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Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center

Author

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  • Avramidis, Athanassios N.
  • Chan, Wyean
  • Gendreau, Michel
  • L'Ecuyer, Pierre
  • Pisacane, Ornella

Abstract

We examine and compare simulation-based algorithms for solving the agent scheduling problem in a multiskill call center. This problem consists in minimizing the total costs of agents under constraints on the expected service level per call type, per period, and aggregated. We propose a solution approach that combines simulation with integer or linear programming, with cut generation. In our numerical experiments with realistic problem instances, this approach performs better than all other methods proposed previously for this problem. We also show that the two-step approach, which is the standard method for solving this problem, sometimes yield solutions that are highly suboptimal and inferior to those obtained by our proposed method.

Suggested Citation

  • Avramidis, Athanassios N. & Chan, Wyean & Gendreau, Michel & L'Ecuyer, Pierre & Pisacane, Ornella, 2010. "Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 200(3), pages 822-832, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:200:y:2010:i:3:p:822-832
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Athanassios N. Avramidis & Alexandre Deslauriers & Pierre L'Ecuyer, 2004. "Modeling Daily Arrivals to a Telephone Call Center," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(7), pages 896-908, July.
    2. Noah Gans & Ger Koole & Avishai Mandelbaum, 2003. "Telephone Call Centers: Tutorial, Review, and Research Prospects," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 5(2), pages 79-141, September.
    3. Sandjai Bhulai & Ger Koole & Auke Pot, 2008. "Simple Methods for Shift Scheduling in Multiskill Call Centers," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(3), pages 411-420, December.
    4. Ger Koole & Avishai Mandelbaum, 2002. "Queueing Models of Call Centers: An Introduction," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 41-59, July.
    5. Júlíus Atlason & Marina Epelman & Shane Henderson, 2004. "Call Center Staffing with Simulation and Cutting Plane Methods," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 333-358, March.
    6. Lawrence Brown & Noah Gans & Avishai Mandelbaum & Anat Sakov & Haipeng Shen & Sergey Zeltyn & Linda Zhao, 2005. "Statistical Analysis of a Telephone Call Center: A Queueing-Science Perspective," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 36-50, March.
    7. Otis B. Jennings & Avishai Mandelbaum & William A. Massey & Ward Whitt, 1996. "Server Staffing to Meet Time-Varying Demand," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(10), pages 1383-1394, October.
    8. Auke Pot & Sandjai Bhulai & Ger Koole, 2008. "A Simple Staffing Method for Multiskill Call Centers," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(3), pages 421-428, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rouba Ibrahim & Pierre L'Ecuyer, 2013. "Forecasting Call Center Arrivals: Fixed-Effects, Mixed-Effects, and Bivariate Models," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 15(1), pages 72-85, May.
    2. repec:eee:ejores:v:274:y:2019:i:1:p:303-316 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chapados, Nicolas & Joliveau, Marc & L’Ecuyer, Pierre & Rousseau, Louis-Martin, 2014. "Retail store scheduling for profit," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 239(3), pages 609-624.
    4. Defraeye, Mieke & Van Nieuwenhuyse, Inneke, 2016. "Staffing and scheduling under nonstationary demand for service: A literature review," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 4-25.
    5. Brezavšček Alenka & Baggia Alenka, 2014. "Optimization of a Call Centre Performance Using the Stochastic Queueing Models," Business Systems Research, Sciendo, vol. 5(3), pages 6-18, September.
    6. Aktekin, Tevfik, 2014. "Call center service process analysis: Bayesian parametric and semi-parametric mixture modeling," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(3), pages 709-719.
    7. Ibrahim, Rouba & L’Ecuyer, Pierre & Shen, Haipeng & Thiongane, Mamadou, 2016. "Inter-dependent, heterogeneous, and time-varying service-time distributions in call centers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(2), pages 480-492.
    8. Jouini, Oualid & Pot, Auke & Koole, Ger & Dallery, Yves, 2010. "Online scheduling policies for multiclass call centers with impatient customers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(1), pages 258-268, November.
    9. Van den Bergh, Jorne & Beliën, Jeroen & De Bruecker, Philippe & Demeulemeester, Erik & De Boeck, Liesje, 2013. "Personnel scheduling: A literature review," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 226(3), pages 367-385.
    10. De Bruecker, Philippe & Van den Bergh, Jorne & Beliën, Jeroen & Demeulemeester, Erik, 2015. "Workforce planning incorporating skills: State of the art," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 243(1), pages 1-16.
    11. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:2:p:439-452 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Wyean Chan & Ger Koole & Pierre L'Ecuyer, 2014. "Dynamic Call Center Routing Policies Using Call Waiting and Agent Idle Times," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 16(4), pages 544-560, October.
    13. Murat Fırat & C. Hurkens & Alexandre Laugier, 2014. "Stable multi-skill workforce assignments," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 213(1), pages 95-114, February.
    14. Christopher Dance & Alexei Gaivoronski, 2012. "Stochastic optimization for real time service capacity allocation under random service demand," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 193(1), pages 221-253, March.

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