DLA customer service going virtual

Defense Logistics Agency aims to make customer service solution, databases an enterprise tool

The Defense Logistics Agency's geographically dispersed customer contact centers soon will be connected via the Web to an enterprise database in an effort to increase the efficiency of the agency's customer service agents.

DLA is consolidating its different versions of Network Associates Inc.'s Magic Service Desk solution and the databases housed at its four customer contact centers—Richmond, Va.; Columbus, Ohio; Battle Creek, Mich.; and New Cumberland, Pa.—said Duane Henderson, a DLA system support specialist.

"The goal is to make this an enterprise tool," Henderson said, adding that the new database, which is housed in Battle Creek, is only accessible to DLA personnel and is expected to be operational by April 1.

DLA is a combat support agency charged with providing food, fuel, clothing, medicine and spare parts to the armed forces and other agencies, whenever and wherever they are needed.

Accessing a single database via the Web enables DLA customer contact center agents to create a ticket and quickly pass reports among any of the physical locations in a virtual environment. "That will increase customer service and support, and is also an opportunity to standardize contact center customer service processes," he said.

DLA has been using Magic Service Desk since the mid-1990s when it first purchased about 50 seats, said Jeff Honeycomb, president of Network Associates' Magic Solutions division. In August 2000, DLA purchased 500 more seats, and the latest contract, awarded last August, included an additional 800 seats.

Magic Service Desk's thin-client architecture enables the seamless integration of the tool into DLA's existing infrastructure, Honeycomb said, adding that the product is also compliant with Section 508, a law that requires federal Web sites to accommodate users with disabilities.

The main challenge in moving toward the virtual customer service environment has been "getting everybody together and developing standard business processes," he said, adding that training, which can be completed in about six hours and includes a computer-based module, is not a complicating issue.

Honeycomb said the transition from 50 users to more than 500 was more challenging than the latest addition of 800 seats, and he added that the company already has trained about 1,000 DLA users on the new system.

DLA's customer contact center agents answer about 80 percent of questions within the virtual customer service environment, but when a subject matter expert is needed, the new system will make that process easier and faster to execute, Henderson said.

Tim Hoyle, a spokesman for the Battle Creek center, said the new system also keeps track of all requests and questions coming in and how they are completed, regardless of the physical location. Even if an expert is needed the first time a question is asked in Richmond, for example, subsequent requests for the same information nationwide can be directly handled by the contact center agents.

If someone has called before, a window will pop up on the agent's screen with the requestor's vital information, which means the contact center needs only to confirm that person's identity to proceed rather than having to take time to repeat a past information collection process.

"That better supports the warfighter," Henderson said. "Now, there are four databases and that knowledge is not available enterprisewide."

Looking ahead, the DLA would like to connect this application with its other legacy databases and Web applications, he said. Increased communication and collaboration with other business applications with help further increase the contact center agents' efficiency, he said.

Testing on the enterprise database began in mid-December 2002 and is currently focused on ensuring the applications run at peak performance, as well as establishing a Secure Sockets Layer capability so that all the information moving throughout the system is encrypted, Henderson said. He added that all testing should be finished "well before we go live," in April.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.