Workforce planning and deployment for a hospital reservation call center with abandonment cost and multiple tasks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We consider a hospital reservation call center where operators handle multiple tasks. We take into account operator labor costs, caller waiting costs, and abandonment costs for lost calls. Instead of relying on the traditional method of queueing theory for call center management, we present a method that obtains expected caller waiting time and expected abandonment rate directly by introducing the inbound-load parameter. We develop a framework that combines workforce planning and operator deployment for a mixed call center in a single mathematical programming model. This paper also demonstrates how the proposed methodology can be applied in practice, with a case study based on actual operational data. Our primary conclusion is that the method presented in this research can significantly reduce both expected total cost (by 55.1% in our case study) and abandonment rate (from 15% to 2.1% in our case study). In addition, we demonstrate, using a sensitivity analysis, that our methodology will be more effective in an environment where the unit penalty cost of an abandoned call is relatively high among competitive hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-309
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
Volume65
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan 1

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Planning
Costs
Queueing theory
Mathematical programming
Sensitivity analysis
Personnel

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "We consider a hospital reservation call center where operators handle multiple tasks. We take into account operator labor costs, caller waiting costs, and abandonment costs for lost calls. Instead of relying on the traditional method of queueing theory for call center management, we present a method that obtains expected caller waiting time and expected abandonment rate directly by introducing the inbound-load parameter. We develop a framework that combines workforce planning and operator deployment for a mixed call center in a single mathematical programming model. This paper also demonstrates how the proposed methodology can be applied in practice, with a case study based on actual operational data. Our primary conclusion is that the method presented in this research can significantly reduce both expected total cost (by 55.1{\%} in our case study) and abandonment rate (from 15{\%} to 2.1{\%} in our case study). In addition, we demonstrate, using a sensitivity analysis, that our methodology will be more effective in an environment where the unit penalty cost of an abandoned call is relatively high among competitive hospitals.",
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