Guest
3/1/2002

I need methods, ways and studies to calculate the headcount needed for a call center. So, if there are any Internet links or some studies or articles you have for this issue I would be very glad to know. Thank you.
 Mohanad El Masry, Vodafone Egypt


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Guest
8/1/2003

First work out manned hours required, then divide by hours worked per FTE per month. The harder part is working out manned hours. To do this you need call volume, call length and expected average monthly occupancy. Occupancy can be calculated using an Erlang C calculator or, if you have lots of history, you can make an educated guess. In call centres of more than 20 seats, occupancy will range from a low of 30% to a high of 85% for a very large centre. Look at the occupancy you typically get on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday when you hit (or almost hit) your service level objective. You can use that. If you want to be more precise, there are numerous free Erlang C calculators on the Internet  use your average call length and average half hour call volume. The formula for manned hours is [call volume x call length in seconds divided by occupancy divided by 3600]. This is expressed in hours. I hope that this helps.
 Chris Stuart, STUCON


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Guest
9/1/2003

Unfortunately, there is no simple formula to calculate headcount. The problem with linear formulae as proposed in the previous answer is that it assumes that calls arrive and are handles in a sterilized fashion, one after the other, when in fact, they come in a process defined as Poisson Process. Additionally, this method doesn't account for the queuing of calls by the ACD. I hope this helps.
 Joe Barkai, Diagnostic Strategies


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Guest
9/1/2003

If you're really starting at the very beginning with call center management  and from the way the question was phrased it sounds to me as if this is the case  then calculating headcount is only one of many issues you'll face. I suggest learning all about the basics of call center management, including how to calculate headcount. I'm biased, I admit, but the best resource I know of for learning the basics (and quite a bit more) of call center management is Brad Cleveland's book, Call Center Management on Fast Forward. I also have to demur regarding the previous two responses, above. With an Erlang calculator it's really pretty simple to calculate overall headcount for a call center, and there's no need to estimate occupancy, first. Decide what your service level objective will be, and the Erlang calculator will show you what occupancy to expect. And Erlang C is a formula that accounts for random call arrival and the queueing of calls by the ACD, so there's no need to master Poisson distributions. However, if you want to get fancy and start accounting for abandoned calls (which Erlang C won't do), then you might like to read this explanation by Jay Minnucci, ICMI's VicePresident of Consulting Services: http://www.incoming.com/Consulting/FCF/013.aspx?SelectedNode=59 Of course, if you are starting a new call center and have no historical data from which to build forecasts, it's going to be difficult to accurately forecast your call volume and handle time, so that's the hard part, in my opinion.
 Anonymous


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Guest
10/1/2003

First determine these factors: break factor (BF) = (365 x (8~10~12))÷ (365 x ([8~10~12] breaks per shift)) BF x number of positions (seats) required per shift = positions to cover breaks (PcB) leave factor (LF) = 2080 ÷ (2080 average hours worked) * Note: We have taken average hours worked as 2080. total staff needed for one shift= LF x PcB For example, calculating one hypothetical shift's requirement, assume these conditions: Two breaks of 15 minutes each, and one 30minute meal break (1 hour total, making a 7hour workday) 8hour shifts Average of 160 hours of absenteeism (based on past records) 6 Positions in one shift. Here are the calculations based on the above hypothetical shift: 2920 ÷ 2555 = 1.142 (BF) 1.142 x 6 = 6.852 positions (PcB) leave factor = 1.0833 [2080 ÷ (2080  160)] total staff needed to cover 6 positions on one shift= 1.0833 times 6.852 or 7.442 for shift of six positions Repeat for each different shift configuration, total the results for staffing requirement for the entire center
 Shailesh Etekar


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Guest
5/1/2004

How is this for coming late to the dance? I think everyone is taking this to an extreme. If an individual is really just starting a center get professional help. If you have a history of call volume, talk time, wrap, and a service level goal, then work with the data from your busiest day(s). Ensure you have adequate staffing for the beginning and end of the center schedule (using an Erlang C table), then do the same thing for your peak volumes. These data sets will allow you to see how many "manned" employees you will need. Now take your historical absenteeism figures (scheduled and callin) and add this percentage and do the same thing with your necessary break and lunch schedules. It really is fun to do once you understand the basics.
 J. Blasing


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Guest
4/14/2006

Assuming that you have your service level  Forecast your call volume by using a time series approach or regression analysis – and break it down to quarterly or half hourly intervals (depending on your requirement – this is determined by your AHT (average handle time). If AHT is lower than 10 to 15 minutes it is recommended that you break your forecasts to quarterly intervals)). Thereafter apply the values to Erlang C by feeding estimated AHT and service levels.
The results would project your base staff which you would require to be on phone. This alone would NOT be the final requirement. You would need to apply shrinkage or RSF (Rostered Staff Factor = On Schedule/ Base Staff) on to your base staff. This includes all modes that keeps agents off phone when scheduled to be on phone. Hope this would help.
 Lutz


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Guest
8/25/2006

With all these nice people trying to steer you to their thought process I hope you can pick one that makes sense to you. I like the Erlang Calculator and think it will make your life a little easier
 Joe, ABC 123


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Guest
1/26/2007

I also agree to the fact that Erlang Calc is much easier to understand and can be practically used for gaining precise results. I have tried using other variants of Erlang Calc and they also produce similar results, although I must admit not very accurate in comparison to original Erlang C.
 Prashant, Convergys


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Guest
3/23/2007

Once you have the volume of calls per interval, per day of the week (I use a 60day average), and average AHT, you can set your service level goals for your business. Plug these numbers into an Erlang C spreadsheet and you will get your staffing per interval to meet your service level goals. Remember to always take into account your shrinkage when determining staffing requirements.
There is a difference between headcount and FTE. For example, a part time employee will normally be considered 0.5 FTE.
 Ron Warren, Global Cash Access


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Guest
3/7/2011

Hi Lutz, Can you give more detail about how you use time series and regression models for forecasting? Thanks
 Zeynep Biricik


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