The business-travel department of American Express is facing rapid growth in demand but is plagued with overstaffing in some offices because of the broad distribution of client demand. Management's challenge is to reduce costs in local offices while maintaining a high level of service. One alternative under consideration is a centralized regional business-travel center to handle reservation functions for up to 20 other Amexco offices. This case gives students the opportunity to apply queuing theory to a practical situation. Normally, in order to facilitate the numerous calculations required, it is used with the UVA “QUEUE” program.
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