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Customer Service Representative Staffing Based on After-sales Field Service Queuing Approximation M/G/m Model  [PDF]
GAO Yong-rong,HU Wei
Journal of Chongqing Normal University , 2010,
Abstract: Providing qualified after-sales service without scientifically staffing is impossible.Based on the principle of least cost, traditional methods for staffing ignore customers' time satisfaction. Each customer would like to obtain the most efficient after-sales service in order to reduce the losses caused by equipment failure, so response time is the most improtant performance appraisal index in after-sales field service. In this paper, take an equipment sales company for example, firstly, we weight the customer distance matrix based on the amount of customer-owned equipment, calculate the n dimensional cumulative weighted distance vector, combine it with the distance matrix cluster analysis, and obtain the company's service center as well as the sub-service center. Secondly, we analyze the distribution about equipment failure and service time, use after-sales field service queue approximate M/G/m model to determine the minimum amount of customer service representatives so as to keep the committed service promise. Finally, the customer service representatives are assigned to service center and sub-service center resectively, and form a variety of allocation strategy, choose the best configuration stategy according to the simulation results. The final staffing policy can be basically achieved its customer service commitment and coincided with the company's operation strategy.
Staffing Large Service Systems Under Arrival-rate Uncertainty  [PDF]
Jing Zan,John J. Hasenbein,David P. Morton
Mathematics , 2013,
Abstract: We consider the problem of staffing large-scale service systems with multiple customer classes and multiple dedicated server pools under joint quality-of-service (QoS) constraints. We first analyze the case in which arrival rates are deterministic and the QoS metric is the probability a customer is queued, given by the Erlang-C formula. We use the Janssen-Van Leeuwaarden-Zwart bounds to obtain asymptotically optimal solutions to this problem. The second model considered is one in which the arrival rates are not completely known in advance (before the server staffing levels are chosen), but rather are known via a probability distribution. In this case, we provide asymptotically optimal solutions to the resulting stochastic integer program, leveraging results obtained for the deterministic arrivals case.
Simultaneous Perturbation Methods for Adaptive Labor Staffing in Service Systems  [PDF]
L. A. Prashanth,H. L. Prasad,Nirmit Desai,Shalabh Bhatnagar,Gargi Dasgupta
Computer Science , 2013,
Abstract: Service systems are labor intensive due to the large variation in the tasks required to address service requests from multiple customers. Aligning the staffing levels to the forecasted workloads adaptively in such systems is nontrivial because of a large number of parameters and operational variations leading to a huge search space. A challenging problem here is to optimize the staffing while maintaining the system in steady-state and compliant to aggregate service level agreement (SLA) constraints. Further, because these parameters change on a weekly basis, the optimization should not take longer than a few hours. We formulate this problem as a constrained Markov cost process parameterized by the (discrete) staffing levels. We propose novel simultaneous perturbation stochastic approximation (SPSA) based SASOC (Staff Allocation using Stochastic Optimization with Constraints) algorithms for solving the above problem. The algorithms include both first order as well as second order methods and incorporate SPSA based gradient estimates in the primal, with dual ascent for the Lagrange multipliers. Both the algorithms that we propose are online, incremental and easy to implement. Further, they involve a certain generalized smooth projection operator, which is essential to project the continuous-valued worker parameter tuned by SASOC algorithms onto the discrete set. We validated our algorithms on five real-life service systems and compared them with a state-of-the-art optimization tool-kit OptQuest. Being 25 times faster than OptQuest, our algorithms are particularly suitable for adaptive labor staffing. Also, we observe that our algorithms guarantee convergence and find better solutions than OptQuest in many cases.
Three-dimensional conceptual model for service-oriented simulation  [PDF]
Wenguang Wang,Weiping Wang,Justyna Zander,Yifan Zhu
Computer Science , 2009, DOI: 10.1631/jzus.A0920258
Abstract: In this letter, we propose a novel three-dimensional conceptual model for an emerging service-oriented simulation paradigm. The model can be used as a guideline or an analytic means to find the potential and possible future directions of the current simulation frameworks. In particular, the model inspects the crossover between the disciplines of modeling and simulation, service-orientation, and software/systems engineering. Finally, two specific simulation frameworks are studied as examples.
Routing and Staffing when Servers are Strategic  [PDF]
Ragavendran Gopalakrishnan,Sherwin Doroudi,Amy R. Ward,Adam Wierman
Mathematics , 2014,
Abstract: Traditionally, research focusing on the design of routing and staffing policies for service systems has modeled servers as having fixed (possibly heterogeneous) service rates. However, service systems are generally staffed by people. Furthermore, people respond to workload incentives; that is, how hard a person works can depend both on how much work there is, and how the work is divided between the people responsible for it. In a service system, the routing and staffing policies control such workload incentives; and so the rate servers work will be impacted by the system's routing and staffing policies. This observation has consequences when modeling service system performance, and our objective is to investigate those consequences. We do this in the context of the M/M/N queue, which is the canonical model for large service systems. First, we present a model for "strategic" servers that choose their service rate in order to maximize a trade-off between an "effort cost", which captures the idea that servers exert more effort when working at a faster rate, and a "value of idleness", which assumes that servers value having idle time. Next, we characterize the symmetric Nash equilibrium service rate under any routing policy that routes based on the server idle time. We find that the system must operate in a quality-driven regime, in which servers have idle time, in order for an equilibrium to exist, which implies that the staffing must have a first-order term that strictly exceeds that of the common square-root staffing policy. Then, within the class of policies that admit an equilibrium, we (asymptotically) solve the problem of minimizing the total cost, when there are linear staffing costs and linear waiting costs. Finally, we end by exploring the question of whether routing policies that are based on the service rate, instead of the server idle time, can improve system performance.
Service-Oriented Simulation Framework: An Overview and Unifying Methodology  [PDF]
Wenguang Wang,Weiping Wang,Yifan Zhu,Qun Li
Computer Science , 2010, DOI: 10.1177/0037549710391838
Abstract: The prevailing net-centric environment demands and enables modeling and simulation to combine efforts from numerous disciplines. Software techniques and methodology, in particular service-oriented architecture, provide such an opportunity. Service-oriented simulation has been an emerging paradigm following on from object- and process-oriented methods. However, the ad-hoc frameworks proposed so far generally focus on specific domains or systems and each has its pros and cons. They are capable of addressing different issues within service-oriented simulation from different viewpoints. It is increasingly important to describe and evaluate the progress of numerous frameworks. In this paper, we propose a novel three-dimensional reference model for a service-oriented simulation paradigm. The model can be used as a guideline or an analytic means to find the potential and possible future directions of the current simulation frameworks. In particular, the model inspects the crossover between the disciplines of modeling and simulation, service-orientation, and software/systems engineering. Based on the model, we present a comprehensive survey on several classical service-oriented simulation frameworks, including formalism-based, model-driven, interoperability protocol based, eXtensible Modeling and Simulation Framework (XMSF), and Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) based frameworks etc. The comparison of these frameworks is also performed. Finally the significance both in academia and practice are presented and future directions are pointed out.
Staffing many-server systems with admission control and retrials  [PDF]
A. J. E. M. Janssen,Johan S. H. van Leeuwaarden
Mathematics , 2013,
Abstract: In many-server systems it is crucial to staff the right number of servers so that targeted service levels are met. These staffing problems typically lead to constraint satisfaction problems that are hard to solve. During the last decade, a powerful many-server asymptotic theory has been developed to solve such problems and optimal staffing rules are known to obey the square-root staffing principle. This paper develops many-server asymptotics in the so-called QED regime, and presents refinements to many-server asymptotics and square-root staffing for a Markovian queueing model with admission control and retrials.
Analysis of Staffing and Training Needs for Effective Delivery of Extension Service in Sustainable Land Management in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania  [PDF]
John F. Kessy
Open Journal of Soil Science (OJSS) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ojss.2014.413045

An assessment of staffing and training needs for effective delivery of extension services in mainstreaming sustainable land management (SLM) practices in Kilimanjaro Region was conducted in June/July 2013. Data collection methods included discussions with key informants at the regional and district levels, consultations with village level stakeholders and potential collaborators, review of human resources data both at regional, district and ward levels and collection of individual staff bio-data including capacity deficiencies. The staffing situation at the regional and district levels was considered to be adequate for effective mainstreaming of SLM interventions in the region. Staffing at ward and village levels was very poor and largely inadequate for sustainable execution of extension services. It is optimistically estimated that on average the staffing at ward level needs to be increased by at least 50%. In some districts the deficiency of extension staff at ward level was as high as 80%. Training needs exist at all levels from the region down to community level. At the regional and district levels both long and short term training programs were required. At the community level required training is more practical and purely focused in mainstreaming SLM interventions at individual households and community lands. Potential collaborators with local government were identified in four main categories namely, NGOs/CBOs, private sector, government departments and faith-based organizations. The study recommends a capacity building program on specific knowledge gaps identified at regional, district, ward and village levels. The study further recommends that immediate measures need to be taken by the district authorities to address the staffing problem at ward level including recruitment of volunteers and developing collaboration framework with identified potential partners.

Discrete Simulation Modeling of Processes of Customers Service in Retail Drugstores  [PDF]
Oleksandr Dorokhov,Iryna Zolotaryova,Ludmila Dorokhova
International Scientific Journal of Management Information Systems , 2009,
Abstract: The article analyses the processes of organizing drugs sale in a drugstore. The types and parameters of timeframes of customers' visits, duration of service by assistants, and probability of appearance of certain types of customers are determined on the basis of calculations in Statistica. The existent possibilities of the organization of retail sale in drugstores are determined. The computer models of the system of mass service of customers in the drugstores by means of a package of simulation modeling ExtendSim are developed. The possibility of taking into account the different number of counters, the number of consultants and doctors, the possibility of appearance of priority clients and breaks are ensured. Calculative experiments are conducted; their results are processed and presented, e.g. the appropriate number of staff according to characteristics of the particular drugstore. Practical implementation assured that the model is adequate and usable.
A discreet event simulation in an automotive service context  [PDF]
Alireza Rangraz Jeddi,Nafiseh Ghorbani Renani,Afagh Malek,Alireza Khademi
International Journal of Computer Science Issues , 2012,
Abstract: In recent years, simulation approach for illustrating the current situation and evaluating behavior of system under different condition is widely used especially in service sector. This paper has modeled an after-sale service shop with WITNESS simulation software. The aim of this work is to increase service rate while reducing the amount of waiting time in queues for the entire service shop which results in more customer satisfaction. Results of developed model were analyzed and the main cause of the problem has been identified that was large amount of time a customer should wait before Road Test station and the unbalance situation of Inspection Report Recording stations. The outcome of the simulation model has been validated and some modifications in the structure of the model to improve the system have been set. The result indicates that customer satisfaction has increased at the same time as improving service rate of the system.
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