With operations at over 195 sites spanning the length and breadth of the country, Biffa services over 2.2 million households and collects 4.3 million bins per week just within their municipal division. From their conception in 1912, Biffa has developed far beyond waste collection and into recycling, treatment, and energy generation services.

Remit

Biffa has grown its business organically and through acquisition over the last eight years and subsequently recognised the need to improve its back-office support functions and, in particular, some key parts of the customer journey. Biffa reached out to BIE to find an interim Customer Shared Support Director to design and implement a programme of improvements across the Biffa customer service channels. This would ultimately influence the ways in which Biffa would interface with customers, improve base levels of customer service and provide a scalable service function which could absorb levels of high growth.

The successful candidate was Debra Revens, a commercial and outcomes focused transformation leader with over 25 years UK and international experience across all areas of sales, contact centres and customer services.

 

Results

During her time at Biffa, Debra delivered a restructure of customer facing operations, which included migration of a core operation from a high cost, challenging geography to a lower cost base in one of their existing but under-utilised facilities. In tandem, she led a programme of process improvement initiatives across telesales driven SME sales and customer services.

Financial benefits through the successful delivery of these key initiatives amounted to substantial ongoing annual cost reductions and a consistent growth of SME sector revenues (ie more than double-digit sales growth). As important as these tangible gains have been, the investment in a high-quality management team in both the front and back office customer service functions is an enduring benefit for Biffa.

Debra is currently involved with the next stage of this programme which is the re-design of Biffa’s e2e SME customer offer. A key part of this is the increasing shift to a digital strategy for e-commerce and for improved customer retention.

Client's View

“The programme to re-define our customer support operation and the risks involved in moving our SME call centre to a new location were significant but similarly the execution of this and the expected benefits were compelling. Having successfully completed this part of the programme we achieved all of the project objectives and milestones delivering a better solution for our customers and a significantly more efficient CS operation. Debra played a pivotal role in the programme definition, design and implementation and it’s been a great success. Apart from many years of experience, she brings a level of enthusiasm, high energy and a desire to succeed complemented by well thought through project disciplines. Debra adds real value to the senior management team and has left Biffa having delivered on all criteria.”

Jeff Anderson, Chief Operating Officer at Biffa

Candidate's View

“I have been an interim for over 20 years and BIE are always a pleasure to work with.

They take their time to get to know their clients and candidates. This means that I know that when they make an introduction that there will be a great fit. This was the case with Biffa. It has been a really wonderful assignment. As an interim, it is always about making a measurable difference every single day – and working with engaged and professional colleagues like those at Biffa and BIE was an absolute pleasure. BIE checked in with me regularly and were always available to be a good sounding board and to offer helpful advice.

On a practical level, BIE’s processes and systems for setting up assignments and invoicing are all automated. They are straightforward and simple to use which is great when on a busy assignment.

Once BIE were aware that I was completing my work at Biffa, they were proactive with talking to their extensive client base about the next opportunity for me. I am delighted to now be working on a new assignment with one of BIE’s Telco clients.”

Debra Revens

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