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Why we need capacity planning

A comprehensive capacity plan is at the heart of building a well-resourced team of appropriately skilled agents to meet service level, client and employee satisfaction objectives. While many organizations realize they have a need for better planning, they often lack the tools and capabilities to effectively manage and execute the action necessary to achieve their strategic goals.

What is capacity planning?

Capacity planning is the process an organization uses to analyze and determine its workforce needs. It involves determining the right number of skilled people required to meet interaction volumes, filling anticipated resource gaps due to growth or attrition ahead of when needed, and analyzing the overall operating costs associated with all front-line and support staff, training, overtime, and other costs.

1. Right people

Contact centres need the right number of staff to achieve their service goals. Capacity planning helps you to determine whether you have the right number, too few, or too many resources, taking seasonality and attrition into consideration.

In the new work-from home model, location barriers have all but been eliminated, making it possible to find the best available talent, regardless of where they live; allowing for expansion of the talent acquisition strategy beyond the local area.


  • Rigorous recruiting process

  • Market availability

  • Attitude and aptitude

2. Right skills

It is essential to know exactly which skills the contact centre requires to meet future requirements and most effectively fill skills gaps. Identifying the required competencies is vital for translating hiring into a strategic plan and turning business models into long-term results. It means companies must establish clear business goals to ensure they are hiring employees that are equipped to help meet current and future company objectives.

Considerations include:

  • Skills by queue

  • Training requirements

  • Multi-skilling strategy

3. Right place and time

The impact of changing seasonal requirements, growth, and attrition requires placing the right people with the right skills, in the right positions at the right time. Brick and mortar operations still need to consider the place or location of the required resources, but less so in the expansion of the remote workforce.

Considerations include:

  • Hiring ahead of attrition

  • Full-time, part-time mix

  • Contingent workforce

4. Right cost

Plan for all direct and indirect costs you may incur while hiring, including costs for job ads, hours spent on applicant interviewing, hiring ahead of attrition costs, new employee salaries, benefits, insurance, incremental support staff requirements, and other factors.

Understanding these costs will help to align the expectations of senior management and the budget required, as well as help to keep track of the budget spend over time. It will also ensure you’re optimizing costs by securing the right talent, only when those specific skills are needed.

Considerations include:

  • Planning for direct and indirect expenses

  • Budgeting for right number of resources to meet demand

Common triggers requiring a capacity plan or update

Some of the common drivers for updating a capacity plan beyond the annual, quarterly, and monthly recurring planning cycle include:

  • Creation of new organizational unit or the merger of existing units

  • Changes to an existing organizational unit and/or processes within that unit

  • The addition of new products, services, or processes

  • Requests to justify personnel costs for budget purposes

  • Abnormal levels of anticipated attrition or retirements

  • Gaps with employee levels, competencies, or skills

  • Requests to assess organizational performance

  • Improvement initiatives resulting in changes in business model requiring new skill sets or revised staffing levels

Let Cinareo help you to capacity plan.

Cinareo™ is a new and innovative cloud-based Workforce Insights application that complements any WFM platform and sets a new standard for strategic capacity planning and decision support for omni-channel contact centre environments. This software provides robust resource planning and financial analysis to cost-efficiently manage front and back-office staff, as well as all support staff (e.g., supervisors, trainers, quality assurance, managers), to provide accurate capacity planning, recruitment and training planning, and enhance executive decision-making with multi-variable what-if scenarios. The solution is the result of extensive research and experience producing industry-leading analysis and reporting not available in existing tools in the market.


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