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Sure Staf: A Computerized Staff Scheduling System for Telephone Business Offices


  • J. G. Church

    (Bell Canada, Montreal)


Scheduling of staff between answering incoming calls and processing paper-work has been a continual problem in telephone company Business Offices. A staff scheduling system has been developed and implemented in Bell Canada on a trial basis. Incoming call load data are recorded automatically and are entered daily into a time share computer terminal. The next day's forecast, by half hour, is made by a cyclic exponential smoothing routine and the number of servers required to take calls is calculated using a queueing model of the Business Office. A schedule of call answering periods for the available staff to match the requirements is made using a heuristic algorithm. Managers are able to choose their objective on the accessibility of the office to incoming customer calls and the staff can organize their work day without unplanned interruptions.

Suggested Citation

  • J. G. Church, 1973. "Sure Staf: A Computerized Staff Scheduling System for Telephone Business Offices," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(4-Part-II), pages 708-720, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:20:y:1973:i:4-part-ii:p:708-720

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    Cited by:

    1. Dietz, Dennis C., 2011. "Practical scheduling for call center operations," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 550-557, October.
    2. Ernst, A. T. & Jiang, H. & Krishnamoorthy, M. & Sier, D., 2004. "Staff scheduling and rostering: A review of applications, methods and models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(1), pages 3-27, February.

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