miun.sePublications
Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Publications (8 of 8) Show all publications
Gustavsson, K. (2018). Stochastic Modeling and Management of an Emergency Call Center: A Case Study at the Swedish Emergency CallCenter Provider, SOS Alarm Sverige AB. (Licentiate dissertation). Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stochastic Modeling and Management of an Emergency Call Center: A Case Study at the Swedish Emergency CallCenter Provider, SOS Alarm Sverige AB
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A key task of managing an inbound call center is in estimating its performance and consequently plan its capacity, which can be considered a complex task since several system variables are stochastic. These issues are highly crucial for certain time-sensitive services, such as emergency call services. Waiting times affect the service quality of call centers in general, but various customers may place different waiting time expectancies depending on the need. Call center managers struggle to find the relationship between these expectations to their strategical, tactical and operational issues. They are assisted by queueing models that approximate the outcome. Simple setups use analytical approximations while a network of multi-skilled agents serving several customer classes is dependent on computer simulations. Regardless of simple or complex setups, models assume that the system components are homogenous, that the components have some parametric distribution, and that they remain the same regardless of the setup. Human resource and marketing research show that such status quo assumptions are not highly reliable. As an example, customer experience is often affected by the skill of the agent, and agents themselves are affected by their workload and duties, which inter alia affect their efficiency. This thesis aim to assist the Swedish emergency call center with a strategical issue, which require detection of some causalities in the set of system components. The overall aim is to design a simulation model, but such model requires a lot of detailed system knowledge, which itself adds to the knowledge gap in the research field. Findings that contribute to the scientific knowledge body include the burst model that addresses some of the non-stationarity of call arrivals, since some rapid rate increments derives from a latent emergency event. Other contributions are the introduction of stochastic agent behavior, which increases the uncertainty in queueing models; and the service time relationship to geographical distance. The latter may involve general evidence on how area-specific understanding and cultural differences affect the quality of service. This is important for organizations that consider off-shoring or outsourcing their call center service. These findings, along with several undiscovered and unknown influencers, are needed in order to design a reliable simulation model. However, the proposed model in this study cannot be rejected, in terms of waiting time replication. This robust model allowed traffic routing strategies to be evaluated and also assisted managers of the emergency call center into a strategical shift in the late 2015.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2018. p. 59
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 141
Keywords
Call Center Management, Burst Modeling, Stochastic Resources, Skills-Based Routing, Discrete-Event-Simulation
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33638 (URN)978-91-88527-58-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-06-13, L111, Mittuniversitetet, Holmgatan 10, Sundsvall, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för framläggningen av avhandlingen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 1 och 3 inskickat.

At the time of the defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 1 and 3 submitted.

Available from: 2018-05-17 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2018-05-21Bibliographically approved
Johansson, A., Axelsson, M. & Gustavsson, K. (2017). Heuristic Approach of Exact Bin-Packing Model. In: The IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM): . Paper presented at The IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), Singapore, 10-13 December, 2017 (pp. 1042-1046). IEEE
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heuristic Approach of Exact Bin-Packing Model
2017 (English)In: The IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), IEEE, 2017, p. 1042-1046Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Bin packing problem has gained a wide interest in academia and in practice since the problems quickly becomes intractable as the problem grows. In this paper two models are compared: one model that generates exact solutions for bin packing problem and one that uses the same fundamental approach on the problem but extended with a heuristic combination of next-fit and a combinational best-fit. The results proves that the heuristic approach has competitive features of linearity as the problem grows, but still with satisfying optimums in the evaluated instances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2017
Series
International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management IEEM, ISSN 2157-3611
Keywords
Best-fit, bin packing problem, heuristic model, knapsack problem, MILP, next-fit
National Category
Computational Mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32268 (URN)000428267800213 ()2-s2.0-85045285889 (Scopus ID)978-1-5386-0948-4 (ISBN)
Conference
The IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), Singapore, 10-13 December, 2017
Available from: 2017-12-05 Created: 2017-12-05 Last updated: 2018-05-15Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, K. (2017). Service Time Effects of Distancing from the Customer, A Case Study from the Swedish Emergency Call Center. In: : . Paper presented at International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Singapore, 10-13 December, 2017 (pp. 624-628).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Service Time Effects of Distancing from the Customer, A Case Study from the Swedish Emergency Call Center
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Distancing contact centers from the customer is a highlighted strategic measure in call center industry, argued to reach higher efficiency and reduce operational costs. There is however a lack of empirical evidence about the side-effects of distancing, and academia has requested a mapping of the hidden costs accompanied with moving the operator from its customer. This study examines the relationship between service time and distance, by a designed quasi-distance scale between the customer and the operator. The result indicates a distance dependency, but the main effect is not due to the distance but rather due to characteristics of the office and caller origin independently. The study also stipulate a framework how big data can be converted into valuable information to call center managers, and provide insights of areas where further training and technological improvements should be focused.

Series
International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management IEEM
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32067 (URN)000428267800128 ()978-1-5386-0948-4 (ISBN)
Conference
International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Singapore, 10-13 December, 2017
Projects
Simulering och optimering av trafikstyrningslösningar på SOS Alarm
Available from: 2017-11-14 Created: 2017-11-14 Last updated: 2018-05-16Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, K. (2016). Simulating traffic planning strategies at the Swedish emergency center. In: : . Paper presented at INFORMS annual meeting, November 13-16, 2016, Nashville, US.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulating traffic planning strategies at the Swedish emergency center
2016 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish emergency call center fail in achieving government agreement regarding availability. In this project we evaluate different traffic management strategies using our designed discrete event simulation model, also supposed to apply as a traffic planning tool assisting daily issues. Outputs from the study has so far contributed to the managerial decision of implementing a new strategy, currently being evaluated. The result from this evaluation is statistical significant. As a result of our evaluation we have pinpointed some challenges of great value for the management team. For instance, if they measure sociological parameters, the model performance will be significantly improved.

National Category
Information Systems Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29522 (URN)
Conference
INFORMS annual meeting, November 13-16, 2016, Nashville, US
Available from: 2016-12-13 Created: 2016-12-13 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, K. (2016). Simulation-based evaluation of traffic management strategies at SOS Alarm. In: : . Paper presented at Åre Risk Event, 14-16 juni, 2016, Åre.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulation-based evaluation of traffic management strategies at SOS Alarm
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish emergency call center (SOS Alarm) has recently struggled in fulfilling the stakeholder requirements regarding service levels. One of the effects in their improvement efforts is this funded PhD project with the overall aim to provide better knowledge regarding the queueing system and the effects of implementing different queuing strategies. The idea is to achieve better resource efficiency and a more even distributed workload on the operators and the objective of this study is to analyze the effects of implementing a routing setting where calls is routed between different catchment areas if not answered within a threshold value. The method is discrete event simulation due the complexity of introducing multi-classes and routing in analytical approaches. Simulation allows detailed modeling and experimental tests of system configurations without exposing citizens to unnecessary risks. So far the results from the simulation has shown to better replicate the real-life situation and is therefore superior to the analytical approaches, such as the widely used Erlang-C, in predicting system performance. The project has so far stipulated statistical evidential guidelines of different routing strategies. The designed simulation model has been validated and will be further evaluated and tested in the daily operations at SOS Alarm.

National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29523 (URN)
Conference
Åre Risk Event, 14-16 juni, 2016, Åre
Available from: 2016-12-13 Created: 2016-12-13 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, K., L'Ecuyer, P. & Olsson, L. Modeling bursts in the arrival process to an emergency call center. Paper presented at Winter Simulation Conference 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modeling bursts in the arrival process to an emergency call center
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33640 (URN)
Conference
Winter Simulation Conference 2018
Available from: 2018-05-17 Created: 2018-05-17 Last updated: 2018-05-21Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, K., Olsson, L., Gidlund, M. & Andersson, U. Simulating routing strategies of inbound calls at the Swedish emergency call center. European Journal of Industrial Engineering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulating routing strategies of inbound calls at the Swedish emergency call center
(English)In: European Journal of Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1751-5254, E-ISSN 1751-5262Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Keywords
Call center management, Skills-based routing, Overflow routing, Pooling, Stochastic capacity, Discrete-event simulation
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33641 (URN)
Available from: 2018-05-17 Created: 2018-05-17 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, K., Olsson, L., Gidlund, M. & Andersson, U. Simulating traffic management strategies at the Swedish emergency call center.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulating traffic management strategies at the Swedish emergency call center
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

In telecommunication research, the assessment of strategic and operational performance has gained a lot of interest. So far, the variability within the operational research of telecommunication derives from the stochastic nature of call arrivals, call duration and abandonments. This study extends the stochastic drivers to capacity by incorporating agent behavior. In this study, we model a Discrete-Event-Simulation model of the Swedish emergency call service provider to assist the strategic issue of skills-based routing. Because of the pull system, we designed skills-based routing using an event-dependent overflow setting with a fixed waiting time threshold, where calls become visible to extended agent classes after a threshold value, providing an advantage to primary idle agents to answer before idle secondary agents. Our model mimics the tail of waiting times better than conventional methods. Because of the accompanied calculation opportunities, the model has assisted both strategic and operational issues in the organization. In addition to practical implications, the study proves that the stochastic nature of agent behavior is crucial. From a queueing theory perspective, the study provides interesting routing effects for an event-dependent overflow setting using a fixed waiting time threshold in a combined “X-N-design”, previously unexplored in research.

Keywords
Call center management, Skills-based routing, Overflow routing, Stochastic capacity
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32270 (URN)
Available from: 2017-12-05 Created: 2017-12-05 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-9244-8870

Search in DiVA

Show all publications