Development of a workforce management system for a hotline service

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)465-468
Journal / PublicationComputers and Industrial Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999


TitleProceedings of the 1998 24th International Conference on Computers and Industrial Engineering
CityMiddlesex, UK
Period2 - 4 September 1998


As the mobile telephone business is booming, a mobile-communication company provides 24-hour hotline services for its customers in order to maintain or promote its competitiveness. However, the company is faced with some difficulties in scheduling the growing workforce necessitated in eight shifts in a day. A tailor-made workforce management system is built to fulfil some specific requirements set by the company. This paper reports on the development of a decision support system, which is running under Microsoft Office 95 on a 586 PC. The system first forecasts on hourly demand calls; then estimates manpower required and finally schedules a monthly roster. A regression model and a simulation model are built for the hourly staffing estimation. Linear programming approach is applied to convert the hourly results to daily combination of seniors and juniors in various shifts. The monthly roster is scheduled by extending Burns and Carter algorithm with the aim of striking a balance between employee equity and management requirements. The comparison of a schedule derived from the system with that obtained manually shows that the decision support system saves us a lot of time and can satisfy more constraints.