Centralized versus decentralized manpower resource planning. The case of a Hong Kong company

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-536
Journal / PublicationJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1991
Externally publishedYes


This paper considers the problem of planning effective servicing support of a Hong Kong-based company by providing sufficient technicians to repair/service copier machines at numerous customer sites throughout the city. As quality of service depends on its operational responsiveness, there is an urgent need to address the company's present and projected staffing. Mathematical modelling techniques based on the well-tested square-root response distance formulation of Kolesar et al. and a corresponding affine time-distance relationship are successfully applied to quantify the performance measure with respect to manpower resources. The numerical results enable model validation against collected data as well as analyses of different modes of centralized/decentralized, prioritized/non-prioritized service operations. Parametric study of performance versus resource offers further insights and directions towards the goal of optimal manpower planning. The approach is found to be very useful in an actual decision support setting, owing to its ease of adaptation, generalization and robust numerical modelling.