Almex – First Group

mplcontact designs and operate a call centre service and fault reporting line for Almex and First Group

Almex logoAlmex (part of Hoft & Wessel AG) is an international brand that develops and supplies integrated ticket systems for public transport.  Having worked closely with mplcontact on their customer service facility for London Buses passengers, Almex turned to mplcontact again when FirstGroup selected a comprehensive service level agreement  for the ‘Optima’ ticketing system used on their buses in Devon and Cornwall.  For this important installation, Almex needed the innovative call centre solutions and flexibility of mplcontact to help deliver the high quality service FirstGroup expected.

FirstGroup plc is Britain’s largest bus operator, running more than one in five of all local bus services.  A fleet of nearly 9,000 buses carries 3 million passengers a day in more than 40 major towns and cities.  An existing client of Almex for more than ten years in Devon and Cornwall the Optima ticketing system was the natural choice for FirstGroup when they upgraded to the Windows based ticketing systems on their routes in Devon and Cornwall.

The installation, comprising around 350 machines installed on the region’s buses, includes comprehensive software for downloading information about ticket sales as well as the IT infrastructure (managed by BT) required to connect all elements of the technology, making fault tracking and reporting key to the system’s success.

With such a complex network of hardware, software and service providers, Almex brought in mplcontact to design and operate a fault reporting process which would incorporate user reports, FirstGroup management reports, Almex engineers and, critically, the SLAs on which the whole system depends.

As a trusted service provider, mplcontact had already developed a sophisticated fault reporting and engineer despatch facility for Almex as part of their London Buses project.

mplcontact created a central communications hub for the reporting and escalation of faults.  Bringing together data tables, workflow and scripting tools, the contact centre application was created to manage the relationships between the installations, engineers and SLAs. This application is designed to assist the contact centre agent accurately record reports, select appropriate engineers and monitor job progress against specific provider SLAs.  When SLA deadlines are approaching, based on elapsed working hours, workflow within the application automatically alerts an available agent who is then guided though a follow-up process to ensure the fault is being attended to. Detailed, consolidated reports on all aspects of the service are generated by mplcontact’s call handling application, allowing Almex to monitor their own performance and FirstGroup to track the overall success of the system and SLAs.

The service is managed and operated within mplcontact’s own network of contact centres and agents, thus allowing on-going training and development, whenever required, for both the contact centre service and the underlying technology.

Alistair Aitken, sales manager at Almex, explained their choice of service provider:

We knew that mplcontact had the capability to filter and manage all incoming calls. What we weren’t expecting was how effectively they were able to customise scripts to meet our requirements. The system was initiated with impressive speed, and always accompanied by invaluable advice that only a supplier with mplcontact’s experience can provide.”


  • Centralised call centre hub  – for all fault reporting, escalation and monitoring of SLAs
  • Automated escalation and workflow – intelligent, pre-defined processes based on elapsed time
  • Detailed management information – consolidated reports on all activity for microscopic monitoring of the service


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