The ABSL Association awarded the companies that contributed the most to the development of the business services sector in the Czech Republic last year and thanks to innovative projects increased the standard of provided services, customer experience, talent development, and work environment. The winning projects in seven categories were selected by a six-member independent expert jury from forty nominations. The award called ABSL Diamonds was awarded for the eighth time this year and the trophy in the form of a large diamond was lifted by the winners during the gala evening on the occasion of the annual ABSL conference.
„Our business services sector has Innovations in our DNA and they are the daily bread for our 350 centers. This year, the nominated projects combine truly extraordinary maturity and innovation. It reflects the industry’s high degree of flexibility and resilience to crises and shows how well Czech centers have coped with the challenges of the pandemic; how these centers have adopted new digital strategies and hybrid ways of working; how they have managed to move the quality of provided services forward with technology and how they have supported their communities and Czech society,“ says Jonathan Appleton, director of ABSL, which brings together business, customer and IT services centers in the Czech Republic and adds:
„We congratulate all the winners and believe that their efforts will motivate and inspire not only our entire sector, but also companies and organizations across all segments of the Czech economy.“
This year’s winners are:
In the Business Innovation category, Atlas Copco Services was awarded for its smart travel cost audit project, which was invented and implemented by the team from Brno to reduce manual tasks during the travel costs control for the company’s employees (more than 20,000 employees in 14 EMEA countries and NASA). Thanks to the use of automation and smart technologies, 30 % of employees’ time was saved, which allowed the center to expand its scope. At the same time, it has contributed to more effective detection of errors or illegit claims. Thanks to the significant benefits of the solution, its global adoption is being prepared for the remaining regions (especially Asia).
The second diamond award goes to Conectart for the Smart IVR project on Samsung’s customer line. This automated voice signpost significantly streamlines the work of the contact center. It can respond to the current occupancy of the line, obtain the necessary information from customers and thus facilitate the work of human operators. Process innovation and automation using artificial intelligence is a harbinger of a trend that the company would like to profile in the coming years.
In the Community and Citizen Support category, Johnson & Johnson Global Business Services received the award. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, this company has been able to carry out a huge number of activities in supporting employees and their families and communities, their health, and well-being, charity, and environmental protection. In 2020, there were a total of 80 initiatives, which continue this year and are complemented by other current programs, such as helping Moravian families affected by the tornado. The company described the importance and values of all implemented activities in a report, which can be an inspiration for the entire sector. The great benefit of all programs was, among other things, strengthening the company’s relationship with employees, supporting their commitment and satisfaction, and a good feeling of helping those in need.
In the Customer Initiative category the award was won by Comdata Czech, which created a new automated customer care solution Care24 for smaller companies. Its emergence was triggered by current market needs. The large increase in online shopping after the outbreak of the pandemic also brought a significant increase in the number of customer queries but e-shops did not have time to respond to them. Thanks to the new service, companies will receive almost immediately professional customer service, including not only communication with customers but also detailed daily reporting, thanks to which the company’s management can react in time if necessary. The Care24 service works as a call center-as-a-service, the customer can choose when he wants to use customer care and when he can do it on his own. The service is currently being expanded to other countries in which Comdata operates.
In the Education category, two companies again won the award. Pfizer receives the first award for a program aimed at expanding employees’ knowledge and skills and increasing their attractiveness in building a career with a new employer. In 2020, it was decided at the global level that GBS division of Pfizer would move to a new location by the end of 2021. The company’s extraordinary responsibility to employees has been reflected in the offer of many training initiatives, mainly related to expanding digital skills, mentoring, and the opportunity to obtain a global ACCA qualification and Hackett certification, as well as providing insight on trends and the future evolution of Business Services in the Czech Republic. 70% of Pfizer employees, took advantage of these opportunities. The company has invested 75,000 Euros in this program.
Kyndryl received the second award in this category for a very comprehensive approach to educating their employees and working with talent since their school years. It also includes cooperation with schools and universities on the content support of study plans, which would be better able to prepare students for their future careers in IT. Training in the company is based on the involvement of the employees themselves. Over the past 18 months, 180 experts have participated in educational programs, courses, mentoring, and other events and they have supported 5,100 students.
Two companies succeeded in the Employer Branding and People Engagement category. The first diamond got the company Deutsche Telekom Services Europe Czech Republic, which involved their employees in the communication of their brand and the promotion of the entire sector of business services. Thanks to their creativity and digital content, which they created for a whole range of communication channels, they managed to significantly increase the number of followers on social networks and increase the commitment and satisfaction of current employees. Fluctuation fell to 8 % and 91 % of employees expressed their overall satisfaction with working for Deutsche Telekom Services Europe Czech Republic.
The second award in this category went to a joint project of GoodCall and ExxonMobil, which was focused on supporting the ExxonMobil employer brand in the Czech Republic. The main idea was to connect the brand, its story, and values with Formula 1 and the Red Bull Racing and to organize a competition for a trip to England to visit the Red Bull Racing factory. The content on social networks gained an incredible 2 million views in 7 months and 500 people took part in the competition. All with minimal costs and the involvement of internal employees and their creativity.
In the Innovative Workplace and Remote Working category, the company Novartis won this award for their project called Reimagine Workplace, which is unique in its comprehensive approach to designing a future work model based on employee feedback. This project combines office space with an emphasis on new technologies that enable quality collaboration from a remote environment and, within the Choice with Responsibility program, an innovative and very open approach in providing flexibility to employees who can determine how they will work including whether they want to work from home or office. Among other things, employees can work from abroad for 2 months in 12 months during their private trip. The project also includes testing of a compressed working week, where by agreement within the teams and by managers, employees can work 4 working days a week twice a month, which can bring unique results for other companies on the market when considering this flexible model. The project has increased employee satisfaction, of which 77 % feel good and supported by Novartis.
In the Value Creation category won the award the company ABInBev Prague Digital Hub, which focuses on developing innovations for Anheuser-Busch InBev, a major global producer and seller of beer and soft drinks. In 2020 and 2021, the company implemented a series of innovations based on data analysis and using machine learning or artificial intelligence technologies. The center’s data scientists analyze live data and based on their outputs, program the tools used in the company’s daily work, such as upselling or smart inventory management. Thanks to the versatility of this technology, almost every part of the company value chain benefits from this innovation, from stock storage to shipping to the end customer. The estimated benefit is millions of USD per year. Due to the wide and global scope of the ABInBev analytical team, the Prague center offers support and assistance in the implementation of analytical projects and the development of tailor-made solutions for other business service providers.
ABSL (Association of Business Service Leaders in the Czech Republic) is an organization of companies operating in the segment of shared business services, which represents a strong source of employment in the Czech Republic. ABSL was established in 2013 with the aim of supporting companies in the field of business services, sharing best practices and helping to develop the activities of its members and other entities operating in this segment. At the same time, ABSL provides support to foreign investors who want to set up their business service centers in the Czech Republic. At present, there are around 350 centers in the Czech Republic employing nearly 145,000 people. More information can be found at www.absl.cz.