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LOCATION SERVICES

"THE PROCESS"

GLOBAL REACH

PRESS ROOM

CASE STUDIES

WHY WDGC

PRINCIPALS

 

 
PROJECTS
 

 
 
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                           PROJECT CASE  


Convergys - Outthinking. Outdoing.CONVERGYS

WDG Consulting has advised this third party customer service firm on locating over 70 separate project assignments and the deployment of 20+ contact centers in North America. Most centers employ between 500 and 1,000 workers. In each chosen location, Convergys has enjoyed impressive labor market success. The process that WDGC has followed in recommending locations for Convergys’ contact centers is defined below.

Every two years, WDGC screens North America locations to create shortlists of promising areas for various operating models:
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Small (125 seats)

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Medium (250 seats)

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Large (500 seats)

For each model, WDG Consulting generated a shortlist of 15-20 areas. We further segregated the shortlists by indicating potential acceptability based on function (e.g., telesales, collections, basic inbound, more complex inbound, and technical support).

Creation of the shortlists is based predominantly on labor market indicators. These include the following:

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Population trends

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Household income

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Educational attainment

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Labor force participation

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Employment concentration/growth by industry

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Estimated underemployment (e.g., retail clerks, cashiers, hospitality industry clerks, etc.) for CSR/TSR positions

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Customer service industry saturation (typically should be less than 3%-5% of the workforce)

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Average wages for various customer service and teleservice positions

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Competitive labor market employers
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Those likely to feed the new operation

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Those likely to be predators for the new operation

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New/expanding white collar employers

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Downsizing white collar employers

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Unionized companies and white collar election activities

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College enrollment/graduates

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Military base presence

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Red flags on other issues (e.g., telecom, taxes, infrastructure, natural disaster risk)

Convergys’ real estate advisor then scours shortlisted communities for available office space (including former retail stores and flex space). Based on a number of internal concerns (e.g., risk minimization, time zone coverage, competitor location strategy, etc.). Convergys management targets 2 or 3 locations for a new center. WDG Consulting is then commissioned to conduct detailed labor market investigation in targeted locations.


WDG Consulting’s field studies encompass the following:

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Interviews with back office employers, including customer service centers to learn of their labor market experiences
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Company vs. market

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Salary structure

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Competitive labor demands

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Availability of qualified labor
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Entry level

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Experienced

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Turnover

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Best geographic sector of the area from an employee draw standpoint

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Outlook on future labor market conditions
 

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Interviews with other entities such as
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Personnel agencies

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State/provincial employment service

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Local human resource association

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Realtors/developers

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Training/education

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Economic development organizations
 

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GIS commute zone maps to plot residential concentration of targeted skillsets and determine which office properties are best suited from a labor market perspective

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Physical tours of office space and the surrounding environment

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Request of the lead economic development agency to submit a formal incentives package

Field based research results are then assessed with an eye toward viability of each labor market both during initial staffing and into the foreseeable future. Among the critical questions answered is the sustainability of labor market advantages given future competitive conditions. To compare and rank each location, WDG Consulting assesses dynamics such as:

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Market competitive compensation structure
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Effective starting rate necessary to generate large applicant flow

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Salary progression

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Need for incentive pay

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Second and third shift premium

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Overtime pay policy

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Fringe benefits
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Most coveted by the local workforce

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Match between most coveted and company policy

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Needed changes from company policy

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Probationary period
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Part-time eligibility

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Labor force quality/stability
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Educational attainment

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Basic skills attainment

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PC literacy

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Basic problem solving skills

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Ability to function in a team environment

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Work ethic

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Turnover

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Absenteeism

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Competitive labor demand
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Current

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Emerging

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Future wage pressure/escalation

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Unionization
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Risk

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Avoidance

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Keys to employer of choice status
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Compensation

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Benefits

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Career advancement

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HR practices

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Internal work environment

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On-site amenities

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Civic involvement

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Most successful recruiting sources/methods

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Area training resources

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Quality of life/transferee appeal

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Office space orientation to labor markets

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Incentives

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Red flags on other issues

Convergys has relied on WDGC to establish contact centers in locations that have exceeded human resource expectations, such as

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Payroll costs well below those allowed under the business operating model

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Absence of payroll cost escalation

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Turnover well below industry average

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Ample supply of quality labor to optimally serve customers

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Ability to expand within the call center portfolio, providing both cost efficiency and maximum flexibility

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A time tested process to quickly add new capacity in cost effective locations

Examples of locations in which Convergys now operates contact centers per WDG Consulting recommendations are:

United States
bullet Valdosta, GA
bullet Greenville, NC
bullet McAllen, TX
bullet Brownsville, TX
bullet Baton Rouge, LA
bullet Fort Pierce, FL
bullet Laredo, TX
bullet Salt Lake City, UT
Canada
bullet Halifax, NS
bullet Edmonton, AB
bullet Kamloops, BC
bullet St. John's, NF
bullet New Glasgow, NS
bullet Welland, ON
bullet Red Deer, AB
bullet Lethbridge, AB

 

 

     
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