Transact staff work overtime to clear ‘frustrating’ backlog

Transact staff work overtime to clear ‘frustrating’ backlog
  Transact said it has cut the backlog of tasks it was facing down to levels not seen in 18 months

Transact is partway through a company-wide overtime initiative and is restructuring its client services department in an effort to clear a backlog of tasks which has been placing a strain on the platform’s service levels.

In an email seen by FTAdviser, Transact’s chief executive Jonathan Gunby shared with advisers earlier this month (October 21) what the platform was doing “to restore” its service levels to “previous high standards”.

This has included cutting the backlog of tasks it was facing down to levels not seen in 18 months, it said.

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On a typical day, Gunby said the platform receives around 3,000 new 'tasks', or a piece of work.

“For too long we've had a backlog ranging from 8,000 - 13,000 tasks,” said Transact’s boss.

“Whilst we've always ensured critical work items are processed promptly (such as trading, deposits and withdrawals) other work-types have experienced longer and fluctuating turnaround times. 

“This has been a source of frustration for you, us and, of course, our mutual clients.” 

To clear this backlog, Gunby said the company was “partway through a company-wide overtime initiative”.

So far, Transact’s backlog sits at around 2,600 tasks. The platform said it will continue with this overtime initiative until the backlog has been completely cleared and it is processing all tasks within the “first few days of receipt”.

Alongside this initiative, Gundby has nodded to changes within the company’s client services department from next week (November 7).

This will see 16 regional client services teams reduced to 10. Each of the 10 teams will, however, employ more staff, adding “over 30” staff to the remaining teams. 

Roles include supervisors, as well as specialists in transfers, technical processes and compliance.

Gunby said in the email that 20 roles had been filled so far. 

“As a result, some of the regional team members you work with at Transact will change, and each team will also have a new direct telephone number that you will need to use,” he explained.

“We will be issuing the contact details next week [last week] in a follow-up email that will include a team sheet showing the make up of your regional client services team.”

The platform is also continuing to increase its overall headcount with an ongoing recruitment programme.

“This extra resource will mean that we will not need to rely on staff working overtime,” said Gunby.

Gunby told FTAdviser the changes it was making have been “well received both internally and by advisers”. 

Most importantly, he said, Transact is now seeing service standards improve “every week”.

The share price of Transact's owner, IntegraFin, has fallen by around 55 per cent over the past year. 

The company floated on the stock exchange in March 2018, pricing shares at 196p. Towards the end of last year, the share price had sat at 600p. This week, those shares are now worth around 253p. 

During the pandemic, the platform did experience a hit to service levels. In response, the platform has gone on a hiring spree.