Case study: Telerx dials up better performance management with HardMetrics' on-demand analytics
October 12, 2009 -- Headquartered in Horsham, Pa., Telerx is the 15th largest U.S.-based customer care outsourcer and provides contact center support for leading consumer package goods and pharmaceutical companies. By optimizing customer, consumer, and employee relationships, Telerx helps leading Fortune 500 companies build brand loyalty and achieve bottom line results. The company was founded in 1980 and in 1994, became a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.
Many leading companies in the pharmaceutical and consumer package goods industries trust Telerx to deliver exceptional customer care from its six contact centers in the U.S and Canada. However, according to Diana Helfinstine, senior vice president of operations at Telerx, analyzing customer contact and call handing information presents a significant challenge because multiple, disparate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are involved.
“We host a number of CRM systems and we may or may not have complete information coming from our clients' automated call distribution systems. Billing structures are often different as well,” explains Helfinstine. “Despite the disparate nature of this information, we needed to create reports on a frequent basis – overviews of the business and trend analysis for example – and a lot of resources were involved in taking this info, pulling it together and formatting it so it made sense,” says Helfinstine. “It was a cumbersome process.”
Another challenge was the potential for human error and inconsistencies. “Whenever you have humans interacting with data there's always a chance for mistakes to be made and one person's interpretation might be different than someone else's so a consistent point of view is much more difficult to obtain,” says Helfinstine. “Although we have some internal automation, when you are combining various data elements it is still a somewhat manual process. And anytime you have someone doing a manual function you are paying for it.”
To address this challenge, Telerx initiated a large and expensive data warehouse project. Early in the process, it was suggested by an industry veteran that Telerx consider HardMetrics Performance Manager (HPM) to capture, store and correlate the disparate footprint of data produced by the Telerx enterprise, and then to visualize, investigate, report on and analyze the links between the call center and business performance.
“We have looked at performance management systems over the years and they are typically highly engineered, very expensive systems that require a lot of resources,” says Helfinstine. “When HardMetrics was recommended by someone that had been using it for a couple of years in a similar environment and could validate first hand what the benefits were, we knew we needed to talk to them. We did and were very impressed.”
Based in the Philadelphia region, HardMetrics' Enterprise and On-Demand analytics enable companies to optimize efficiencies, drive more profit and improve customer satisfaction through their call centers. HPM makes transformational analytics and metrics readily available to all levels of an organization. In addition, it consolidates hard-to-combine data into a self-service, intuitive Web-based application.
“When we looked at HardMetrics we were extremely impressed with the simplicity of the system and the ability to implement it in a fairly quick timeframe,” says Helfinstine. “We also felt comfortable with the HardMetrics team and what they were able to do. Besides having a very good tool to use we felt like this was a vendor that we could build a relationship with.”
Helfinstine also liked the company’s approach to training and knowledge transfer. “We were looking for a tool that would enable us to be independent and do the heavy lifting for us. If you think about it, a lot of vendors set themselves up as the expert and you are very reliant on them. In this case, HardMetrics took the opposite approach and they made us the expert. It’s a really good approach.”
And what of the implementation itself? “Their understanding of our particular technology was very strong and we initiated this project in April 2009 and we were deploying it by mid-May,” says Helfinstine. “I had a team of two people and we brought in IT resources as necessary and those were all the resources we focused on the entire project.”
Even though it is still early in the implementation process, Helfinstine is already experiencing some advantages with the new software. “With a drag and drop process you can take different data elements and bring them together into one single report and then compare and contrast data from different sources within a matter of seconds,” she says.
“The thing I liked about HardMetrics’ solution is that instead of trying to include every bell and whistle under the sun, they really focused on a core set of valuable, key features,” continues Helfinstine. “It makes it very easy for a company like us with multiple sites to be able to get this up and running, deploy it and have people actually use it."
Telerx has recognized numerous business benefits since they began using the HardMetrics solution. Early operational returns have been in the areas of reduced FTE and IT support costs, increased data integrity and analytics for a wider audience of end users. Current focus is on optimizing performance for the customer and the internal bottom line.
“We have been able to reduce the number of people that have to be involved in report creation,” says Helfinestine. “In many cases this translates to an actual cost reduction. In other cases it’s an opportunity to leverage their skills in more appropriate areas. We have built an ROI analysis around this implementation and are successfully meeting that return.”
Helfinstine also likes how the software has eliminated human errors. “The beauty of the HardMetrics tool is that once you have your mapping to the correct data elements, the opportunity for human error is almost nonexistent because the data is coming directly from that data source,” she says.
HardMetrics solution has also made the process of running reports significantly easier and quicker. “Using a manual process, we used to spend hours developing reports and graphs for all the things clients want to look at. With HardMetrics, we can simply click on the various elements we are looking for and create a report in a matter of seconds,” says Helfinstine. “Once that’s done, I can go in and create a graph associated with that data, I can export that information to my clients, and it’s done within a very short period of time compared to the hours it used to take to manually pull everything together.”
As the company spends more time with the HardMetrics software, more ways of using it are being uncovered. “We’ve brought both our payroll and financial reporting system information into HardMetrics and we’re in the process of using HardMetrics as a financial reporting system,” says Helfinstine.
“The ability to correlate various pieces of data and slice and dice your financial information in a very finite manner is something that is easy to do with HardMetrics. In the future our plan is to bring a lot of additional data elements into the system so it will become even broader and enhance our ability to analyze the business,” concludes Helfinstine.
"When we looked at HardMetrics we were immediately impressed with the depth, yet simplicity of the system and the ability to implement it in a quick timeframe. Aside from their innovative analytics technology which was ideal for us, we were impressed with their business knowledge and we felt like this was a vendor that we could build a relationship with. We have built an ROI analysis around this implementation and are very confidently meeting that return."
Overall impact: HardMetrics Performance Manager has automated processes and eliminated human errors, making it easier to deliver advanced reporting and proactively analyze business operations.
About HardMetrics Inc.
HardMetrics Inc. was founded in 2003 to make on-demand analytics ubiquitous in Call Center-driven businesses' management through ease of use, shortest time to implement and greatest return on investment.
HardMetrics has eliminated every cost and technology barrier that prevents analytics technology from being widely deployed and used at every level of the enterprise. We require no software programming or customization. Our technology foundation is based on an end-user self-service approach that relieves the burden on IT and gives users the flexibility to define any analytic view of the business they desire, in the format they choose. Our solutions eliminate at least 80% of the time, effort and cost involved in deploying a analytics system, without sacrificing the depth of functionality and reliability customers expect. Our clients use HardMetrics to drive profitability and customer satisfaction,
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