Waiting Lines

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P-3 Waiting Lines Waiting lines and delays occur when there is either not enough capacity in general for demand, or when short-term rises in demand occur1. These incidents are so common as to be daily occurrences. Every day we wait at traffic lights or if we are less fortunate we get stuck in traffic jams. Still we wait in lines at banks, restaurants, and theaters ….. The study of waiting lines is an exploration of the probabilistic phenomena of frequent disparate outcomes. That is to say, sometimes having to wait for long periods of times, while at other times being so fortunate as to have no wait at all. Operations management places a great deal of consideration into the anticipated performance of waiting line systems. These…show more content…
Most people have an aversion to waiting in lines, and if we are aware of a potential delay before we commit, we would likely look for another service provider. This is particularly the case in the fast food industry. Even if the service is relatively steady, the mere perception of a long line is enough to result in diminished revenues. The true cost of waiting is quite difficult to quantify, but there is a genuine economic impact. Consider that not only is the revenue of a balking customer lost, but also that same customer may complain about their experience to their friends, acquaintances or even the World Wide Web, thus amplifying the effect. As opposed to service industries, inventory left waiting in a factory has relatively little impact. There will be associated inventory expenses incurred from owning this extra buffer of material to keep machinery in operation, but this may be minimal compared to the impact of idle machinery. In order to effectively manage a waiting line system, our HVAC company must analyze and determine the following factors: • On average, how many customers are awaiting service? • What is the arrival pattern of customer requests? Are they scheduled or random? • How long must a customer wait to get service? • What is the average number of customers (in line and being served) in the system at any time? • What is the customer’s average time in the system? Ultimately, a
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