Journal Article

Forecasting for capacity management in call centres: combining methods, organization, people and technology

Nicola Saccani

in IMA Journal of Management Mathematics

Published on behalf of Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Volume 24, issue 2, pages 189-207
Published in print April 2013 | ISSN: 1471-678X
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1471-6798 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/imaman/dpr027
Forecasting for capacity management in call centres: combining methods, organization, people and technology

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Though call centre management has gained increased attention in recent years, call load forecasting for capacity management still offers many opportunities for advancing research and business practice. This paper takes an integrated view of demand forecasting in call centres, so that in addition to the mathematical dimension, we consider three others that are important when designing and implementing a forecasting process, namely, the organizational dimension, people behaviour and information technology. An action research study in a multi-client call centre organization is presented. Our findings allow us to indicate some design principles for the four dimensions (method, organization, people and technology), and we show that simple but rigorous methods, such as the one described in the forecasting framework we develop, can bring substantial improvements. Transparency and understanding of the method by stakeholders are also required; so is a structured process, with clear responsibilities and authorities, as well as enhanced communication and information sharing in order to limit potential conflicts. Finally, information tools should be designed to support the forecasting process through ease of use and formalization of judgemental adjustments, thereby contributing to forecasting accuracy and increasing the credibility of the process outcome.

Keywords: call centre; forecasting; capacity management; organizational process; action research; judgement

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Mathematics

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