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Why take just our word for what we have done? Here we share the words of those we have worked with and their opinion of our impact and the benefit to themselves as well as their business.


Staff Availability and Attrition Forecasting

Tracy Tallant Service Director – HR 

No consultative support is the same, but some jobs are more similar than others. However occasionally you are presented with a challenge that is so different you have to think hard about the solution and afterwards why it isn’t the standard?


Wakefield District Housing have an established long term planning process to understand and ultimately deploy, their staff across different projects and geographical areas. What they needed help with was forecasting staff availability and attrition, in other words ensuring they knew what resource they would have to meet demand.


They wanted to make sure they didn’t rely on too simplistic staff assumptions and of course we agreed with them and duly build them the prediction models they needed. Here’ what the Service Director Tracey had to say at the end: 


“We contacted the Forum on the back of a recommendation from a former colleague. Adrian and Keith took the time to get to know our business and what we wanted to achieve.  They were able to offer valuable insight and guidance including ideas on how we could develop our workforce planning in the future.”


Customer Relations Blended Capacity Planning

Lorna Stanley - Head of Resource Planning

"We had an issue finding the right skills internally to build a blended back and front office planning model, that worked in line with our service levels and the customer journey.


Select Planning were able to offer insight into our requirements, but also into how we might want to consider planning the flow of workload and calls. 


We found Keith exceptionally easy to work with, he has a very relaxed but informative style, he learnt our business very quickly, it felt like he had worked here for years and totally understood what we were trying to achieve.


Select Planning have given us a firm foundation for our future planning and helped us learn new skills that we can take forward.


Thank you Select Planning!"


Best Practice Speaking

Nicola Callan - Head of Engagement & Learning

"Keith was recently a panel member in our webinars as part of our Best Practice week on Improvement & Process. We asked Keith to support this due to his involvement across multiple organisations and sectors and his ability to draw on varying experiences to help our members engage with and understand the subject.


Keith shared the insight he had gained and was able to inspire others into starting on the improvement journey through the webinars that we held. His contribution was valued by both the organisers and the attendees and we look forward to working with Keith in future Best Practice weeks."

IT Support Help Desk

Dionne Cleall - Service Delivery Manager

"I engaged Adrian a few years ago to assist with the scheduling for a small team of 24/7 bilingual agents that I manage. The problems I was encountering were that the team had been set up with insufficient headcount to handle the bilingual calls and not all staff spoke two or more languages. The shifts had no pattern to them and no thought for the language capability was taken into account. My request to Adrian wasn’t an easy one to say the least, but Adrian was fantastic in seeing new ways to approach my dilemma. We tried a few different approaches to the scheduling in the first year until we found one that both suited the needs of the business and the staff.

Since then Adrian has been called upon several times to re-do our scheduling due to the growth of the team and the diversity needed to ensure we have sufficient cover. Thanks to Adrian’s work and support I now have a balanced schedule that meets the needs of all and the wellbeing of the staff.

We have also engaged Adrian to look at the scheduling for our team in Frankfurt, whose challenges are even more challenging, but I have every confidence that Adrian will be able to find a solution to the businesses’ issues. I would highly recommend Adrian; his knowledge, skills and experience in resource management is are some of the best I have seen”


Household Claims centre

Claire Hird - Head of Household Claims Operation

"We contacted The Forum for some support and advice on how to embed a case managed area into a high volume telephony environment.


Initially Simon Butler spent 3 days with me and my team and our Workforce Planning Team and quickly got to grips with what our challenges were, struck a great rapport with the teams and was able to provide some great insight and advice as to how we could make some fundamental changes to improve our service and general structures.


Following that, I engaged The Forum again to do a longer piece of consultancy to implement some of his ideas. Keith Stapleton and Adrian Hawes worked with us for around 6 weeks, again a joint piece of work with our Planning team and the Household Claims area, looking at everything from the Real Time planning right through to long range forecasting, capacity planning and budgetary process and control.  From this, we were able to jointly agree how we could plan more accurately and longer term which should, over time, reduce the volatility of service levels across the area.


Adrian and Keith were able to quickly make recommendations and implement ideas and had a good background and understanding of the challenges faced in a Claims environment.


What impressed me most was how intuitive Simon, Keith & Adrian were in getting the root of the issues in such a very short space of time.  They also have a very credible backgrounds in both planning and insurance so we were able to speak the same language and therefore understand the issues faced.


I would certainly endorse Simon, Keith and Adrian and would welcome working with them again in the future."


RAC Corporate Call Centre

Carole Campbell - Corporate Call Centre Manager

"In an ever changing consumer led environment with a variety of contact channels, I was looking for support with building a flexible resourcing model that could handle the complexity and challenges of these channels, and ensure my teams were fit for the future. One of our largest corporate customers was looking to change their contact centre and I needed to have the tools available to deliver a robust headcount model to support this.


RAC had previously worked with The Forum, and their credentials and resourcing excellence were the foundation for selecting them to work with me on this project. Not to mention the fact that the initial conversation gave me total confidence that experts, Adrian and Keith, were engaged and they understood the challenges, handled things in a logical and confident manner, and made the decision to work with them perfect sense.


The speed at which The Forum were able to mobilise their teams was very impressive.  From an initial ‘can you help? Call’ to having a model available to work with and deliver took a matter of a few weeks.  On site and telephony support was available throughout which made the project easy and efficient.


The output is an agile resourcing model that gives me and my teams the flexibility to forecast channel by channel, year by year and adapt it regularly throughout the year to make sure we are working to deliver excellent service to the customer." 


RS Components Customer Services Call Centre

Emma Botfield - Head of Customer Service Europe

Keith is a highly professional, experienced and knowledgeable person who has supported and enabled the Planning Team to produce an excellent schedule review whilst also referencing other considerations and challenges.  Keith has a calm approach and is able to work with a range of stakeholders to gain relevant information and identify the key elements to support the work that is being undertaken.  Keith produced a high quality written report that was articulate and clear and was engaging with all parties when presenting the report and findings.”


“Keith’s approach is a welcome change to consultancy support as he wants to ensure a difference is made and provides a clear overview of all risks, challenges and issues and provides practical solutions that can be implemented”


“I would most definitely want to work with Keith again and highly recommend him”

Yorkshire Ambulance 111 care line

During the first half of 2013 both Adrian and Keith supported the newly established 111 care line operated by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust.


Initially the support was required to set up the call centre working patterns, this was extended to include the day to day management of the call centre resource planning and ultimately handing over the reins to the newly appointed resource planning manager.


Our delivery included: Demand Forecasting, Capacity Planning, Schedule Review and Creation, and strategic review meetings. These activities were underpinned by enabling the local planning team to be self-supportive through personal development and sharing our experiences and best practices with them.


Whilst working with Yorkshire Ambulance we increased their schedule efficiency to 85% from less than 70% enabling them to meet service over 95% of their opening hours (24/7). The introduction of the long term planning function consolidated their management team with common goals and offered them the opportunity to explore different solutions to their challenges.


A copy of the testimonial written by the Trust’s associate director can be viewed here.


Head of Aviva Insurance Claims Centre

"Keith and Adrian provided me with expertise, a great deal of technical support and practical assistance when setting up a 365 day a year, 24 hour a day claims operation. They provided data on customer demand that I could act on to make sure I had the resources in place to deal with it and well enough in advance that I was able to plan for, and if necessary, mitigate risks.


They delivered staff schedules and work routines to meet customer demand and still be as fair to the employees as possible in things like: frequency of lates, weekends and some of the more unsociable shifts.


When we had surges in volume, like when the weather hits, we had tools to predict this to the best possible extent and manage our service well throughout those periods."



Operations Manager at Aviva Insurance Claims Centre

"Having ownership of building and managing a new team to work on resource optimisation, I was introduced to both Keith & Adrian as central references and people to assist me in how to build what would be new shift patterns for staff who had never worked shifts before.


I had previously done this task manually but as the operation resource grew and hours of work changed it became a task that needed some technical intervention and not an on the back of a matchbox approach!!!! I worked closely with Keith over a two year period embedding new shifts and adding on new work patterns to suit employee and business demand within the Insurance Claims centre of Excellence that we were developing.


Keith continually took away suggestions and options to fulfil the needs placed in front of us and when unable to get an exact fit for all, came up with alternatives that were ultimately accepted and implemented.  Whilst we had to continually tweek things we did get a very productive end result.There was never a task too big or too small and Keith’s adaptability and thinking out of the box approach was a breath of fresh air and an attribute that very much helped us build and improve an established workforce management tool and workforce itself.


Without the intervention of Keith and his team, it’s unlikely we would have achieved this."


Aviva Home Insurance Claims Centre Service Team Member

"From being launched into the position of looking at and using resource planning tools – something I had absolutely no experience of – being introduced to Keith to work with me on this made such a difference.


Keith took the time to understand the background I came from as well as my department’s challenges and what the senior management team’s goals were. From this, we built up a very good working relationship – he guided me through the Workforce Management system (Blue Pumpkin) and built the managers toolkit and reports following the requirements I passed to him. Keith continued to make any amendments based on a change of requirements and was always there at the other end of the phone to offer advice – no question was too obvious for him.


Keith also instrumented regular discussions between himself, the planning team in Norwich and my team in Scotland giving everyone the chance to voice their opinion as well as agreeing the businesses’ goals. I had complete confidence in Keith and so did my colleagues and more importantly, he gave me the confidence to effectively report back to senior management with findings and recommendations in order to ensure we met our all-important Service Level Agreements.


The knowledge and insight Keith provided was second to none and his patience was a lot to be desired. Thank you Keith – my colleagues and I really couldn’t have done it without you."