Forecasting e-mails

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Operations Manager

West Bromwich Building Society

We are looking to move e-mails from the back office to the front in a couple of weeks as we believe there is sufficient resource to be able to respond during downtime.

However, I just need to make sure that the forecast of phone staff reflects the additional work and was wondering if anyone has used erlang for such things?

We currently have a task time (AHT) with a 48 hour SLA, which we should be able to reduce significantly.

I did a quick search of the forum which came up blank so any help would be appreciated...


Call Centre Helper

I'm not sure how good Erlang is at forecasting emails.

There is a big difference between email (which is non abandoning) and phone calls (where the caller can abandon if not answered fast enough).

Team Lead


Do you know what productivity levels are like - or more to the point how much and when agents have idle (or non call time)?


The 48hr SLA could effectively be you answer time!

Do you have GOOD data as to arrival patterns and handle times?

If so you can actually treat it like a call, however, otherwise you're effectively

merging it as a blended queue.

Either way it's not as simple as it looks.

First off map your current demand Vs staffing to give a formalised

capacity gap plan. Then look at the standard metrics for shrinkage / off

call work and factor that as at present staff WILL be treating this as

downtime. You'll then need to look at the handle times per work item

for the various e-mail types and see how that fits in with demand. essentially

ignoring the 48hr KPI.

Hope it make sense.



Operations Manager

West Bromwich Building Society

We currently forecast for work loads in the back office which is easy as it's a simple calculation of expected numbers x task time + a bit of R&R.

We know we have the spare capacity in the telephony teams during the day but I don't want to add to the workload forecast by calculating as above as this will obviously push up the staffing levels required which is not necessary.

I think I need to play with Excel to see if we can manipulate the Erlang add-in to show a 100% answered within 7200 seconds to show a 2 hour SLA...

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