Calling the new 33,750-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility a &#8220good fit,” ACCENT Marketing President Kevin Foley officially opened Farmington’s new call center Tuesday morning.
&#8220So far we have seen tremendous results … that’s what will make this center extremely successful,” Foley told the crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting. His remarks were made to company officials, department heads from ACCENT’s other call centers across the country, local dignitaries and workers.
&#8220The Farmington community presents a wealth of talent and hard workers, and they have welcomed us with open arms,” Foley said. An example of the work force here can be seen in the fact that the new call center has already ranked extremely high in customer satisfaction gathered from a phone survey of customers being served when they call the center.
ACCENT Marketing, a division of MDC Partners, Inc., employs more than 2,000 people in eight U.S. cities, Trinidad and the Philippines. The new center here marks the latest and most advanced center in the company’s stable of operations.
Among other services, the company handles &#8220inbound”, or incoming, calls for Fortune 1000 companies. An example would be a large manufacturer with a toll-free service or tech line. Instead of having hundreds of operators handling incoming service questions, the manufacturer would employ an &#8220outsource” company such as ACCENT to handle those calls. ACCENT workers would be trained in details about the manufacturer’s products and then serve as representatives of the larger company. Representatives of the manufacturer would also be on hand to assist with any more complicated questions or concerns. From the caller’s perspective they are speaking directly with an employee of the manufacturer of the product, while in today’s world they most likely would be talking to a trained expert employed by an outsource call center firm.
Foley said the goal of locating the company’s newest center in Farmington was because of the building or location – a new building can be built almost anywhere in the world. What the company looks for is a hardworking, dedicated and professional work force. One thing company’s like ACCENT do while deciding where to locate an new operation is to visit stores, restaurants and other public places and talk with people to get a feel for their work ethic.
Others speaking during the ribbon cutting ceremony included 3rd District Senator Kevin Engler, R-Farmington; Farmington Industrial Development Authority President ‘Chip’ Peterson; and Farmington Mayor Charles Rorex.
Engler said he was so pleased to see ACCENT locate in Farmington that he chose to leave the legislative session in progress in Jefferson City on Tuesday morning to drive back to Farmington for a couple hours to be a part of the event. After a brief speech, a rarity for Engler, he excused himself and headed back to Jefferson City.
The senator said the state has received a bad reputation among some of the population for losing jobs and having budget concerns. But he said the answer to the state’s economy will be to &#8220grow jobs”, and thanked Foley and ACCENT for helping Farmington do that.
Engler went on to tell the workers on hand for the event that &#8220you are the reason this company came to Farmington.”
Mayor Rorex told how the city had met with two other call center operating companies in recent months and had been pleased when an agreement was reached with ACCENT. &#8220In this case the third time was a charm,” Rorex said.
A proclamation welcoming the company to Farmington was read by Rorex. The official document was delivered on behalf of 106th District State Representative Dr. Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, who could not attend the grand opening.
Peterson explained to the group how the IDA, state, and city looks for employers who will be well suited to an area’s workforce, and how ACCENT seemed to be a great fit with Farmington and the surrounding area.
The businessman and IDA president also explained how a payroll will circulate about three times through a local economy. In this case, purely as an example, if ACCENT’s annual payroll budget was $7 million to local workers, that money circulating through the area would be the same as $21 million spent one time here.
Guests were given an opportunity to tour the facility before the ribbon cutting celebration. Many comments were heard on the tremendous facility which was changed from a long-time &#8220incubator” building which the IDA used to house small startup companies. ACCENT and the city have done a tremendous amount of work at the center in just more than three months.
&#8220In just 90 days we were able to retrofit and rewire the entire facility, equipping it with the latest in telecommunications technology, equipment, and work stations,” Foley explained. &#8220We couldn’t have done that without the support of key individuals and their respective organizations including the Missouri Cabinet for Economic Development, the city of Farmington, and the Farmington Industrial Development Association.”
The facility now employs about 300 of the future 450 employees expected once the call center is at full operation later this summer.