Midlands Co-operative

mplcontact provides 24/7 helpdesk to manage contractor response service for repair and maintenance requests

Image of Midlands Cooperative logoThe Midlands Co-operative Society is one of the largest independent UK retailers in the UK. It also manages an investment property portfolio and the Property Services division is charged with the care and maintenance of these properties, numbering more than 500, the majority of which are stores or commercial premises with a smaller number of residential properties.

Providing a 24/7 contractor response service for requests for repairs is critical both for their commercial operations and their commitment to the welfare of tenants and so, to ensure a consistent round-the-clock service, Midlands Co-operative chose to work with mplcontact on the delivery of their helpline and engineer call-out service.

Flexible, scalable bureau service

mplcontact in Sutton Coldfield took on the helpline facility in 2000, developing it from a basic messaging service to a comprehensive call-out and escalation facility for the stores and residential stock. Utilising mplcontact’s flexible bureau agents provides Midlands Co-operative with a scalable resource to support them at all times of the day even when unforeseen circumstances result in sudden high call volumes. mplcontact agents are trained to handle all call types, determining the urgency and importance of the issue being reported then contacting the appropriate contractor, based on skill set, location and rota. mplcontact’s underlying technology automates much of this process, minimising errors and ensuring SLAs are met. However, where a contractor cannot be reached, a prepared escalation procedure is followed which can result in Midlands Co-operative management being alerted to a current issue if the job has not be passed to a contractor.

The flexible, scalable nature of the mplcontact helpdesk service helps us to provide consistent support to all our premises. The Property Division services our stores, funeral homes, and residential stock and our contractors are out there under-taking both planned and reactive maintenance tasks. So no day is ever the same; we might have just 1 or maybe 100 requests for assistance and mplcontact agents have to be accurate and precise to ensure our engineers receive the right information they need to do the job.

Stuart Auger, Society Facilities Manager, Midlands Co-operative Society.

Integral Business Continuity

The helpline service covers both buildings and equipment faults, either of which could potentially have an adverse effect on trading and so mplcontact is charged with providing a swift and accurate response to minimise impact whatever time the issue is reported. The scalable nature of the mplcontact bureau agent model means Midlands Co-operative have an un-interrupted helpline service to keep their operations running; agents from the geographically diverse network of mplcontact centres can be utilised at very busy times or if the primary mplcontact centre is disabled through power cuts or adverse weather conditions. Midlands Co-operative also make use of the contact centre facility for ad hoc cover of their office lines when team meetings or when they are short staffed would otherwise mean calls go unanswered.

Management information & reporting

With an average of 300 calls per month to the helpline, the majority of which result in a call-out request to a contractor, the audit trail provided by mplcontact is an important tool for monitoring contractor activity. mplcontact’s technology records all aspects of a call from the point at which an agent accepts the call, all data collected, actions taken after the call, the response from the contractor as well as standard contact centre reporting. This audit trail data is fed into Midlands Co-operative’s management system to provide complete reporting and analysis of the Property Division’s workload.

Our Property Division manages such a diverse portfolio that no one call is ever the same. The mplcontact agents support our in-house team, particularly during out-of-hours periods, identifying and managing these differing requests to ensure the correct contractor is sent to the right premises. The data we receive about these calls helps us to monitor both contractor effectiveness and any possible issues with premises or equipment.

Stuart Auger, Society Facilities Manager at Midlands Co-operative Society.

Business benefits
  • Flexible helpline resource available 24/7
  • Cost effective solution to providing out-of-hours support
  • Accurate visibility of call-outs and contractor activity
  • Integral business continuity facilities
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