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UTi's HR team utilises custom analytics in Zendesk Support to earn a 98% satisfaction rating

Learn how UTi's Human Resources use Zendesk's customer service software to support more than 10,000 employees.

“Honestly, if it weren’t for Zendesk Support, it would take us a lot more time and effort to get through the tasks we have.”

- Noal Robinson

Shared Services manager at UTi


Use case


Employees served



For a long time, UTi’s Human Resources team was globally distributed, with team members performing all administrative functions in addition to working directly with employees and managers in their local office. This meant everyone was a generalist, working in a silo.

Considering the size of the supply chain management company, employing 20,000 people worldwide, spread across 313 offices and 245 logistics centres in 59 countries, this could be both overwhelming and isolating. And it certainly wasn’t efficient.

The company moved to a Shared Services model, and a regional team now handles all policies and processes, payroll, HR systems, training, benefits administration and more. But along with a centralised team, UTi needed a centralised service platform.

Noal Robinson, manager of the Shared Services team for the Americas region, explained that their goal was two-fold. They wanted to encourage, and even amplify, conversations between employees and field HR team members by allowing them to ask questions, and to submit requests or provide feedback. They also wanted to be able to automatically route these contacts to the correct HR Shared Services specialist, and be able to track, share, and report on tickets.

They spent five months building an in-house tool, similar to what their internal IT department was using, but were unable to create the categories or tags they needed. More worrying, the tool was not secure enough to respect the confidentiality that an HR team requires. This is when an outsourced benefits provider introduced Robinson to Zendesk Support.

After seeing how they used the service software, he realised that Zendesk Support could accomplish what his team needed, and that Support also met the company’s security requirements—to allow employees to safely and securely access Support from outside the company’s network and firewall.

Relative to the size of UTi, the Shared Services teams are small. There’s a group of 15 in North America, and another 10 employees in South Africa. The Shared Services model will also enable HR to add teams in the APAC and EMENA regions, all using Zendesk Support.
Shared Services handle a wide range of administrative tasks, so the requests they see in Support vary from enquiries about payroll to questions about immigration or benefits, and, most frequently, requests for passwords to infrequently accessed HR systems.

Nearly 45 per cent of the company’s workforce do not regularly access a computer on the job, so UTi provides computer kiosks at regional offices for lorry drivers and warehouse employees. Still, most of these employees access HR systems from their personal computers at home, which is in large part why having a secure, central point of contact for all questions has become a pressing need.

In just five months since implementing Support, the Shared Services team has seen the number of tickets jump from a few hundred to a few thousand per month. This increase in volume was just what they were hoping for. A full half of UTi’s 20,000 employees have interacted with the team via Zendesk Support.

From Robinson’s perspective, most valuable has been their ability to zero in on the internal SLAs by group. All tickets have a first response SLA of 24 hours, but after that, the way a background check is handled is very different from a password reset for their online academy. Robinson measures for quality and productivity rather than volume, to determine whether the SLA, or the ticket handling, needs adjustment.

“Honestly, if it weren’t for Zendesk Support, it would take us a lot more time and effort to get through the tasks we have.”

Robinson and his team are happy to report a 98% internal satisfaction rating. In the end, Robinson admits, “This tool has really helped us to be able to support those field HR team members better, and provide them with the tools they need to be a better business partner with our employees.”