TITLE

THE VALUE OF QUEUEING THEORY

AUTHOR(S)
Byrd, Jr., Jack
PUB. DATE
May 1978
SOURCE
Interfaces;May78, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p22
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Case Study
ABSTRACT
This article presents information on several case studies related to queueing theory. Queueing theory is one of those subjects most frequently taught in beginning operations research/management science courses. However, practitioners of OR/MS may question the practicality of teaching queueing theory, given the sparsity of articles showing actual applications. One of the case study was related to student George "Speed" Johnson who decided to analyze the cashiers at the local drug store. There were five check-out aisles available for customers to use. This caused Speed some problems in his analysis. He started collecting arrival data for the system and things were going fine for the first 15 minutes. They got busy then, and the next thing he know they had added another clerk. As soon as the lines got smaller, the clerk returned to other duties. A little later, one of the other clerks was reassigned. He talked with the manager about this shifting number of servers, and he indicated that it was his policy to keep the lines shorter than four customers at any one time. The system never got into steady-state conditions. He guessed he could use a simulation to study the problem but he was not sure that it would help too much. They already seem to have concluded that the system should have only a certain number in the queue. Since they have the flexibility to maintain this condition it seems like they are functioning fairly well.
ACCESSION #
6690433

Tags: QUEUING theory;  OPERATIONS research;  DRUGSTORES;  PRODUCTION scheduling;  DECISION theory;  CASE studies;  MANAGEMENT science

 

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