# Ocala Software Systems operates a technical support center for its software customers. If customers have installation or

## Question:

Ocala Software Systems operates a technical support center for its software customers. If customers have installation or use problems with Ocala software products, they may telephone the technical support center and obtain free consultation. Currently, Ocala operates its support center with one consultant. If the consultant is busy when a new customer call arrives, the customer hears a recorded message stating that all consultants are currently busy with other customers. The customer is then asked to hold and a consultant will provide assistance as soon as possible. The customer calls follow a Poisson probability distribution, with an arrival rate of five calls per hour. On average, it takes 7.5 minutes for a consultant to answer a customer’s questions. The service time follows an exponential probability distribution.
a. What is the service rate in terms of customers per hour?
b. What is the probability that no customers are in the system and the consultant is idle?
c. What is the average number of customers waiting for a consultant?
d. What is the average time a customer waits for a consultant?
e. What is the probability that a customer will have to wait for a consultant?
f. Ocala’s customer service department recently received several letters from customers complaining about the difficulty in obtaining technical support.
If Ocala’s customer service guidelines state that no more than 35% of all customers should have to wait for technical support and that the average waiting time should be two minutes or less, does your waiting line analysis indicate that Ocala is or is not meeting its customer service guidelines? What action, if any, would you recommend?

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