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NEW bosses have turned round the loss-making Arvato call centre, which earlier this year axed 175 of its 300-strong workforce at Cunard Building.

In February, Matthias Mierisch, head of Arvato's UK and Irish operations, pledged the German company's faith in Liverpool and promised to restore the riverside business to previous employment levels.

He returned to Liverpool to brief the ECHO on his progress and to introduce new Liverpool boss Ian Carrel, who announced that he has introduced a stronger management team and clinched new contracts to give the city operation stronger foundations.

Mr Carrel said: "We were making a loss in the early part of the year and now we're back in profit, which is very encouraging, and we are back at 292 staff. That is pretty good."

Some of the new staff are former workers who were made redundant in February.

Mr Carrel said the turnround was a result of management changes and winning new business with global blue chip companies in mail order, e-retail-ing, telecoms and banking.

"One software client deals with worldwide providers, particularly in the US, but was very impressed by the Liverpool workforce," he said.

"Quality is the fundamental driver and we were able to provide the highest quality labour."

He has introduced regular feedback sessions with staff, but also allows clients direct contact with the workforce through forum sessions.

The company has also refurbished the centre and invested in technology and software.

Mr Carrel said: "It is part of our long term commitment. There is no short-termism about us being in Liverpool. We have taken extra space on the fourth floor.

"We are creating the right framework for success next year. The business is on plan for its revised targets and we are optimistic."

Mr Mierisch also discounted fears that Liverpool work could be exported to cheaper Indian call centres. He said: "Liverpool is not working against our Indian sites. Some clients want to offshore some work, but our approach is to find the right mix between domestic business and offshore."

Thorsten Strauss, Arvato senior corporate communications vice president, said: "Liverpool is one of our core businesses and we want to stay here."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 30, 2006
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