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10 Tips to Value Engineer Your Call Center Cubicles

TMCnews Featured Article

August 18, 2009

10 Tips to Value Engineer Your Call Center Cubicles

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

Cost savings are extremely important today for businesses looking to push through the turbulent economic conditions. In the call center, not only is it important to save on costs, but also to ensure the most value is derived from all areas.

When it comes to call center furniture design, I turn to Jennifer Way, Marketing Manager at Interior Concepts for some tips on how to value engineer call center cubicles.
Interior Concepts provides call center furniture solutions including planning and customization to help companies more effectively utilize their floor space and improve performance and profitability.
1. Utilize back-to-back agent stations designs to save cost. These types of stations have more shared panels such as the spine panel and electric, so the cost per station is lower than a single sided run of agent stations. 

2. When specifying the furniture choose melamine for the lower panels beneath the work surface instead of a fabric-covered panel. The panels are less expensive than fabric panels, will hold up better over time, and are easier to clean. 

3. Look for a furniture system that does not have loose parts, i.e., kick plates and frame caps that can easily fall off. Furniture without these loose parts means less maintenance cost and a site that looks better for a longer period of time. 

4. Purchase furniture with a Lifetime Warranty. A lifetime warranty guarantees that the manufacturer will stand behind the product and the furniture will stand the test of time. Durable furniture might cost slightly more initially, but have to be replaced and fixed less often, so it will hold its value over less-expensive furniture. 

5. Furniture should meet LEED indoor air quality standards, which is the wave of the future. Use of compliant furniture will contribute to a better indoor environment and will help reduce allergen problems, odor complaints, and sick building issues. Use of low-VOC and formaldehyde emitting furniture should not cost more than a manufacturer’s typical furniture offerings. 

6. Buy furniture that can be reconfigured as needed. The cost to reconfigure existing furniture will be less than purchasing all new workstations should needs change or relocation to a different site is required. Make sure that the supplier keeps electronic files of the project and engineering paperwork so it will be easy to reference the parts of the stations at a later date. 

7. Consider how the wire/cable management system works and if it will be easily accessible but still hide the cables and cords. The best system to use is a Chase system that has an accessible area under the furniture through sliding doors. This allows for easy initial set-up and future changes for IT. 

8. When considering acoustic panels for the workstations, note that the most important panel to have made of acoustic material is the spine panel of the furniture. To reduce costs have the side panels constructed of a fabric covered hardboard panel. 

9. Ergonomics tools are workstation accessories that will pay for themselves. Many studies show that the proper use of ergonomic accessories such as an adjustable keyboard, chair, and monitor arm, will help to reduce repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Reduced injuries will mean fewer workers compensation costs, less time missed from work, and less time used to train replacement employees. 

10. Smaller supervisor stations are one way to reduce the floor plan of a site. In the past, typical supervisor stations consisted of at least a 6’x6’ workstation. The most common design now is to have a standing height straight workstation at the end of a run of agent stations. This smaller station design costs less and gives the supervisor a better line of sight to see each of the agents, which can increase productivity and thus profitability.
For more, check out the Call Center Furniture channel on TMCnet.

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Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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