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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


We consider cross-training in inbound call centers with non-stationary, uncertain arrival rates and global Service Level Agreements. We investigate the option of cross training a subset of agents so that they may serve calls from two separate queues, a process we refer to as partial pooling. We develop a simulation-based search heuristic that finds near-optimal schedules for a pool of two different queue types. We analyze the benefits of partial pooling and characterize the conditions under which pooling is most beneficial. We find that cross training a modest portion of the staff yields significant benefits even when cross training is costly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-329
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Quantitative Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this