Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A quick fix for queues

Date:
June 3, 2010
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Queuing, standing in line ... it's what we do well, but complain about the most. Thankfully, science is coming to the rescue as researchers in Taiwan have devised a formula that could revolutionize restaurants, post offices, customer service desks, and theater ticket sales everywhere.

Queuing, standing in line ... it's what we do well, but complain about the most. Thankfully, science is coming to the rescue as researchers in Taiwan have devised a formula that could revolutionize restaurants, post offices, customer service desks, and theater ticket sales everywhere.

Related Articles


Business management professor Pen-Yuan Liao of the National United University in Miaoli, Taiwan, that queuing as one of life's inevitabilities when seeking fast food, restaurant services, banking and postal services, and shopping and buying tickets for events and activities, or waiting for your turn on a theme park ride. No one enjoys queuing, so even small reductions in waiting time will result in better quality of service and lead to enhancing customer loyalty and so increased sales, Liao says.

"The profit loss from business resulting from inefficient queuing systems is quite difficult to estimate," Liao explains, "but there is a creative and effective way to formulate the costs of waiting and so improve customer satisfaction and sales."

Liao has devised a scientific formula he refers to as the "balking index," which is referred to by the Greek letter theta. Ironically, this symbol is used elsewhere in science as shorthand for temperature, a parameter that often rises among people standing in ineffective queues. Liao has encapsulated theta as relating the expected queue length and the mean arrival rate in a given time period. Multiplying the balking index, the queue length, and the mean arrival rate gives you the number of frustrated customers who will leave their position in the queue in that time period.

"Estimating balking loss enables a store manager or other person in charge of staffing levels to determine the optimal number of servers by minimizing total cost, including service cost and balking loss," says Liao. He has successfully tested the formula in advising a fast food manager on how many staff to have serving at any given time depending on the balking index.

"By using this formula, approach, restaurants and other services that have queues can cut costs and improve customer loyalty," he says, "Customers benefit from much reduced queuing times."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Liao et al. Optimal staffing policy for queuing systems with cyclic demands. Int. J. Services and Operations Management, 2010; 7: 317-332

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "A quick fix for queues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601101552.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2010, June 3). A quick fix for queues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601101552.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "A quick fix for queues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100601101552.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First U.S.-Based Bitcoin Exchange Goes Live

First U.S.-Based Bitcoin Exchange Goes Live

Newsy (Jan. 26, 2015) — Known as Coinbase, the startup exchange debuted Monday morning, initially causing a spike in bitcoin’s value. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama's Wildlife Plan Renews Alaska Drilling Debate

Obama's Wildlife Plan Renews Alaska Drilling Debate

Newsy (Jan. 26, 2015) — President Obama&apos;s proposal aims to protect more land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but so far, all that&apos;s materialized is a war of words. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) — The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins