Manchester-based JD Williams today confirmed that it had reached the decision to outsource a further proportion of its contact centre operation in the city.
The move comes after a thorough review which looked at how best to provide an even more flexible solution to customers' needs due to shifts to trading on-line and people opting for a number of ways to contact the retailer from email through to social media channels and web chat. The move builds on the already strong capabilities that are already in place.
It also allows the retailer to retain people skills, knowledge and years of experience as well as colleagues being able to work from the same building, dealing with the same customers with similar day to day roles and responsibilities.
Around 550 employees will transfer across to Serco who are experts in contact centre operation management, provide on-going state-of-the-art software and handle similar functions for many other High Street names and their on-line/mail order and multi-channel needs.
This will happen in January following a consultation period. Over this time colleagues will be able to ask any questions and meet teams from Serco.
The roles will also stay within Manchester with the outsourced Serco operation being based in the existing Martin House premises. Serco has also committed to refurbish the current offices.
The online, catalogue and stores retailer said it had looked at a number of options and the Serco solution protected jobs, met the growing needs of the business and the requirements of customers.
JD Williams added that one of its priorities was to ensure that the roles stayed within Manchester and that this wasn't a decision that was taken lightly and would do everything it could to work with colleagues through the transition.
The move sees Serco working closely with JD Williams & Co senior customer service team and across all its retail brands which include Simply Be, Jacamo and JD Williams.