Production scheduling -- Mathematical models, Production management, Operations research -- Case studies, Call centers -- Management
Research Data Design (RDD) Inc. uses commissioned survey takers. They used to set their commissions on a flat per completed survey for a given project. The problem was that at the beginning of the survey when there were no demographic restrictions people would be working hard and motivated to come to work, but at the end of the survey, when the demographic restrictions were building up, it got a lot harder. Employees would be unwilling to work since they knew it was going to be difficult to get commissions.
So they changed it, at the beginning of the survey the commission rates are low, at the end of the survey the commission rates get higher to motivate people at the end of the project to find those last remaining hard to find people.
The problem is that they assign people to multiple projects at a time and they set how many hours in a day a person must at least attempt to try to get completed surveys.
The issue that needs to be solved is: how to set the schedule each day (the commission rates change each day based on how little a number of surveys are still needed) in such a way that the opportunities (possible commission rates/day) are evenly distributed among the survey takers and still providing adequate coverage to the projects.
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Brúlé, Alain; Eisenhauer, William; Komonchaisak, Phasin; Pringsulaka, Proadpran; and Punayangkool, Srisak, "Call Center Scheduling: Research Data Design Inc." (2002). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 1487.