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Capacity sizing in the presence of common shared resource: staffing an inbound call center (RV of 98/79/TM)

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This paper studies a capacity sizing problem for service systems where capacity is determined by multiple types of resources that are required simultaneously in order to provide service. In addition to the simultaneous use of resources, the systems are characterized by the presence of a common resource that is shared across multiple types of customers. While these types of systems are prevalent in different service settings, the paper will focus on inbound call centers as an important example. The capacity sizing problem in the context of a call center is one where the optimal number of servers that need to be allocated to different call types is determined. The objective is to find the number of servers that will maximize revenues net of staffing costs. For a simple case, where customers do not wait, it is shown that a greedy allocation procedure yields the optimal server allocation. Similarly, for the case with only one type of call class, where customers wait and renege, it is shown that the optimal number of servers can be found numerically. Heuristics are proposed for the general multi-class form of the staffing problem with waiting customers that can renege. The performance of the heuristics are evaluated through numerical examples.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2000/2000-68.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved