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 Going Further: Manila Monsoon Flooding Spurs Global Employee Benefits Teamwork

DATE: Will be calculated from "Release Start Date" field.

The Situation…
The National Employee Services Center (NESC) is supported by Xerox employees both in Allen Park (Michigan) and Manila (Philippines).

The team works together daily despite the thousands of miles that separate them to provide quality service to Ford employees, retirees and their families, and recently came together to learn from and support each other during a severe weather incident.

Strong Monsoons…
In early August, unusually strong monsoons caused severe flooding around the service center in Manila. In some areas, the water was 15 feet deep.  

A Safe Haven…
These extreme conditions set the stage for unprecedented teamwork to take place. Since Manila can have severe weather or geological events each year (monsoons, typhoons, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions), the Manila call center was built with hurricane-standard materials and unique amenities, such as employee sleeping quarters.  There are times when employees will work long hours because they cannot make it home safely or other employees cannot make it into work on a given day.

The sleeping quarters are not only for those employees, but also for their families as a safe shelter.  Many of the older buildings in the area cannot withstand the severe weather, so there is a lot of employee loyalty and gratitude knowing their families are safe inside the Manila call center.  Mealtime becomes more of a social event and the team often gathers with family knowing they are safe.

Maintaining Service across Thousands of Miles…

To continue to deliver a high level of service in spite of the weather conditions in Manila, the team met with regularity throughout the week.  It was critical to know how many of the Manila representatives would be able to make it into work safely. Some of the employees could not be contacted because of the loss of power for several days. 
Allen Park
The Allen Park team stepped in and worked extra hours to fill the gap while sending safe wishes to our team members and their families in Manila. Over 4,600 calls were received during the four day crisis while exceeding service levels.
Some Actual Emails on Aug. 7 from Manager Donna Toth…
8:36 a.m.
“Manila is experiencing severe weather warnings and conditions with an expected overall attendance rate of 17% today since the president declared a state of emergency and told citizens to stay home today.   We are taking the following actions to support incoming volumes: 
• Reached out to reps last night when the warning came out to bring reps in earlier
• Early shift is already on overtime
• Reaching out to other Allen Park reps this morning to see if they can come in early/stay late
• All Allen Park reps are being skilled for Tier 1
• High volume message giving the participants the ability to leave a message is ready to deploy
We will send updates throughout the day if the situation changes and make adjustments as needed.”
10:28 a.m.
“We are experiencing normal call volumes today as forecasted and very closely monitoring arrival patterns supporting a strong start this morning in the first hour.   Weather conditions in Manila continue to be closely monitored.”
1:11 p.m.
“Weather conditions continue offshore with an attendance rate of about 10 percent due to flooding and monsoon rains, however, we continue to closely monitor call volumes and with the actions put into place early this morning, SL is at 96 percent and trending towards a solid performance today.”
A Return to Normal…
As the rain and flooding stopped in Manila, more Xerox employees were able to come into the office and normal business began to resume.  Service levels to our customers remained very high.  The team sent thanks and well wishes back and forth to one another across the miles.
The Client Is Thankful…
• Brian Rebits, manager, Ford Employee Benefits Office
• “Donna, thank you for acting quickly on short notice of the severe weather impacting Manila to ensure the NESC would be prepared to service our customer calls!  The Service Level so far in August is at a record high. Please express our gratitude to the reps at the Manila center who braved the conditions to come in to work today, and to the reps at Allen Park who came in outside of their normal schedule to help with the call volume.  We have a great team!”
• Rick Popp, director, Ford Employee Benefits
“A Go Further example for the books!!!!  Great work to all who made this possible”


10/29/2012 6:00 AM