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Managing Trade-Offs in Call Center Agent Scheduling: Methodology and Case Study

Directory : Faculty : Intellectual Contributions

Intellectual Contribution by Robert Saltzman

Contribution Title

Managing Trade-Offs in Call Center Agent Scheduling: Methodology and Case Study

Conference

2007 Summer Computer Simulation Conference

Year

2007

Description

This paper develops a flexible and tractable scheduling methodology that produces near-optimal call center agent schedules while taking into account the costs associated with customer waiting time, customer abandonment, and call center agents. Our methodology combines integer programming (to find a desirable staffing plan for a given total number of agents) and simulation modeling (to evaluate the weekly costs of a given staffing plan). We describe the advantages of this approach over the traditional scheduling methodod (which is highly sensitive to the choice of the waiting time target), and test both methods by building schedules based on actual demand and shift data from an actual call center operated by Expedia.com under a variety of cost scenarios. The new scheduling approach not only is insensitive to the waiting time target and clearly out-performs the traditional staffing approach in all scenarios cases examined, it reducesing total weekly costs of the actual call center's existing agent schedule by 8-25%, depending on the scenario.

Complete Citation

Saltzman, R. M. and V. Mehrotra, "Managing Trade-Offs in Call Center Agent Scheduling: Methodology and Case Study," Proceedings of the 2007 Summer Computer Simulation Conference, G. A. Wainer and H. Vakilzadian, eds., pp. 643-651, July 2007

Website

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