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Simulation-Based Evaluation of Dispatching Policies in Service System Disclosure Number: IPCOM000225091D
Publication Date: 2013-Jan-24
Document File: 6 page(s) / 128K

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The Prior Art Database


This paper presents a framework for evaluation of dispatching policies in service systems. A discrete event simulation model of a service system in the data-center management domain is presented. This simulation-based approach incorporates intricacies of service systems and allows comparative analysis of dispatching policies leading to more accurate decisions on labor staffing.

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Simulation-Based Evaluation of Dispatching Policies in Service System


Disclosed is a simulation-based approach for evaluation dispatching policies in real life service systems. Service-based economies and business models have gained significant importance. The clients and service providers exchange value through service interactions and reach service outcomes. Given the focus on the individual customer's value and the uniqueness of the customer's needs, the service providers need to meet a large variety of expectations set by the customers. This is the primary reason for the service delivery to be labor-intensive where human intervention and interaction is unavoidable.

Service providers aim to maintain the quality, even in the face of unique customer expectations, by structuring their service delivery operations as service systems (SS) . A SS is an organization of the resources that support and the processes that drive service interactions so that the outcomes meet customer expectations (Alter 2008, Spohrer et al. 2007, Ramaswamy and Banavar 2008)

The service providers manage the data-centers from remote locations called delivery centers where groups of service workers (SW) skilled in specific technology areas support corresponding service requests (SR) . In each group, the processes, the people, and the customers that drive the operations of a delivery center constitute a SS. A delivery center is a system of multiple SS.

This paper focuses on the problem of designing the process of routing the SRs to the right technicians (a.k.a. dispatching policy) within a SS such that certain objectives are achieved and constraints are met. What is the basis for evaluating dispatching policies? We propose that the best dispatching policy is the one that: (1) satisfies the contractual constraints to the customer, (2) does not require SWs to work overtime, (3) minimizes the cost of running the SS and (4) minimizes the workload differential among the SWs. Whereas (1) and (3) are obvious, (2) and (4) are challenges unique to the domain of human resource allocation, unlike machine resource allocation as studied widely. While

(1) and (2) are constraints that must be satisfied, (3) and (4) are objectives that maybe at odds against each other. For example, minimizing the cost may lead to sub-minimum differential in the workload of the SWs. The importance of (3) versus (4) may vary depending on the business dynamics. Hence, we aim to measure (3) and (4) independently for each of the dispatching policies we evaluate.

The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 formally defines SS and describes its properties. Section 3 defines two main classes of dispatching policies in the context of SS. Section 4 presents the main results. Section 5 concludes the paper.

2 Service Systems

Informally, a SS is a configuration of technology and organizational networks designed to deliver services that satisfy the needs of customers. The follo...