Call Center Personnel Scheduling

February 1st, 2012

Client: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Team: Alex Grosjean, Brianna Bauer
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Siems
Year: 2011
Documents: Final Report, Presentation

Every month, the Treasury sends out roughly ten million physical checks for Social Security payments and other benefits. On average, it costs them about $1 apiece to send these checks via surface mail. As a cost saving method, the Treasury is now requiring these recipients to use direct-deposit methods, and will eventually cease to send out physical checks.

This is where the Federal Reserve’s GoDirect program comes in. GoDirect is both a call center and a website which helps the recipients switch over to direct deposits, which only cost about 9 cents per person. The return on investment for this project is expected to be ten years. The Call Center wishes to optimize the schedule of employees to handle these incoming calls; thus our goal is to design a model to minimize the cost associated with the call center.

The program we used when developing our model was the Premium Solver in Microsoft Excel. We used Excel because it is easily readable for the client and easy to change the inputs for given days. We had three types of variables, all symbolizing possible schedules for the employees, which are permanent full time, temporary full time, and temporary with a five hour shift. The schedule uses 15-minute intervals, with employees starting at 7:00 a.m. and able to arrive every thirty minutes until 9:30, and the last shift starts at 10:15 a.m.

Our constraints needed to ensure that the number of employees we schedule needs to be greater than or equal to the amount that are needed, which is based on the historical data we were given. We also needed to take into account the maximum seat capacity of 325, and make sure the numbers were both integer and positive. Our objective function minimizes the number of employees needed, which will minimize cost to the call center.

We concluded that the given a required number of permanent employees of 37, that the optimum number of temporary employees will vary based on the day of the week and time of the month. We took this into account in our model and have given the user the option to choose day of the week and the number of expected calls. From there our program will calculate the solution. We also found that the more 5 hour employees that the call center can hire, as opposed to full time, the better the solution will be.

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