Services were outsourced to Ericsson two years ago
Two years after Cable and Wireless company LIME outsourced parts of its maintenance services to Ericsson, laying off 39 people, the telecommunications provider has announced it is bringing the field services back in-house.
The decision is part of several operational changes to overhaul and improve its customer service experience, LIME said in a press statement.
In 2013, LIME Cayman CEO Bill McCabe said the outsourcing was crucial to help the company stay competitive and improve its services to customers. At the time, LIME made the switch across the Caribbean and Mr. McCabe said companies worldwide were finding that subcontracting road work, such as installations and maintenance, was allowing them to focus on other aspects of their business.
Most of the staff laid off in 2013 were hired by Ericsson after the government threatened the company “must hire Caymanians” or have its operating license pulled.
Earlier this year, Cable and Wireless announced a merger with Columbus, which will see the group’s retail segment branding change from LIME to Flow.
“We are merging the best of two great companies and Flow is renowned for its tremendous ability to deliver outstanding customer service experiences,” Mr. McCabe said in the statement released Friday. “It’s with this in mind, and a renewed sense of confidence, that we have taken the decision to make our field services management an in-house operation, so that we can interact more directly with our customers. We know we have a world-class network – but we are striving to ensure that our customers’ experience is world class too,” he said.
Mr. McCabe added Ericsson would “remain a valued business partner but the company will now build on Ericsson’s significant progress in helping us support our customers and networks.”
Karina Martini, Ericsson’s communications manager for Latin America, said Ericsson regretted that LIME informed the company of its intent to in-source services for part of its operations in Cayman.
Although Ericsson had achieved high levels of operational performance in the network, it is natural in the managed services life cycle “for contracts to be extended, expanded or terminated,” she noted in response to questions from the Cayman Compass.
“Our main focus now will be to support the customer in the transition while taking good care of the staff operating the network,” Ms. Martini added. “We are happy with the relationship with LIME and our performance over the past year and wish them a good future.”
Ericsson did not respond to a question on whether the LIME decision would impact staffing levels at Ericsson.
Cable and Wireless announced a regional US$1 billion investment plan over the next three years to upgrade infrastructure and improve customer service.
The investment strategy will also create new jobs in the region, according to John Reid, president of Cable and Wireless’ Consumer Group.
“The in-sourcing of service in Cayman follows the recent announcement of an additional Centre of Excellence for Customer Service in the region to provide customers with multiple touch points including warm and friendly service agents, email, virtual chat, mobile app and other technology-enabled support systems,” Mr. Reid said.
These technology tools combined with increased service agent efficiencies would improve call routing and reduce call waiting time.