Workforce Scheduling in Inbound Customer Call Centres with a Case Study
Call centres are an important tool that businesses use to interact with their clients. Their efficiency is especially significant since long queuing times can reduce customer satisfaction. Assembling the call centre work schedule is a complex task that needs to take various and often mutually conflicting goals into account. In this paper, we present a workforce scheduling system suited for small to medium call centres and adjusted to the needs of two real–world client institutions. The scheduling problem is to minimise the difference between allocated and forecasted number of staff members while also caring for numerous legal and organisational constraints as well as staff preferences. A flexible constraint handling framework is devised to enable rapid prototyping methodology used during the development. Based on it, two metaheuristics are devised for schedule construction: GRASP and iterated local search. Performance analysis and comparisons for these two methods are provided, on a real–world problem example. The devised system is successfully implemented in a real world setting of call centres at PBZCard, Croatian largest credit card vendor and PBZ (Intesa Sanpaolo), one of the largest Croatian banks.
KeywordsStaff scheduling Call centres GRASP Iterated local search
We would like to thank our colleague Ivana Horvat Čuka for her invaluable insights and expertise that greatly helped this research and Danko Kozar for building the graphical user interface.
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