Title: Optimal staffing policy for queueing systems with cyclic demands

Authors: Pen-Yuan Liao

Addresses: Department of Business Management, College of Management, National United University, 1 LienDa, KungChing Li, Miaoli 36003, Taiwan, ROC

Abstract: Although the profit loss from business resulting from queueing systems is quite difficult to estimate, this paper presents a creative and effective approach to formulating balking loss as waiting cost. The number of balking customers is estimated as the balking index θ multiplied by the expected queue length Lq and the mean arrival rate in that planning period λ. Estimating balking loss enables the decision maker to determine the optimal number of servers by minimising total cost, including service cost and balking loss. The practicality and the incurred benefits of this approach were analysed by using collected data from a fast food restaurant, using the SIPP M/M/S:(FCFS/∞/∞) queueing model. The results showed that this approach is an effective tool for aiding managers in formulating the optimal staffing policies of service systems.

Keywords: manpower planning; balking loss; optimal staffing; queuing systems; cyclic demand; queue lengths; profits; profitability; customers; arrival rates; serving staff; fast food restaurants; catering industry; SIPP; stationary independent period-by-period; table servers; Taiwan; services; operations management; staffing policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2010.035055

International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 2010 Vol.7 No.3, pp.317 - 332

Available online: 02 Sep 2010

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