Note on Waiting Lines: Variability, Utilization, and Inventory

by: Eric Svaan

Publication Date: July 2, 2012
Length: 6 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-242

Core Disciplines: Operations Management/Supply Chain

Partner Collection:

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Have you ever stepped into line at the grocery store and wondered how long you would be waiting there? This note answers that question by describing the average wait time an item is expected to spend in queue given different input values for service time, inter-arrival time, and the number of service channels (e.g., the number of checkout lines at the grocery store). This note is accompanied by a spreadsheet that allows students to practice the VUT equation with these different input values.