The ABSL Association awarded companies who made the biggest contributions to development of the business services sector in the Czech Republic in the past year and increased the standard of the provided services thanks to innovative projects. An independent seven-member expert jury chose the winning projects in seven categories out of forty nominations. The ABSL Diamonds award was presented at the ceremonial gala evening on the occasion of the 6th annual ABSL conference.
The ADP Employer Service Czech Republic Company won the Business Excellence (Best project in the field of quality) category. Just like its parent company ADP GlobalView in the USA, this centre in Prague focuses on outsourcing payroll administration and HR services for global customers. During the past 2 years the centre has undergone a marked transformation, the goal of which was to significantly improve the effectiveness of operation and reduce costs. The transformation was based on re-designing processes and roles on the basis of Lean Six Sigma methodology. Implementation of automation and other disruptive technologies also markedly reduced the centre’s dependence on foreign language skills and specific expert skills concerning actual payroll administration. The ADP Centre thereby also overcame the main obstacle to future growth, which is the tense situation on the job market. The productivity of the Prague ADP Centre was increased by up to 60% overall and operating costs were reduced considerably over the past two years with the help of the transformation project. The ADP team worked hand-in-hand with its clients, which it helped achieve significant savings in their own teams.
The FNZ Company won the Education (Best project in the field of education) award for its educational programme focusing on its employees’ mental health and well-being. The Brno centre of this global fin-tech company, which originally comes from New Zealand, develops software for banks and financial institutions. It organised Search Inside Yourself (SIY) training for its employees, which was originally developed in the Google Company and is based on modern neuroscience findings. Its goal is to teach participants to eliminate stress and assume responsibility for their personal mental health and endurance and for the way they treat people around them. This training course met with a very positive response from employees and 95% of those who took part would recommend it to their colleagues. SIY is part of the complex FNZ Health Fitness programme, which focuses on physical health, fitness, nutrition and prevention in the field of mental health.
In the Employer Branding (Establishment of the employer brand) category the award went to the Knorr Bremse Service Europe Company, which was the first to establish a business services centre in Liberec. The sector was not very well known in the North Bohemian Region, which is why it was initially necessary to explain everything properly, i.e. what work this centre assuring services in the field of HR, finance, IT and indirect purchasing for branches of its parent company offers.
The Company realised a successful recruitment campaign, which convinced job applicants that it was worth joining an important European brand from the beginning, when it is just establishing itself in the region and to be involved in the configuration of work processes and creation of a corporate culture. It recruited 170 qualified employees in the first year and commenced operation. The Knorr Bremse Company also contributed to regional diversification of the sector on the Czech market by taking this step.
The award in the Business Innovation category went to the Anheuser-Busch Inbev Company, a global supplier of beer and soft drinks with headquarters in Belgium, the Prague centre of which managed to implement disruptive technology in management of supplier chains and finances and achieve considerable savings as well as improve productivity. This concerns savings of USD 245,000 per year in the field of personnel costs alone.
When the project began financial and transport-planning processes were full of exceptions and work with unstructured data. Implementation of artificial intelligence and robotic automation of processes brought about changes. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, the system, created by a Czech team for designing digital processes, demonstrates a success rate of up to 90% in recognising and resolving problems. The chatbot allows partners to ask questions without the need to open tickets and wait up to 5 days for a response. This system is capable of immediately answering the most frequently asked questions regarding current invoice details or statuses itself. The system was created by a Czech team for designing digital processes at the Prague ABInBev business services centre and was implemented within the terms of a European-wide process.
The ŠKODA AUTO Company won the award in the Innovative Workplace category when it chose a “smart” office building in Holešovice in Prague as the seat of its SAP competence centre for the VW Group and shared office. The combination of first-class digital technologies, modern design and flexible working environment allowed acquisition of the best talents, even in Prague where there is enormous competition on the labour market. In relation to this move the number of job applicants at this centre increased by 75%. The new building also includes facilities for sporting activities and care of employee health.
The Value Creation (Best added value) category was won by the NTT Global Delivery Center Company (formerly Dimension Data Global Delivery Center Prague), which provides technical support to 13,000 clients worldwide from Prague, with the TOPS project, which focuses on development of talents and increasing employees’ digital skills. The educational programmes are mainly intended for technical specialists, but instead of using formal methods specific for individual specialisations, it strives to make more use of social learning. And it is not only the employees who benefit from nearly 200 hours of education and professional certification, but the entire organisation and its customers. Thanks to the increased qualifications it is possible to improve the provided services and the customer experience and thereby increase yields and productivity. For instance the time needed to resolve customer requirements was reduced by a whole 66%, the need to escalate requirements was reduced by 75% and the ability to resolve customer requirements within the terms of first contact rose by 37%. Overall customer satisfaction increased by 10%.
The winner of the Customer Initiative (Best customer project) was the ICON Communication Centres Company, which provides services in the field of marketing and customer care from its contact centre in Prague to global companies from various sectors. Its solution for a customer operating a payment system intended for car park operators worldwide completely transformed customer support and reduced the client’s costs by 28%. The Prague team, which provides support to customers of an indoor car park when they are unable to make a payment and are stuck in the car park, initially performed a thorough audit of the typical requirements and their solutions. It subsequently proposed a solution based on a new technology enabling effective use of the knowledge base and offering operators from the contact centre the relevant input information about location and the arising situation, thanks to which they are able to provide support much more effectively. The average time needed to settle one telephone request was reduced from 3-4 minutes to less than one minute, e-mails are settled within 4-5 hours instead of 2 days and the customer is also satisfied that it reduced costs without having to make any investments.
“The innovative projects that business services centres in the Czech Republic realise, provide enormous inspiration to the entire market. I would even say that this makes Czech centres true disruptors of global business,”
said Jonathon Appleton Managing Director of the ABSL Association, and he added: “The high quality of all the nominated projects is proof that our sector is becoming a synonym for innovative business. In practice this means the ability to provide increasingly better services, significant improvement of the effectiveness, and also growing attractiveness for talented employees or the opportunity to develop their career. Our congratulations to all the winners!”