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itel Automation Reduces Workforce Analyst Work Times by 90 Percent

September 1, 2022

When itel’s Data Science & Innovation Team noticed that a client’s backend processes could be made more efficient, they developed an innovative solution that converted a manual process into a semi-automated one, boosting the productivity of Workforce Analysts and reducing work times by 90%.       

Since 2018, itel has been supplying voice and digital messaging support for an established U.S. telecommunications and media company. After working with this client for some time, and acquainting ourselves with their workflows, our innovation team noticed some backend processes that would be suitable for automation.  

One of these was a process where Workforce Analysts (WFA) must manually log and compile billable hours. This is done to calculate payroll and to compute the required values for the client’s key performance indicators (KPIs), so they can be displayed on the itel Business Insights dashboard.  

In the old process, WFA would often spend hours manually copying and pasting client-supplied data from CSV (comma separated values) files into separate Excel sheets, filling out any system issue logs, correcting misspelled information, and removing duplicate data, before calculating the necessary KPIs. Unfortunately, it was a tedious, time-consuming task that was prone to human error.  

Working closely with WFAs, the itel team spent time understanding the old end-to-end process. Then they developed a new automation that sends all form data directly into a central itel database. Information is divided by each line of business (LOB) and agent activity (handled calls, training, coaching etc.). Any time information is entered or altered in one of the Excel forms, it is updated in the database.  

The automation then populates the data into a master Excel sheet, which, every Monday morning, is sent directly to WFA inboxes for review and approval. Any errors, missing, or duplicate data are automatically flagged. The only step WFA must take is to review any detected errors, correct them, and then approve the changes, so the automation continues to update.  

Instead of manually copying and pasting data into multiple Excel sheets, workforce teams can now access the central database and use the master Excel file to verify and correct billable hour data. A process that would normally take over 2 hours to complete is now condensed into a 5-minute task, thanks to this new automation, often with fewer than 20 errors to remediate, reducing WFA work times by a whopping 90%. 

The Goals: 

  • Identify operational processes that are suitable for automation 
  • Reduce repetitive and tedious tasks to calculate the number of billable hours 
  • Simplify the billable hours process and reduce the high rate of human error  
  • Boost productivity of workforce teams 

The Approach: 

  • Consultations with workforce teams to understand each step of billable hours process 
  • Develop automation that populates data from 3 or more Excel sheets into one central database, segmented by LOB and agent activity 
  • Automatically send master file, updated weekly, to supervisors’ inboxes for review 
  • Streamline review process – automation detects any errors and notifies WFA so they can remediate more quickly and efficiently 

The Results:  

  • A new streamlined and simplified process for calculating billable hours 
  • New automation that reduces WFA work times by 90% 
  • Shortened review process from a 2-hour task into a 5-minute process 
  • Reduction in errors – often fewer than 20 errors per file  
  • Allows requests for payroll or invoice information to be solved more quickly 

The itel automation has now been in effect since June 2022, when it was deployed across client sites. 

The workforce team now benefits from a semi-automated process that allows them to collect and compute billable hours more efficiently and accurately. Because the number of steps has been reduced, client requests for payroll or invoice information can be solved more quickly.  

WFA can now focus on more complex tasks, such as reducing overhead or increasing customer satisfaction, which has significantly increased their overall productivity.  

The client is incredibly happy with the results and the feedback has been so positive that since the initial automation, we have been working on others that will boost WFA productivity even more.

Learn more about our Data Science & Innovation Team and how itel clients get unprecedented access to the best developers, data scientists, and customer experience expertise.

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