Innovar Solutions Blog


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Occupancy, The Most Misunderstood Metric in the Contact Center   August 24, 2016

Does your center measure, and manage Occupancy? If so, are you measuring it correctly, and how are you using the information to improve your operation? If you are not, should you be?

Occupancy is the most misunderstood metric in the Contact Center, and this misunderstanding occurs even by people who are outstanding Contact Center leaders...


Step Challenge Image

InnOlympic Step Challenge Champ   August 24, 2016

Steve Laughlin took the gold medal in the InnOlympic Step Challenge this week! Each participant tracked their steps over the course of 7 weeks. In the last leg of the race, Steve "stepped up" his game, putting him in the lead with 875,557 steps! Impressive work, Steve!

Fun fact: As a team, Innovar walked over 2100 miles! That's equivalent to walking from San Diego, CA to Atlanta, GA. Bravo, team!


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Is Requirements Traceability Dead?   August 16, 2016

I grew up in IT as a mainframe software developer. Yes, I get it. I'm old.

The rule was to document every business requirement and map it to operational, functional and technical requirements. We managed and traced those requirements through design and all the various testing cycles.


Innovar Olympic Mini Basketball Winner

InnOlympic Top Golf Champ Named   August 16, 2016

Ryan Strenger takes his second gold medal at the InnOlympic Top Golf event!

The Texas heat was extreme and the competition between Innovar competitors was fierce. We had a tie for the silver medal - shared by Steve Laughlin and Shawn Coffman. Excellent showing of competition, support and camaraderie.


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Practical Risk Management Technique for Project Leaders   August 15, 2016

There's a lot of material written on the subject of project risk management. When asked, Project Leaders will say it is crucial to project success. However, in my experience, I haven't observed much of it in practice.

Once a risk presents itself, some Project Leaders react well to the situation and drive the activities necessary for resolution...


Innovar Olympic Mini Basketball Winner

2016 Innolympic Basketball Tournament   August 2, 2016

Drum roll please...
Shawn Coffman proves he's got serious skills at the basketball InnOlympic event. After 3 intense rounds of fast-paced shooting, Shawn took the gold medal with the highest number of points (53 in :30 seconds). He had some tough competition on his heels, but he pulled it off with nothing but net! Congrats on the win, Shawn!


Innovar Olympic Pool Winner

2016 Innolympic Pool Tournament   August 2, 2016

Congratulations to Ryan Strenger for winning the 2016 Innolympic Pool Tournament! The competition was fierce. In the end, Ryan was able to hold off all challengers to win the the gold medal! Silver went to Ken Ferguson. Bronze went to William Yiu. Innovar believes it's important to engage employees and have fun as a team. How is your company engaging employees in creative and fun ways?


Innovar Olympic Giant Jenga Winner

2016 Innolympic Giant Jenga Winner   July 18, 2016

Congratulations to Michael Holt for taking the gold medal in the 2016 Innolympic Giant Jenga game! Silver went to Justin Barker. Bronze went to Shawn Coffman. The competition is heating up and we're having a great time over here at Innovar Solutions! Innovar believes it's important to engage employees and have fun as a team. How is your company engaging employees in creative and fun ways? We'd love to hear about it!


Innovar Olympic Logo

Do you love the summer Olympics?   July 07, 2016

So do we! This year, Innovar Solutions is holding its own summer Olympics to engage our employees and generate some excitement within our team and build relationships. Our amazing employees will compete in 10 different events -- Basketball, Bowling, Car Racing, Darts, Dodgeball, Giant Jenga, Ninja Warrior, Pool, Top Golf, and Walking. So far, everyone is tracking their Fitbits for those walking miles! Is your company celebrating the Olympics? How is your company engaging its employees? We'd love to hear from you!


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Where the Rubber Meets the Road   June 03, 2016

Where the Rubber Meets the Road...an old clichè but one that accurately describes the role a supervisor plays in our call centers today.

Supervisors are one of the few single points of contact for >95% of the line staff in any organization. They interface on a daily, hourly and even minute by minute basis with the bulk of the workforce. They interpret objectives, goals or challenges that are passed down the chain of command into action by the lowest (but most impacting) level of an organization.


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What do Great Managers and Traffic Lights have in Common?   May 22, 2016

Last weekend I was travelling from Richmond, Virginia to Boston, Mass and pulled off the highway into a small town in Connecticut. I came upon an intersection where the town transportation workers were trying to fix a set of traffic signals that spanned 2 lanes of traffic each way. Nothing out of the ordinary except the lights were flashing in sequences I never saw before: yellow and green, green and red, flashing yellow and static green...


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Churning is for Butter, not Customers.   May 12, 2016

When customers become unhappy with their experience with your company, they go to one of your competitors for that same product or service. Then you have to make up for that loss in revenue by acquiring new customers...THAT is customer CHURN.

Let's make sure we understand the financial impacts of customer churn on the bottom line...


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The Assumption Trap   May 2016

We all make assumptions.

Most of the time, the measure of a project’s success is not only its budget and timeline, but the quality of its deliverables.

During project planning, the criterion that defines HOW each deliverable will be met, will later become a key part of determining if a project succeeded or not. A critical component of that criterion is often overlooked: What are the assumptions?


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Inspect What You Expect!   May 1, 2016

Sounds simple enough but most customer service organizations fail to do so and the results can be disastrous. In our collective experience, we know that companies who fail to establish an 'accepted' vision for their customer service organizations end up with 'reactive' type organizations vs pro-active work culture that drives performance. The result being a workforce focused on what it needs to do to get by vs what it needs to do to excel.


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Dirty Windows?   April 26, 2016

Your Call Center agents are your customers' window into your company.

"40% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company solely based on a poor call center experience. The single biggest determinant of that experience is an agent's performance."Genesys report


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Accelerating Adoption of Enterprise Level Change   March 2016

Driving complex change across the organization requires executive commitment, cross-functional participation and many times a significant monetary investment. The risks associated with implementing change can be reduced with focus on the above mentioned items; however, many organizations miss the opportunity to maximize their results or return on investment because of low adoption rates.


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Balancing Speed and Sustainability   February 2016

As economic pressures increase the need to reduce costs and transform business models, decision makers everywhere are searching for quick-hit opportunities to deliver significant improvement. The difficult challenge they face is finding ways to obtain lasting results at a pace needed to satisfy the overwhelming sense of urgency to "get something done".


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Project Leadership Versus Project Management   January 2016

To successfully drive cross-functional and complex change, you need a leader not just an administrative project manager. Project Management is based on sound principles and processes and definitely a key component of success; however, management principles alone will not drive positive results.


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Be Careful What You Ask For!   January 2013

We had a chance to sit down with Ed this month and talk about the topic, Be Careful What You Ask For!

1. Ed, what do you mean by, "Be Careful What You Ask For"?
When well-intentioned call center leaders attempt to improve productivity and reduce overall call center costs, they usually focus on reducing Average Handle Times (AHT).


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"Enlightened" Leadership   October 2012

We had the opportunity to sit down with Ed and discuss Enlightened Leadership and the impact it has on change.

1. What is "enlightened" leadership?
During my years at GE, I had the opportunity to attend several week long courses at GE's Management Development Center in Crotonville, NY. During one particular week-long session on marketing strategy, I was struck by how excited and involved...


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Project Leadership versus Project Management   July 23, 2012

To successfully drive cross-functional and complex change, you need a leader not just an administrative project manager. Project Management is based on sound principles and processes and definitely a key component of success; however, management principles alone will not drive positive results.


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Passive Data Collection   July 2012

We had the opportunity to sit down with Eric and discuss Passive Data Collection.

1. When it comes to collecting data for measuring business improvement, you mentioned "Passive Data Collection"... What is that?
It is any way that you can collect data about how your business process is running, without needing the people who actually execute that business process to stop what they are doing and enter data. Most people are hired for a particular talent...


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Spike! Don't miss out on sudden demand opportunities   June 15, 2012

In almost every business, demand for your product cycles. The cycles are usually predictable because they repeat with a regular frequency. Those smooth predictable cycles are often also punctuated by sudden spikes in demand.

If your business has enough production capacity to handle the peak of your demand cycles then you are wasting money on capacity during the lower portions of your demand cycle. If you have enough capacity to handle those spikes, then you really have excess capacity.


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Learn to embrace "Big Brother" to Minimize "The Observer Effect"   June 2012

A salesperson, a driver, a field worker, these people have skills and experience to perform jobs that do NOT involve keying data into a computer or a device. Nevertheless, businesses are looking for ways to quantitatively measure the performance of their business in ever increasing levels of granularity. It is no longer about just measuring dollars, it is about measuring all of the little tasks and processes that drive those dollars.


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Circuity...is that a word?   May 31, 2012

Let us help you optimize your entire supply chain. We will look at the entire system, measure it, and clearly identify where optimization can save you money.

It is a simple concept. As we all know, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so circuity is whatever distance your freight travels that is longer than that straight line.


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Planning Demand – Is it a Supply Chain Problem or a Sales Problem?   May 07, 2012

The answer is YES.

The supply chain is a set of highly interdependent processes. From production, to transportation, to inventory, inefficiency in any part of the process will impart inefficiency onto all other parts of the supply chain. An accurate demand forecast can have a large impact on the ...


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Customer Experience versus Customer Satisfaction   May 2012

We asked Brian some questions on Customer Experience versus Customer Satisfaction.

1. What is the difference between Customer Experience and Customer Satisfaction?
Customer experience is the sum of the "Moments of Truth" your customer encounters as they interact with your employees, your products or services, your systems and your processes. "A Moment of Truth is that precise instant when the customer comes into...


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What is Churn Rate?   March 2012

In our previous newsletter titled 'Who in your company has the responsibility for customer churn'. As a follow-up, we asked Ed some additional questions to provide better insight for this critical topic.

1. What is churn rate?
Successful marketing efforts may lull companies into a sense of complacency when they see their total customer base increasing...


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What is Customer Churn?   January 2012

We had the opportunity to sit down with Ed and ask him a few questions. (Part 1)

1. What is customer churn?
Customer churn is also known as customer attrition, customer turnover, customer defection, customer loss. However you look at it, a customer that your marketing group worked hard (and at great expense) to bring on board has left for 'greener' pastures...


Speed and Sustainability: Creating Value Through a Balanced Approach   November 2010

As economic pressures increase the need to reduce costs and transform business models, decision makers everywhere are searching for quick-hit opportunities to deliver significant improvement. The real challenge may be obtaining lasting results, but at a speed needed to satisfy the overwhelming sense of urgency.


Measuring Customer Experience: A Holistic Approach   2010

Customer experience measurement is an evolving practice. In this article, the author draws on experience he's had with clients in multiple industries to discuss how to improve customer experience by integrating multiple measurement dimensions with training and incentive programs.


Must Outsourcing be a Part of Improving Operational Efficiency?  July 2009

Outsourcing can provide a valuable change-agent to drive fundamental transformation, but only after a company takes other steps. Depending on the maturity of an organization, outsourcing should not be an immediate decision. It is but a point on the business maturity continuum...




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