of Chrysler auto sales. In preparing a hypothetical regression
analysis, I also assumed I had access to 5 years of historical data with respect to
matching Chrysler auto sales to the number of inbound service and warranty claims
operators. I also assumed that auto sales drive the number of warranty claims
processed in our call center. A regression analysis could allow us to make the following
hypothetical HR Demand forecast for Scanim: For every $1 Million increase in sales (X)
there is a predicted increase of 6 operators (Y) associated with that change. 2
Envelope/ Scenario Forecasting is a qualitative and flexible HR demand forecasting
technique. Envelope scenario forecasts are projections of future demand for personnel
based on a variety of differing assumptions about how future organizational events will
unfold. 3 Figure 1 below illustrates envelope/ scenario forecasting for our new Inbound
Service and Warranty Claims Team (ISWCT) workforce over a period of 5 years.
I relied on actual Chrysler auto sales data for the year ending 2012 4 to generate my
optimistic scenario sales figures. The Optimistic option projects 5 years out from now.

Chrysler auto sales are now worth $60 Billion dollars and the size of the ISWCT has
more than doubled. Secondly, the normal scenario projects out five years from now
where our HR demand forecast for Scanim has remained the same. This assumes that
Chrysler maintains sales at $30 Billion per year. If there would be any personnel
increase, they would only represent a 5 to 10% increase. Finally, the Pessimistic
scenario projects Chrysler will go bankrupt 3 years from now. Auto sales in this scenario
have evaporated 100% leading to the entire disbanding of the Inbound Service and
Warranty Claims Team. The optimistic and pessimistic scenarios presented above, and
their matching staffing tables, demarcate the four corners of the envelope starting from
now and extending to 3 or 5 years from now. The normal scenario plots the midpoint
along the envelope. Each of three distinct scenarios generates its very own staffing
table based on each forecast.
Figure 1: ISWCT Workforce Scenario Forecasts

recommend both quantitative and qualitative forecasting techniques to achieve a more


comprehensive demand forecast as well better decision making and organizational
results. Regression analysis can help us proactively and successfully recruit, select,
develop and train employees and deploy them at the exact time theyre needed. In
addition, envelope/scenario planning can generate preplanned and flexible HR demand

estimates to help us adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. This latter technique


infuses our strategic HR planning process with the elements of uncertainty and change.
1b) Demand Forecasting Techniques Implementation Plan
Refer to APPENDIX A at the end of this document to locate the plan. The plan strives
to achieve the optimistic scenario mentioned above that takes place five years from now
where the Scanim ISWCT workforce has more than doubled.

2. Explanation of Markov Analysis


Markov analysis forecast of a firm's future human resource supplies, using transitional
probability matrices reflecting historical or expected movements of employees across
jobs.5 Markov analysis is a non-complicated way to predict the internal supply of human
resources into the future. The technique can help us identify how many of our staff will
remain in their jobs at years end, how many will transition into new positions within our
call center, or how many will exit our company altogether.
A probability matrix is developed to determine the probabilities of job incumbents
remaining in their jobs for the duration of a forecasting period, moving into a different
position, or exiting the organization. The forecast time period is usually one year in
length. To predict the number of employees who will remain in their positions at years
end, the matrix should be multiplied by the number of employees in each job at the start
of the year. The Markov Model below was created specifically for Scanims new
warranty claims contract. I, as the Scanim HR Manager for Ontario, along with the
ISWCT Management Team can rely on the model to predict the internal supply of our
inbound operators into the future.

Markov Model
Year 2014
Year 2013

Manager
Coach
Superviso
r
Bilingual
CSR
CSR

Initial
Staffing
Level

Manager

Coach/
Supervisor

Bilingual
CSR

CSR

Exit

2(.80)

1(.10)

1(0.10)

15

1(.05)

11(.75)

3(.15)

85

Predicted
End of
Year
Staffing
Level

2(.02)

66(.78)

17(.2)

14

66

21

The above table shows the incumbent Manager will remain in his/ her present position
at the end of the year. Only two of the current Coach Supervisors will remain in their
positions. One will leave the organization and one will be promoted from a Bilingual
CSR role. Eleven of the Bilingual CSRs will remain in their position, three will leave
(based on a probability of 15% which is less than the standard 20% turnover rate for
CSRs).6 One new Bilingual CSR will be created from a CSR promotion. Finally, Sixtysix CSRs will remain in their present positions, seventeen will leave the organization
(based on the industry CSR turnover rate of 20%) and two will be promoted into a
Bilingual CSR Role.

3. As part of Scanims new succession management program, I recommend we use the


following three development methods for our new Inbound Service and Warranty Claims
Team:
i. Job Rotation;
ii. Formal Training and Development; and
iii. Mentoring and Coaching.

Job rotations are lateral transfers of employees between jobs in an organization. 7


Despite that rotations involve changing jobs; there is no assurance of greater decisionmaking or financial reward. Job rotation programs boost morale, job
satisfaction and organizational commitment, and decrease turnover in customer service
roles - all of which more than compensates for the time and expense involved in crosstraining the employees in their new roles. And higher level supervisors and
management staff positions can keep abreast of customer needs and wants by rotating
frequently into front-line customer service positions.

PROS

Helps reduce job monotony and expands an employees professional network.

Broadens an employees knowledge and experience.


Makes employees more satisfied, motivated, and committed to the organization.
Useful for orientation and career development.

CONS

Employees require more time to learn their new jobs and may produce more errors
while they learn.

The work completed by a trained employee is of greater quality and quantity than
that of a new worker.

Older employees must assume additional work and stress in order to orient, train
and socialize the new arrivals.

Staff may be rotated away from a task they particularly enjoy or perform well such
that newcomers cannot possibly perform the same tasks as well.

ii. Formal training and development


Call centres are at the front line of customer contact and service. For Scanim inbound
operators to deliver superior customer service, our operators will require a thorough
knowledge of our service and warranty claims, as well as grasp call center technology
to retrieve client information, and how to promptly execute client requests. 8 Our inbound
operators will have to be adept with keeping up with changing technology and client
needs. We will seek formal training and development opportunities through our local

post-secondary institutions to prepare our employees for their new roles as inbound
service and warranty claims operators.

PROS

Employees will learn together the same information at the same time.

Training programs conceived for adult learners will incorporate methods to suit
multiple learning styles.

Formal education programs enable employees to acquire specific skill sets and
complete specific and measurable tasks needed to do their work.

Formal training can take place in-house in the form of courses or through on-the-job
learning.

CONS

Some external courses may prove quite expensive if they require an overnight stay
at a hotel out of town.

It can be difficult to assess the expertise of external trainers and their training
courses, and there is no guarantee the knowledge they convey will be of particular
value.

Employees learn at different learning speeds and those who are slower learners
progress at a compromised rate.

Not all the learners start at the same knowledge or skill level. There is a risk that
those starting from the absolute beginning may be lost from the start and will not be
able to keep up for the duration of the training session.

iii. Mentoring and Coaching


Both Mentoring and coaching can provide trainees with one-on-one learning
opportunities with experienced employees in both formal and informal settings. The
ISWCTs 4 coach supervisors could benefit from mentoring prior to the start of our new
contract. A mentor and/or coach could help our supervisors to better recruit, screen, and
hire front line CSRs as well as teach supervisors how to mentor and coach front-line
employees and assist with any other skill to ensure the success of the new contract. 9

10

Furthermore, there is a positive correlation between the percent of time coaching CSRs
and CSR retention.10 Our 4 coaching supervisors should thus, coach and support our
CSRs to boost their confidence and self esteem for higher productivity, greater
customer satisfaction and problem resolution. The investment in mentoring and
coaching outweigh the costs.
PROS

Increased productivity, enhanced achievement of targets, and reduced customer

complaints;
Improved job satisfaction and motivation, improved organizational commitment,

improved staff retention, and development of a positive work culture.


Accelerated learning and the development of new knowledge and skills. Improved

career progression and potential rejuvenation of longer serving staff.


Increased psychosocial support to our CSRs via counseling and friendship to boost
their self-confidence, productivity and organizational commitment.

CONS

Fees paid to external coaches and mentors and establishing their credibility.
Ensuring trust and confidentiality between the mentor/coach and protg.
Potential conflicts of interest may impair the full transfer of knowledge and wisdom to

the protg.
Both mentor and coach will use work time and consume training materials in order to
coach junior employees

4a. Movement analysis enables us to analyze personnel supply, and in particular


examines how promotions or job losses and how their subsequent chain or ripple effect
impacts the movements of company personnel. 11 In our case, very few of our CSRs will
be promoted up to the Bilingual CSR role. To illustrate how a hypothetical movement
analysis works, we could say Our Movement analysis has identified this years need to
fill 2 coach supervisor vacancies. And 6 movements will occur across the entire ISWCT
due to the ripple or chain effect on promotions. 12 Notice how the total number of
personnel movement is exceeds the number of vacant coach supervisor positions to be
filled. This is how personnel movement works according to the movement analysis
technique. A movement analysis will likely show that our personnel supply will not
generate many ripple effects/ chain movements at the Manager or Supervisor level. We

11

need to keep in mind that the organizational structure of the ISWCT is relatively flat, and
will afford very few career advancement opportunities as compared to more hierarchical
organizations. Thus, very few CSRs will be recruited, trained and employed into the
Bilingual CSR, Coach Supervisor and Manager Positions. Figure 2 illustrates below
our call centers Personnel Funnel in which the greatest movement of personnel will
occur at the front-line CSR level.

The personnel supply at this level will be entirely external. The diagram also graphically
depicts the high level of turnover for our CSRs and that very few advance to the top
position within call center. I as the HR Manager and in collaboration with the ISWCT
Manager will set our HR supply mix to be purely external, meaning that we will hire
almost entirely externally for our CSR positions. However, as we move into the higher
level positions, we will start to fill them through our internal HR Supply and will thus
promote and hire from within.

Figure 2: Scanim Personnel Funnel

Source:
Strategic Human Resources Study for the Canadian Customer Contact Centre Industry, 2003, p. 63.

CONCLUSION
In this paper, we made the case that we are getting ready to begin our new Inbound
Service and Warranty Claims Contract for Chrysler Corporation. To ensure we can

12

increase our workforce by 100 operators, we examined both regression and the
scenario/envelope techniques to forecast future requirements for HR demand. The
Markov model we created will help us prepare for individual movement between jobs in
our call center. The model relies on historical data to calculate transitional probabilities
to predict how long employees will remain in their jobs, will be promoted, or will depart
our company. This model can help us keep track of our open positions as well as track
career progression. Movement analysis enables us to identify where our vacant
positions are and who will fill them. We then looked at some developmental
opportunities to help us with our new succession management plan.

Finally we have to ensure that our new team contains enough trained inbound operators
to ensure the optimal balance between maintaining high service levels to our Chrysler
customers and low call center operating costs. And we hope to transition from being
primarily a cost center to a profit center by earning increasingly more revenue through
up-selling extended warranties and other products and services.

13

APPENDIX A: DEMAND FORECASTING TECHNIQUES IMPLEMENTION PLAN


Goal/ describe
results

Person
Responsible

Key Action
Steps

Achieve
Optimistic
Scenario in which
in Chrysler auto
Sales are $60
Billion dollars 5
years from now
and Scanims
Inbound Service
and Warranty
Claims Team has
more than
doubled.

Scanim HR
Manager
Ontario
Scanim +
Inbound
service and
warranty Claim
Team
Manager,
Supervisors,
Bilingual
CSRs, and
CSRs Coach

The call center


Manager and
Supervisors
need to ensure
that weekly
staffing levels
can respond to
the demand
for inbound
service and
warranty
claims
processing.
Management
will need to
ensure that
operators
consistently
deliver a high
level of
customer
service while
minimizing
operating
costs.
The
management
team will
encourage
CSRs to
continually
seek up-sell
opportunities,
such as selling
extended
warranties to
callers.

Potential
Problems/
Hazards/
Risks

Problem/ Risk
Rating

Problem/ Risk
Control
Measures

Time Frame,
Monitor and
Review

1. Operator
absenteeism

1. Agent
absenteeism is
likely.

2. Staff attrition

2. Staff attrition
is likely.

1.Reduce
absenteeism
with return-towork
interviews
to help
supervisors
better
understand
employee
absences and
how they can
be avoided.

Offer intensive
training for new
operators for the
first 3-4 months.

Provide job
rotation
opportunities for
operators
between 24-36
months on the
job to avoid
burnout
and to promote
job growth.

3. Declining
agent
engagement
given
repetitive and
monotonous
work.

3. Declining
agent
engagement is
likely.

4. Call
Centers flat
organizational
structure with
limited career
prospects

4. Flat
structures with
limited career
prospects are
certain.

2. Reduce
attrition by
hiring people
who see call
center work as
a career
option.

5. Mandatory
cost-cutting in
call center
operations
especially if
there is a
downturn in
Chrysler auto
sales.

5. Mandatory
staff reduction
if there is a
downturn in
sales is likely.

3. Institute an
operator of
the month
recognition
program.
4. Create a
more tiered
contact centre
with more job
levels to allow
for both
mobility and
succession
planning
i.e. creation of
a specialized
Level 2 CSR
position.
Other
Measures:
Performance
Management
improves
agent and
supervisor
productivity
and reduces
the cost per
transaction .
Surveying
customer
employee
feedback to
improve
performance.
Coaching to
reduce costs,
increases
productivity,
and increases
first call
resolution
(FCR) and
customer
satisfaction.

Track operators
in the first 6
months so that
Management
can monitor their
performance and
identify best
performers.

Commit to
continuous
improvement
until the end of
the 5 year
inbound service
and warranty
claims contract
(60 months
from now).

14

ENDNOTES

Monica Belcourt, McBey Kenneth, Ying Hong, and Margaret Yap, Strategic Human
Resources Planning, (Toronto, ON.: Nelson Education Ltd., 2013), 143.
1

2
3

Ibid., 144.
Ibid., 148.

Five things I learned from January car sales numbers. Last modified June 23, 2013,
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/driving-it-home/five-things-i-learned-fromjanuary-car-sales-numbers/article8352815/.
4

Hermann Schwind, Hari Das, and Terry Wagar, Canadian Human Resource
Management: A Strategic Approach. 9th Ed., (Toronto, Ontario: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2010),
106.
5

Strategic Human Resources Study for the Canadian Customer Contact Centre
Industry. Last modified June 6 23, 2013, http://www.iccs-isac.org/en/pubs/ HRDCCALL.pdf,
iii.
6

Monica Belcourt, McBey Kenneth, Ying Hong, and Margaret Yap, Strategic Human
Resources Planning, (Toronto, ON.: Nelson Education Ltd., 2013), 214.
7

Strategic Human Resources Study for the Canadian Customer Contact Centre
Industry. Last modified June 6 23, 2013, http://www.iccs-isac.org/en/pubs/ HRDCCALL.pdf,
108.
8

Mentoring at the Call Center Consulting Group. Last Modified June 23, 2013,
http://thecccg.com/mentoring.htm
9

Strategic Human Resources Study for the Canadian Customer Contact Centre
Industry. Last modified June 6 23, 2013, http://www.iccs-isac.org/en/pubs/ HRDCCALL.pdf,
iii.
10

Monica Belcourt, McBey Kenneth, Ying Hong, and Margaret Yap, Strategic Human
Resources Planning, (Toronto, ON.: Nelson Education Ltd., 2013), 177.
11

Monica Belcourt, McBey Kenneth, Ying Hong, and Margaret Yap, Strategic Human
Resources Planning, (Toronto, ON.: Nelson Education Ltd., 2013), 180.
12

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Belcourt, Monica, McBey Kenneth, Ying Hong, and Margaret Yap. Strategic Human
Resources Planning. Toronto, ON.: Nelson Education Ltd., 2013.
The Call Center Consulting Group, Mentoring at the Call Center Consulting Group.
Last modified June 23, 2013. http://thecccg.com/mentoring.htm.
DMG Consulting LLC., Call Center Supervisor Best Practices Last modified June 23,
2013. http://www.dmgconsult.com/files/CallCenterSupervisor_BestPractices
_White_Paper Final.pdf.

Globe and Mail, "Five things I learned from January car sales numbers." Last modified
June 23, 2013. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/driving-it-home/fivethings-i-learned-from-january-car-sales-numbers/article8352815/.
Institute for Citizen-Centred Service Network , "Strategic Human Resources Study for
the Canadian Customer Contact Centre Industry." Last modified June 23, 2013.
http://www.iccs-isac.org/en/pubs/HRDCCALL.pdf.
Schwind, Hermann., Hari Das, and Teri H. Wagar. Canadian Human Resource
Management: A strategic Approach, Ninth edition. Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 2010.