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Forecasting Overview

Forecasting Overview

Wisdom WFO offers the most advanced forecasting methods on the market. In fact, its decades ahead of everything else. Every other vendor relies on interval call counts of answered plus abondoned calls. Those vendors want you to believe that adds up to offered calls. It does not. Wisdom WFO explores every second of every caller who needs to be services. There is no downside to the greater precision of an SCO forecast. Its easier to use, simple to understand and always grounded in the realities of each customers needs.

The use of “Answerd Plus Abandoned call counts” tends to freeze your forecast and schedule outcomes to the rate you have been answering and frustrating customers. When your business changes or wait times increase, those forecasts don’t respond at all. Counting calls as they enter the queue does not help either. Thats becasue this method exagerates staffing requrements in most periods and leaves you underprepared for the rest. The result is excess staffing and long wait times combined. Thats the most inefficient outcome possible.

Wisdom WFO frees your business to be nimble in adapting exactly to the growing, changing needs of real callers. Its so much better than “planning to never change” or “planning to be inefficient”.

 

Global Coordination

Planners can work with forecasts and schedules in the time zone of their choice. Wisdom WFO automatically prepares globally coordinated forecasts and schedules no matter how many time zones are involved. Agents can view their schedules in their time zone of choice. Time zone selection appears on most pages as a drop list. This drop list features user persistence across pages. For example, if the user selects EST/EDT on one page, all of the users subsequent web application usage will default to the most recently selected time zone. Naturally each user has their own persistence. If the user logs out and returns, the time zone persistence continues until the user selects a different value.

 

Historical Analysis

The analysis of historical activity is configurable by the customers (n-weeks or months, years or quarters of data, with or without monthly business cycle exceptions). The weighting rules are also configurable. For example, recent data can be weighted more heavily and customers can set the weights. After the initial configuration, everything else is automated. The system automatically identifies the most appropriate historical basis for each forecast day. The analysis includes holiday effects, special events and day after effects. This automation saves planners the effort of manually changing the historical basis every time there is a holiday, planned advertising event, etc.

 

Historical Exceptions

Wisdom WFO includes event based exception tracking, event based forecasting and time shifting of historical events into planned event times. With historical data annotations, exceptional activity can be identified (with or without providing modified demand statistics). The original data is not lost. Forecasts automatically use any modified values. Customers also have the option of preparing event based forecasts. Planners can search for categories and descriptions of exceptional historical activity. Working from the search results list, the planner can incorporate any portion of one or more events into a forecast. Planners can also time-shift events. For example, if the historical event started at 6:00 PM in the past and a similar planned event is planned for 8:00 PM then it’s easy for the planner to insert the event at the appropriate time.

 

Forecasting

Wisdom WFO offers customers the choice of over a dozen different forecasting methods including several variations on Erlang and SCO forecasts. Each of the high definition methods intricately understands carry-over effects, second-by-second call distribution with in the interval, and precision skills demand intensity and distribution. For this reason, most customers select one of the SCO methods. The most highly preferred method is the Calibrated Risk forecast. This method allows customers to choose their level of risk absorption and preparedness. The results are dramatically more effective than any weighted average, Erlang calculation or simulation.

Customers who switch to the Calibrated Risk method have leaped ahead in the areas of service levels, accessibility, redial and productivity. They have achieved across the board success overnight (literally). They have chosen the worst day of the year to make the transition and still had the best day ever. With no additional staff and no changes other than the improved forecast and resulting schedule quality. The improvements have been unprecedented for the customers. The improvements have also been sustainable — from the cut-over dates forward.

Transformational results like these are the norm when call centers switch from 30 year old forecasting methods to the only modern forecasting method — SCO.

SCO_Improvements

 

The Wisdom WFO forecasting process is highly configurable and easy to automate. Wisdom WFO creates forecasts in seconds per day. Any post production forecast tuning is equally fast and easy. Planners can re-tune forecasts in seconds.

 

Forecast Re-optimization

Re-forecasts can be scheduled to run on any recurring time table or launched to run in the moment, at the click of a button.

 

Forecast Versions

Wisdom WFO automatically keeps a copy of the original forecast for comparison to subsequently adjusted forecasts.

 

Forecast Baselines

Wisdom WFO also allows planners to set baselines and roll back to baselines. Baselines can be saved automatically on any recurring timetable.

 

Forecast Undo and Redo

All forecast changes forecasts benefit from unlimited undo and redo of each and every change.

 

Multi-Group Planning

All baselines, undo’s and redo’s are specific to the scheduling group so one planner’s changes have no collateral impact on other workgroups.

 

Forecast Scenarios:

In addition, to baselines and undo/redo, there are also forecast scenarios. Planners can create an unlimited number of forecast scenarios. Schedules can be created to any forecast scenario. Existing schedules can be re-optimized to any forecast scenario. Forecast scenarios are also specific to each workgroup so one planner’s scenarios operate independently from the workgroups of other planners.

 

Forecast Options

Available forecasting options include trending, seasonalization, automatic shrinkage adjustments. The historical shrinkage adjustments result in a precision schedule buffer that tracks to the actual historical shrinkage (of the historical basis for each forecast day). Planners can specify differential service level targets by skill and save these as the defaults for subsequent forecasts. There is an option for abandon rate forecasting but Wisdom WFO customers have such low abandon rates that this option is never warranted. Wisdom WFO can be easily configured to plan for complex workflows. For example, where work arrives in one queue and is subsequently transferred to staff in other tiers or departments. For these workflows, Wisdom WFO includes Collateral Forecasting. This feature allows planners to specify the percentage of work that flows between any number of work groups. Once configured, Collateral Forecasting is fully automated into the single click forecasting process.

 

Forecast Adjustments

Wisdom WFO makes it easy to make post production changes to service levels, skills, staffing buffers, anticipated volume and more. The interface provides both grid and graphical representations of any number of days. Planners can view a day, a week or months of data. Changes can be applied to any range of intervals from 15 minutes to months at a time. All forecast adjustments can be undone and redone at the click of a button. In fact, planners get unlimited undo’s and redo’s. Wisdom WFO automatically presents comparison of the original forecast vs. adjusted. All of the tools that are available for the forecast are also available for each and every skills forecast.