Question

Approximately 40 percent of a medical clinic's weekly incoming calls for doctors' appointments occur on Monday. Due to this large workload, 20 percent of the callers receive a busy signal and have to call back later. The clinic has one clerk for each two departments to handle incoming calls. Each clerk handles calls for the same departments all week and thus is familiar with the doctors' hours, scheduling practices, and idiosyncrasies. Consider the following alternatives to solve this problem:
• Continue the present system, which results in some customer inconvenience, loss of business, and perceived poor service. About 1000 patients attempt to call the clinic on Mondays.
The clinic has 50,000 patients in all.
• Expand the phone lines and add more people to handle the peak load. The estimated cost for adding two more lines and two clerks is $60,000 per year.
• Install a computer to speed up appointments.
In this case, the peak load could be handled with the current personnel. The estimated cost to lease and maintain the equipment and soft ware is $50,000 per year.
• Expand the phone lines and ask people to call back later in the week for an appointment. Add two lines and two phone-answering clerks part time at $30,000 per year.
a. Analyze these options from the standpoint of an aggregate planning problem. What are the pros and cons of each option?
b. Which option do you recommend? Why?
c. How does this problem differ from the other aggregate planning problems above?


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  • CreatedSeptember 20, 2015
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