Measuring the return-on-investment for technology has become a significant issue among carriers. Although no carriers or vendors contacted for this article could provide return-on-investment figures for insurance companies using call center workforce optimization tools, some vendors offer examples from other industries.Timberline Software Corp., Beaverton, Ore., for example, saved $595,000 in efficiency and productivity gains by using a scheduling optimization tool from Blue Pumpkin Software Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif. Timberline-which installed 100 seats of the software as part of a client service reengineering effort-also saved another $1.4 million by handling 20% more calls without having to increase headcount. It reported a return on investment in the first year.

A wireless communications provider who prefers to remain anonymous increased productivity by 10% to 15% using performance optimization technology for 320 seats in its call centers across the United States and Europe. The technology, from Performix Technologies Ltd., Burlington, Mass., also improved agents' adherence to schedule by 63%, lowered average hold time by 24% and average talk time by 11%, and reduced staff turnover by 50%-with ROI in less than three months.

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