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Staffing an inbound call center (RV of 97/15/TM)

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This paper studies a staffing problem for inbound call centers with multiple call types and service agents that specialize in these different call types. The staffing problem seeks to allocate servers in a call center where performance is determined by its server allocation as weel as its telecommunication and information technology resources; profit maximization is the goal of this problem. For the pure loss case, which does not allow for reneged calls, it is shown that a greedy allocation procedure yields the optimal server allocation. Similarly, for the more general case with only one tye of call class, a simple serach procedure is shown to result in the optimal number of servers. Heuristics are proposed for the general multi-class form of the staffing problem, whose performances are evaluated through numerical examples at the end of the paper.

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