Boffins offer quick fix for queues

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Washington, June 2 (ANI): Scientists in Taiwan may have found the answer to a long standing problem - queues - in the theatre, cafes or post offices.

Business management professor Pen-Yuan Liao of the National United University in Miaoli, Taiwan, has devised a scientific formula he refers to as the "balking index", which is referred to by the Greek letter theta.

Liao has encapsulated theta as relating the expected queue length and the mean arrival rate in a given time period. Multiplying the balking index, the queue length, and the mean arrival rate gives you the number of frustrated customers who will leave their position in the queue in that time period.

"Estimating balking loss enables a store manager or other person in charge of staffing levels to determine the optimal number of servers by minimizing total cost, including service cost and balking loss," says Liao. He has successfully tested the formula in advising a fast food manager on how many staff to have serving at any given time depending on the balking index.

"By using this formula, approach, restaurants and other services that have queues can cut costs and improve customer loyalty," he says, "Customers benefit from much reduced queuing times."

No one enjoys queuing, so even small reductions in waiting time will result in better quality of service and lead to enhancing customer loyalty and so increased sales, Liao says. (ANI)

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