Optimal Management of Cross-Trained Workers in Services with Negligible Switching Costs (ABSTRACT)
Berman, O., W. Jiamin, & K.P. Sapna
published: 2005 | Research publication | Refereed Journals - ODS
Berman, O., W. Jiamin, & K.P. Sapna (2005). "Optimal Management of Cross-Trained Workers in Services with Negligible Switching Costs". European Journal of Operational Research, 167(2), 349-369.
ABSTRACT: In this paper we consider a retail service facility with cross-trained workers who can switch between the front room and the back room depending on the size of the queue in the front room. Two problems are presented. In the first problem, given a fixed number of cross-trained workers the objective is to find optimal switching points so that the expected customer waiting time is minimized subject to a back room service level constraint. In the second problem the number of workers is also a decision variable and the objective is to minimize it subject to both front room and back room service level constraints. The paper includes an analysis of the model and based on it several heuristics are suggested. Computational analysis with the recommended heuristics is presented and comparison to optimal solutions derived by complete enumeration shows excellent results.
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