The concept of a queue management system emerged as a way to solve a problem in the way we provide services to our communities. More specifically, we set out to design various systems that run smoothly enough so that customers’ wait time and the staff’s idle time are as little as possible.
No matter the industry we are referring to, be it retail, hospitality, banking sectors, or medical services, a queuing system typically looks like this:
- The input population – the individuals (units) that become the customers of the queuing system;
- Arrivals – the individuals that enter the system seeking service;
- The queue – the line that houses the individuals who are waiting to be served;
- The service centre or facility is where the individuals benefit from a service. It can consist of one or more servers. In retail and hospitality, such services can include: sales clerks, pushcarts, tables (in restaurants), and checkout counters;
- The departures – the customers that leave the system.