werkstuk-schimmel_tcm235-335266.pdf

werkstuk-schimmel_tcm235-335266.pdf - Deployment of express...

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Deployment of express checkout lines at supermarkets Maarten Schimmel Research paper Business Analytics April, 2013 Supervisor: René Bekker Faculty of Sciences VU University Amsterdam De Boelelaan 1081 1081 HV Amsterdam Netherlands
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Preface This research paper is a compulsory part of the Master ’s program in Business Analytics at VU University Amsterdam. The goal of this course is to produce a paper that is geared towards a relevant business subject, based on mathematics and computer science skills learned during this study. I would like to thank my supervisor René Bekker, for his valuable support during the making of this research paper.
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Summary One of the most common complaints at supermarkets is the long queues and waiting times at checkout lines. Shorter perceived waiting times increases service experience, customer loyalty and potentially increases market share. The perception of waiting time is important, customers with fewer items can perceive a longer waiting time, because the amount of items a customer buys has an influence on the tolerance towards waiting. This is a reason to implement express checkout counter, so customers with a few items do not have to wait long in line. The range of possible expected waiting times depends on the worst and best case situations on queuing time. The waiting times are hard to determine exactly, but best and worst cases can be more easily identified. The worst case model assumes random selection of a queue when a customer arrives at checkout, and possible picks a line with a lot of waiting customers. The worst case is based on S times an M/G/1 queue, with S the amount of checkout counters. The best case assumes the perfect world, where customers always pick the line with the least amount of work, and go directly to an available counter, not leaving customers wait in another queue while a cashier is idle. The best case is based on a single M/G/S queue, with S again the amount of checkout counters. In practice, every counter has its own queue, suggesting that it functions as an M/G/1 queue. However, since customers join the shortest queue, or the queue with the least amount of work, it may also mimic an M/G/S queue. We have simulated a system where customers join the shortest queue. The results indicate that an M/G/S queue system is approached. With the models for best and worst case a limit on the amount of items a customer is allowed to bring to the express checkout can easily be calculated. The most important constraint is that a high load on the system should be assumed, since with lower loads a large range of amount of items is allowed and a high load finds a small allowed range. In stores in general it is preferred to have cashiers helping customers than being idle, making it a valid assumption. Using simulation a better limit can be found, especially with lower loads on the system; when there are multiple limit possibilities.
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  • Spring '12
  • NguyenXuanLong,JohnLafferty
  • Analysis of algorithms, Limit superior and limit inferior, Best, worst and average case, Worst-case scenario, Worst-Case Scenario series

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