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This paper introduces a new method for shift scheduling in multi-skill call centers. The method consists of two steps. First, staffing levels are determined and next, in the second step, the outcomes are used as input for the scheduling problem. The scheduling problem relies on a linear programming model that is easy to implement and has short computation(More)
This paper gives an overview of routing and staffing algorithms in multi-skill contact centers. Related issues and problems are characterized, and models and mathematical tools from the literature for modeling and optimizing contact centers are described. In addition, a general model of a multi-skill contact center is described and the papers from the(More)
We consider multi-class blocking systems in which jobs require a single processing step. There are groups of servers that can each serve a different subset of all job classes. The assignment of jobs occurs according to some fixed overflow policy. We are interested in the blocking probabilities of each class. This model can be used for call centers,(More)
We consider a call center with two classes of impatient customers: premium and regular classes. Modeling our call center as a multiclass GI/GI/s +M queue, we focus on developing scheduling policies that satisfy a target ratio constraint on the abandonment probabilities of premium customers to regular ones. The problem is inspired by a real call center(More)
W study a simple method for staffing in multiskill call centers. The method has short computation times and determines nearly optimal staffing levels. It is in both views competitive to other methods from the literature. Because of the fast and accurate performance of the method, many different scenarios can be analyzed, and our method can be used for both(More)
This paper is concerned with workload minimization in re-entrant lines with exponential service times and preemptive control policies. Using a numerical algorithm called the power series algorithm we obtain nearly optimal policies for systems with up to 8 queues. We also improve considerably the implementation of the power series algorithm.
We consider an inbound call center with a fixed reward per call and communication and agent costs. By controlling the number of lines and the number of agents we can maximize the profit. Abandonments are included in our performance model. Monotonicity results for the maximization problem are obtained, which leads to an efficient optimization procedure. We(More)
We consider a multi-skill call center consisting of specialists and fully cross-trained agents. All traffic is inbound and there is a waiting queue for each skill type. Our objective is to obtain good call routing policies. In this paper we use the so-called policy iteration (PI) method. It is applied in the context of approximate dynamic programming (ADP).(More)