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WFO Insider: An Inside Look at the SWPP Conference

Last week the Society of Workforce Planning Professionals (SWPP) held their 2013 Annual Conference in Nashville, TN. This is considered The Summit for Workforce Management Excellence: Standards and Strategies for Call Center Staffing, and is the primary opportunity for workforce professionals to gather together to discuss industry trends, share skills and practices, and become introduced to new technology. We asked SWPP 2013 Workforce Management Professional of the Year finalist, Jeff Bretana, to answer a few questions about his experience with SWPP and the conference.


The ICMI community would love to hear what is currently trending around workforce! What do you see on the WFO horizon? - For me personally, I gained insight into best practices for forecasting inbound and outbound call volume, email, chat, and average handle times for all four areas. In addition, I learned how other call centers are beginning to “forecast” their staffing shrinkage to improve the accuracy of their requirements. There was also a lot of discussion about new trends in the industry such as social media and text messaging for Workforce Management related functions like posting overtime and voluntary time off. Finally, it was a great networking opportunity as I gained several new contacts that I can collaborate with!

Why did you get involved with SWPP in the first place? - SWPP membership is a great way to gain insight and knowledge on industry challenges and best practices. Their newsletter, online forum, tips of the week, and free webinars can all provide actionable items to bring to your call center. In addition, it provides you an outlet to share your challenges and best practices and become more interactive within the industry. That has been one of the most useful things for me. Not only can I gain knowledge through my SWPP membership, I can share knowledge. Sometimes the best way to learn is through teaching others.

What would you say to a contact center that is on the fence about joining SWPP or attending conferences like the upcoming ACCE or next year's SWPP event? - Some of the best concepts we have implemented have come from the SWPP Conference. This is where I learned about the concept of Undertime as well as some of the creative shift options that we have recently implemented. The conference can be a great way to gain new perspectives and discover new concepts that you can bring to your call center. In addition, it is a great way to improve upon or expand your knowledge of things like forecasting, staff planning, and expanding Workforce Management to areas outside of the call center.

We would love to get more details about some of these great concepts! What are three things that you'd be interested in sharing with us in the near future?

  • Forecasting tips and best practices
  • New ways to measure staff shrinkage
  • New methods for your WFM team to communicate with managers and agents

Jeff will be sharing more of his insights over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, please let us know what else around WFM and WFO that you'd like to hear him talk about!