Partial cross training in call centers with uncertain arrivals and global service level agreements

Thomas R. Robbins, Terry P. Harrison, D. J. Medeiros

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Inbound call center operations are challenging to manage; there is considerable uncertainty in estimates of arrival rates, and the operation is often subject to strict service level constraints. This paper is motivated by work with provider of outsourced technical support services in which most projects (client specific support operations) include an inbound tier one help desk subject to a monthly service level agreement (SLA). Support services are highly specialized and a significant training investment is required, an investment that is not transferable to other projects. We investigate the option of cross training a subset of agents so that they may serve calls from two separate projects, process we refer to as partial pooling. Our paper seeks to quantity the benefits of partial pooling and characterize the conditions under which pooling is most beneficial. We find that low levels of cross training yield significant benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2007 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2007
Event2007 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Dec 9 2007Dec 12 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - Winter Simulation Conference
ISSN (Print)0891-7736


Other2007 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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