“The core idea of any operations management is to make things happen”

Mariano Quesada

Mariano Quesada

Operations manager

CAT Technologies La Punta, San Luis

 

CCSUR, 03/11/2015

 

How did you get into the world of contact centers?

My first encounter happened back in the ’90s. At that time, Mapfre began operating in Argentina. I remember that I came into the operations area and I thought, what are these people doing? I started working on Mapfre in different projects in the technology area; I specialized in systems, but I was deeply interested in operations, as it happened to many of my colleagues, and dedicated my career to that.Later, the Italian Hospital hired me to reformulate their Customer Care Centers that were scattered in various locations. I had the chance to design a modern call center, renovating and adding technological tools. And the biggest challenge in that experience was to train people from scratch (who probably knew very well about medical attention processes, but not much about call center).When you start working with teams of people and you must lead them to achieve goals, challenges become very exciting.

 

And what would you say is the main challenge of an operations management? 

I think it’s very important to understand what the organizational culture of the client is and in the relationship management we have with the client; to detect formal and informal circuits. This allows to keep the maximum of any operations management, which is to make things happen.

The main challenge of every person who is part of Operations is to lead and manage the sales and customer service teams in order to motivate to reach excellence.

 

How was the integration with CAT Technologies?

Actually it was an enriching process, very challenging from the beginning because we had to start changing many things. But the truth is that I found a very professional company with a highly qualified managing staff and in a short time we made it. We where were fully aligned in less than 4 months.We are currently operating under the same requirements as in any of the others sites that CAT has in Buenos Aires. We worked with professional respect that, as time went by, turned into confidence. And that confidence, allowed us to achieve the objectives that were part of the expectations that CAT had at the time of the company´s acquisition.We could adapt to the change with no problems because we had full cooperation at all levels: Directors, managers, supervisors; all of them were very open and cooperative in sharing their know-how.

 

What is the status of the contact center today?

Since the 80s I have been a faithful follower of Tom Peters and I adopted his principle “any company that seeks excellence, comes across with quality” and quality applied in everything we do becomes the basis of productivity and competitiveness.Being part of CAT means being committed to quality and excellence and we see daily how everyone in the organization (Operators, Back Offices, Team Leaders, Supervisors, Managers and Directors) care about adding value from the role each one has in the process.

Except for a nice San Luis accent, nowadays there is no difference between a site of Buenos Aires and this one. Any client can hire CAT in Buenos Aires or in San Luis and will find the same quality standards. Today we have 100% occupancy in the operations area and we are planning to grow. The site has 104 positions, where 160 people perform, plus areas of supervision, back office and quality. Physically we are located in the University of La Punta, close to the city of La Punta.

CAT’s extensive experience in quality processes, COPC certifications, and the wide spread practices of its principles to all operations, allowed us to reach an improvement in the effectiveness that today leads us to have a regular compliance above the 95% in performance objectives of our insurance sales campaigns.

 

For the industry, how is San Luis in terms of human resources?

It is a virgin place for the industry, different to Córdoba or Buenos Aires. For many people it is their first job. We have the capacity to capture different profiles. This company has been running the business almost for seven years and we never lost the ability to cover the positions, which means that there are no barriers to grow.

 

What are the objectives of CAT Technologies towards 2016?

To continue consolidating the middle management that are critical to ensure the growth of the operation; to deepen even more the flow of know-how between campaigns and sites and, last but not least, try to improve the quality of each contact. This will allow us to continue gaining confidence to become long-term partners of our customers.

 

On a personal level, how did life change for you since you moved to San Luis?

When you have a challenge you have to make decisions. In my case, as I have a family, it was very important to have their support. I realized there is another Argentina that has great potential. There are professionals who have the same skills and sometimes better abilities than what you can find in Buenos Aires. At work, I like to perform the same as I would do in Buenos Aires, and in that respect there is no difference. Besides, you have all the advantages of living in the hinterland: there are no traffic jams; I go to work along a ridge of hills. The professional requirement is offset by a very different quality of life.