Author Topic: Improving Waiting Line Characteristics in Sales Points Using Computer Simulation  (Read 2604 times)

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Author : Said Ali Hassan El-Quliti
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Volume 2, Issue 9, September-2011
ISSN 2229-5518
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Abstractó This paper focuses on predicting and economically scheduling the number of sales executives in sales points for Mobily Company for increasing customer satisfaction. The main goal is to determine the suitable number of workstations in order to decrease customers waiting time while considering the cost as a vital factor. An Arena simulation model is built; the best scenario attained a net profit of SR 1,509,506 with an average total system time of 453 seconds with a decrease of 72% compared with the current situation. Number of unsatisfied customers was decreased by 77%, number of satisfied customers increased by 374%, and net profit increased by 6.2% despite increasing the number of employees.

Index Termsó Waiting lines, Mobily Company, Sales points, Modeling and Simulation,  Customer satisfaction.

THE major concern of Mobily Company   sales points is to reach higher customer satisfaction by decreasing total time in system for the customer. Customer satisfaction is a top priority for all service companies. Customers who arrive to find all servers busy generally join one or more queues (or lines) in front of the servers.
1.1   Importance of the Study
The impact of social identity on consumer satisfaction was investigated by Al Otaibi [1]. It revealed that customers' relationship is a topic that has attracted much attention in the service literature. This growing attention was based on the assumption that building committed customer relationships could result in customer satisfaction, patronage and loyalty.
Customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator between companies and has increasingly become a key element of business strategy. Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting non-customers. Measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the organization is at providing products and/or services in the marketplace.
In Mobily Company, the study and analysis of the sales points is very important to determine the state of customer satisfaction. Loosing a single customer is considered a disaster. If a customer waits for a long time in the queue to be served, there is a possibility that he/she quits or leaves and that will build bad experience in his/her mind and this might lead to a higher probability of loosing others customers. Glanz [2] studied the impact of satisfied and dissatisfied customers on sales experiences, he reveals the following facts:
-   Satisfied customers will tell an average of 5 persons about the experiences.
-   Dissatisfied customers will tell about 9 persons.
-   Dissatisfying experience will be remembered 10 times, while a satisfactory experience will be considered as (normal)!
-   13% of the unsatisfied customers will share their unhappy experience with at least 20 persons!
- 10% of unsatisfied people never complain; they just switch to a competitor.
1.2   Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of this study are to:
Minimize waiting time in the queue.
Minimize total time in the system.
Minimize the number of unsatisfied customers.
Identify the required numbers of resources and their time schedules.

The first section in this paper is the introduction, importance of the study, its scope, and objectives. The second section contains literature review of related previous studies. Section 3 presents telecommunications worldwide comprising historical background, and an overview of the mobile phone, its culture, customs, and applications. Section 4 deals with telecommunications in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia containing historical background and indicators of information and communication technology. Section 5 deals with Mobily Company, describing its services and its sales point's process. Section 6 constitutes data collection and analysis, while section 7 describes the fundamentals of Arena software and details of the simulation model. Results of the simulation model for the base case and for different scenarios are presented in section 8. The last section includes conclusions and recommendations for future research.
Al-Nasser [3] indicated a significant difference between Europeans and Saudi Arabiansí satisfaction with service attributes. Overall, this study was a first step towards a better understanding of the impact of social relations on the evaluation of service outcomes. This research concentrated mainly on customerís satisfaction, which is considered to be a major and occasionally serious problem in the area of marketing. There is no doubt that many companies have lost their competitive advantage because they neglected to meet the specific needs or requirements of the customer. Customer satisfaction is an essential factor in improving competitive advantage. In this research, the author measured five factors: Quality requirement, Service Performance, Relationship, Price, and Invoice. These were measured from the customerís point of view, and as to whether or not the customer was satisfied, and to what specific areas their strength and weaknesses lied. This case study was applied on SABIC (Saudi Basic Industrial Corporation) company which is a well known global petro-chemical company operating world-wide.
The analysis of performance of SABIC indicated that the company's performance was exceptionally excellent in quality services and relationship aspects. However, there were a number of areas where the company was giving less attention than others. These areas were: product packaging, processing complaints and technical support, stabilizing prices, application of EDI and the flexibility of the invoice schedule, long-term business relation with customers, and revision of price structure.
Another research done by Omer [4] examined the relationship between time orientation and time allocation. In the absence of a widely used measure of time orientation, a questionnaire was first   developed to assess the main aspects of time orientation. Time allocation was measured using a 24 hour time diary over one week. Because time  allocation could  be affected by a  number of exogenous and endogenous   variables , a  narrow sampling  method was  adopted  where age,  gender,  employment  and  education were controlled. Apart from time orientation itself, culture was chosen as an exogenous variable to affect both time orientation as well as time allocation. Culture was included in the research design by taking a sample of individuals from two nationalities, Saudi and British living in two different countries, Saudi Arabia and Great Britain.

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