The 2002 ATSI Convention Review and Update

By Tedd Smith, ATSI President

Hello, everyone! It is my honor to serve as your president of ATSI for the next twelve months. I want to review the 2002 Convention in Denver and extend thanks and praise to our vendors and members who worked so hard.

We had a great turnout in Denver with 315 members and vendors in attendance, up from 299 last year. The pre-convention workshop by Carolyn West Price was a “standing-room-only” event. The convention kicked off with an address by Jim McPherson of America’s Blood Centers, who spoke about the alliance that is forming between our two organizations. Immediate Past President, Darlene Campbell, has pledged her time and extraordinary talents to this huge project.

Ron Beilin and Paul Del Fino of Opportunity, Inc. presented the results of the benchmarking survey that ATSI undertook last year. If your company responded to the survey, you will be receiving the complete details of their report.

Darlene cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the Expo and we stampeded into the trade show to find out all of the great new stuff that our vendors had to offer. The trade show was completely sold out, thanks to the great support of our industry’s vendors.

Afternoons were filled with user group meetings and round table discussions, which were all well attended. The opening reception on Thursday night was a blast. The Friday morning general sessions were related to the Internet and technology, while the Saturday morning sessions covered legislative issues among other topics. After the morning sessions, attendees could spend time in the Expo or attend more user group meetings.

The Awards luncheon on Saturday was wonderful. I had the pleasure of surprising Jim Marchbank by inducting him into the ATSI Hall of Fame. Most of us had never seen Jim at a loss for words before, but we did this time. Of course, Jim was able to pull a story out of his repertoire that amused and entertained us all. The ATSI Award of Excellence winners were announced. Congratulations to all of the winners and everyone who participated.

There are many people to thank for this great meeting. Lori Jenkins, as Convention Committee chair, did an outstanding job. Charlene Glorieux and her staff solved all of the myriad problems that occur at a function like this before anyone noticed them. Darlene Campbell’s leadership will serve as an inspiration to all of us for years to come. Many thanks to our presenters and to our vendors, for all of the support they give to our industry. Telescan provided the tote bags to attendees. Special thanks go to the sponsors of the ATSI 2002 Open: Alston Tascom, Amtelco, CadCom Telesystems, Professional Teledata, Startel, TASBiller, Telescan, and WSTA. Thanks to all of the User Groups for their attendance and support. Finally, thanks to all of the Committee Chairs and the Board of Directors who will be working so hard for all of us this year.

Convention Highlights

By Darlene Campbell

The accolades I have received about our 58th annual convention must be shared with the chair, Lori Jenkins of Denver, CO, and all of the outstanding presenters and exhibitors. Our convention was successful in terms of attendance and content. If you stop to consider the world we live in now having seventy-five percent of an organization’s membership attend a convention, conference, or meeting of any kind is outstanding.

The presentation on Thursday by Ron Beilin and Paul Del Fino of Opportunity, Inc. was the culmination of many months of work on our industry benchmarking program. We learned some thought provoking answers to business performance questions such as, “What is the definition of good performance?” “How do you define good in your company?” “How do you plan?” We learned that sixty-eight percent of the respondents have no plan, forty percent do not formally plan or develop a budget, and thirty-eight percent are dissatisfied with meeting their goals. (Refer to the accompanying chart for more details.)  If there is no plan and no budget, how can one expect to accomplish goals? The overall review of the benchmarking survey results will be made available to ATSI members via the ATSI website. This is just the first step in our industry benchmarking process. More work will be done in coming months.

Bill Durr of Blue Pumpkin Software gave an outstanding presentation on optimizing workforce by addressing scheduling with flexibility of start times and shift duration. Bill Durr is truly an evangelist for his company and the call center industry.

Legislative issues have not been a significant issue for our industry since the nineties but we need to be tuned in now with the multitude of telephone service providers closing down without notice or with only short-term notice. Our industry must join together to obtain essential service provider status with the FCC. The presentation by Pete Orvis, ATSI member, Jeff Hartzell, Vice President of Focal Communications, and Jeff Carlisle, FCC representative was enlightening and is the first step in providing the groundwork for our future legislative agenda.

The initiative for Disaster Preparedness has been endorsed America’s Blood Centers. Members of ATSI have volunteered to set up pilot projects in several cities in the US and Canada. Our members are excited about the opportunity to assist their local community blood centers in relation to blood services and funding. We are prepared to offer outbound services in the event of a disaster to raise awareness of the need for blood and dollars. Many members of ATSI have indicated that they can provide alternative office space in the event that a blood center must be evacuated. My hope is to have six pilot projects up and running in the next six months. Our goal is to let the relationships developed by our respective members take the program forward to optimally meet the overall need.

Benchmark Profile


Full time employees23
Number of workstations16
Annual call volume (median)1,400,000
Annual call volume (median)860,000

Benchmark Highlights

Do not have a plan68 %
Have a plan, but don’t use it23 %
Use a plan9 %
No formal plan or budget40 %
Dissatisfied in meeting goals38 %

Summary (messaging)

Calls per agent hour41 calls
Call Length: (average)48 sec.
Call Length: (median)43 sec.
Revenue per minute (average)$ 1.17
Revenue per minute (median)$ 1.09
Revenue per call (average)$ 1.01
Revenue per call (median)$ 1.08

Summary (order-taking)

Calls per agent hour36
Call Length: (average)151 sec.
Call Length: (median)122 sec.
Revenue per minute (average)$ 0.90
Revenue per minute (median)$ 0.95
Revenue per call (average)$ 2.48
Revenue per call (median)$ 2.50

Golf Committee Salutes Donations for Golf Outing

David Brashear and Mary Jones, coordinators of the ATSI Golf Outing, want to issue a big “thanks” to the vendors who supported the golf outing by donating prizes and gifts.

  • Alston Tascom: Titanium driver
  • Amtelco: Cordless phones (2)
  • CadCom: Golf shirts and hats
  • Professional Teledata: Collapsible coolers
  • (Chris Twig): Business cards (2 sets)
  • Telescan: A sleeve of golf balls for each player
  • ATSI: Award plaques

ATSI Convention Exhibitors

In case you missed this year’s convention or could not take in the entire exhibit hall, here is a list of the exhibitors along with their contact information:

Almond Hill Enterprises Inc.

Alston Tascom, Inc.

Manufactures messaging and order-taking platforms, voice mail and message delivery systems.

CadCom TeleSystems 

Copia International Ltd.

CTI Software

DB Masters Software 

Incoming Calls Management Institute

Professional Teledata

Record/Play Tek Inc.

Startel Corporation 

Szeto Technologies Inc.


TAS Marketing


[From Connection MagazineSept/Oct 2002]

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