Business process quantitative analysis and optimization for service industries

Lixiang Jiang, Florida International University


The total time a customer spends in the business process system, called the customer cycle-time, is a major contributor to overall customer satisfaction. Business process analysts and designers are frequently asked to design process solutions with optimal performance. Simulation models have been very popular to quantitatively evaluate the business processes; however, simulation is time-consuming and it also requires extensive modeling experiences to develop simulation models. Moreover, simulation models neither provide recommendations nor yield optimal solutions for business process design. A queueing network model is a good analytical approach toward business process analysis and design, and can provide a useful abstraction of a business process. However, the existing queueing network models were developed based on telephone systems or applied to manufacturing processes in which machine servers dominate the system. In a business process, the servers are usually people. The characteristics of human servers should be taken into account by the queueing model, i.e. specialization and coordination. The research described in this dissertation develops an open queueing network model to do a quick analysis of business processes. Additionally, optimization models are developed to provide optimal business process designs. The queueing network model extends and improves upon existing multi-class open-queueing network models (MOQN) so that the customer flow in the human-server oriented processes can be modeled. The optimization models help business process designers to find the optimal design of a business process with consideration of specialization and coordination. The main findings of the research are, first, parallelization can reduce the cycle-time for those customer classes that require more than one parallel activity; however, the coordination time due to the parallelization overwhelms the savings from parallelization under the high utilization servers since the waiting time significantly increases, thus the cycle-time increases. Third, the level of industrial technology employed by a company and coordination time to mange the tasks have strongest impact on the business process design; as the level of industrial technology employed by the company is high; more division is required to improve the cycle-time; as the coordination time required is high; consolidation is required to improve the cycle-time.

Subject Area

Management|Industrial engineering

Recommended Citation

Jiang, Lixiang, "Business process quantitative analysis and optimization for service industries" (2008). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3353584.