Eddie Davilla explains the importance of waiting line servers and their service facilities and how building a better understanding of them can help you to reach your goals.
- [Instructor] We encounter waiting lines everywhere and while we may just see every line as just another line, there are so many different aspects to lines that managers need to consider. Let's first think about the number of lines. What's the difference between a bank that has a single line that leads to all tellers versus a bank that has an individual line for each teller? When there's one line, the line may seem long, but we know it'll be fair. A person that got there before you will get taken care of first. The person behind you will go after you. When there are multiple lines, we get to choose a line. If we choose the fast line, we feel very happy. We made a good, if not lucky, decision. If we choose the slow line, we probably get very frustrated and even then, it's never a low stress system is it? We're constantly looking at the other lines to see if one of those will get us to the front faster. Single lines are typically so much better, low stress and fair. Although having a 15 item or less line at the grocery store can be very helpful when you have just a few items and you're in a hurry. The employee workspace is also important to consider. Employees need a good work environment in order to keep the waiting line system a calm and peaceful place. What the customer sees in your facility can also impact their waiting line experience. Let's go back to the bank. Have you ever gone to the bank, waited in the line, and then, perhaps, you got frustrated because the one bank teller was struggling to make customers happy while her coworkers just sat there at their desks? Seeing other workers that are not contributing can make a three minute wait feel like 20 minutes. Keep non-contributing employees out of the sight of your customers. Which of course brings us to the employees themselves. What they say, what they look like, and what they're doing can all impact the customer's perceptions of the waiting line system. Next, let's also consider waiting line systems where you take a number. A take a number system can waste lots of company time. Think of how it works. Every time a customer is done, the employee must call the next number. Number 47, number 47, number 47. Maybe they left. Number 48, number 48, perhaps they didn't hear the number. Number 49, finally we have a customer, but they're sitting down. We have to wait for them to get up and walk over to the employee's desks. That might take 10 or 15 seconds. That's a ton of time to waste between every customer. If we do have people take a number, how can we get them to not leave before we call their number? How can we have them come to the front of the line quickly? Also, how can we make a long line seem shorter? Some companies will give you weird numbers, like S104 and L303. If they're on L301, you may fee like your number's close, but in fact there may be 15 people in front of you. But to you, it feels like they're almost there. Whether you work at a doctor's office, a bank, an airport, or a restaurant, you're probably managing waiting lines sometimes. If you're managing these lines, don't forget. The number of lines, the work area, the waiting area, the things you do to make customers feel comfortable while they wait, these things can all impact productivity, customer perceptions, and employee satisfaction. Next time you go anywhere, ask yourself what could they be doing to decrease your frustration?
- Understanding operations management
- Making key inventory decisions
- Balancing holding costs and ordering costs
- Choosing a production strategy and facility layout
- Managing waiting-line systems
- Defining quality and improving quality
- Managing business processes