IFDS Awards Case Study and Site Visit 2014: Planning makes the difference in the back office

See how team leaders became engaged in planning, raising productivity by 18% through turning operational data into intelligence for optimising resources between functional teams in the UK & India.

  • See the Case StudyPresentations slides and video (which will be uploaded soon)
  • The site visit was on 17th June in Basildon. The report is given below. 

The back office ‘registration processing’ teams at IFDS were able to manage a growing client base much more efficiently by cross-skilling between specialist teams – quantifying the opportunities for flexibility and planning resources in advance. The vital steps were training and coaching team leaders and managers and establishing the right planning processes; they turned operational data into actionable intelligence, by using the ability of their existing AOM system to pull the information together from operational systems and present it in a useful way. Overtime was cut by over a third, over 1,600 hours of training were scheduled in a 7 month period with no extra budget and resourcing between the UK and Team India was better integrated, establishing a strong and effective relationship.


  • Productivity improved by 18%, sustained over six months post
  • Cost per standard-hour-processing down 6%
  • Overtime cut by 39%

Site Visit was on 17th June in Basildon

Attending Companies
AOM, Asda, Avios, RSA, Santander, Verint, Volkswagen Financial Services (UK)

Example Job Titles
Planning Manager, PDS Planner, Strategic Back Office WFO Consultant, Service Planning Team Leader

Key takeaways and learning

  • Drive to obtain Daily Data- But Real time is available but only used tactically when needed (year end etc)
  • Internal accreditation of agents and team leaders skills in planning to build credibility
  • 75% of data automatically obtain through systems (counts and timings)
    Planning has allowed time for improved succession planning, development etc.
  • Proactive management of productivity (reduce both stress and boredom) 

Top items covered on the day 

  1. Offshoring & Outsourcing (How do you track and monitor Quality for Back Office tasks? Also what level of customer contact do you allow offshore to deal with?)
  2. In Back Office using WFM is a great was of storing staffing numbers and managing assumptions
  3. Behaviours of “Dotty & Flossy” are still one of the biggest blockages to planning on the back office. Have IFDS got it right by making the TL’s the planner to force buy in better than centralised planning?
  4. Web Chat? Front Office or Back Office? (Would you send a call to reception? Is that not the same with Back Office?) – definitely NOT Social Media
  5. Task Vs Process into WFM (i.e. a single process of 30 mins has 3 touch point of 10 minutes across the day? What do you add to your records? 1 x 30 or 3 x 10 when they happen to create a demand profile?

Quotes from attendees
“Really enjoyable day providing useful insight into the AOM system and how this works. Enjoyed the breakout sessions also.”  Anglea Auld, RSA
“Very Useful - found the Holy Grail of Back Office Planning.” Chris Kenny, Avios

Take a look at these articles, videos and links
2014 Innovation Awards Winners and Case Studies
See the latest articles on Back Office Planning
Seventeen finalists announced for the 2014 awards


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