1997/1998 Quantitative Methods Colloquia
¾ All are welcome! ¾

Friday 11/14/97: Gary Templeton, School of Management, Syracuse University, "Development of the Organizational Learning Construct and Measure "

Friday 12/12/97: Fred Easton, School of Management, Syracuse University, "Dial '911':  Capacity Planning for a Police Department Dispatch Center"

Friday, 1/30/98: Professor William L. Maxwell, College of Engineering, Cornell University, “Insights into the Practice of Scheduling”

Friday 2/6/98: Mr. Robert Keller, Manager, Quality and Operations, Xerox Corporation, Dr. Jeffrey Karrenbauer, Vice-President of INSIGHT Management Support Systems, " Supply Chain Management"

Friday 11/14/97, 11:30 – 12:30, room 103 School of Management: Gary Templeton, School of Management, Syracuse University, "Development of the Organizational Learning Construct and Measure "

Summary: Organizational learning (OL) is an emerging concept in organization and management research. A literature review is performed to uncover the precursors, processes, consequences, and relevant contexts of the organizational learning concept. Although the literature on organizational learning is extensive, it has been found to be sparse with regard to an agreed-upon definition of the concept. To better facilitate and expediate organizational research that includes the construct, a theoretical background and methodology for developing a measure for organizational learning is described.  It is proposed that the operationalization of the OL concept be done without imposing a framework of understanding, because an agreed upon framework cannot be facilitated in the varying organizational contexts for analysis.  Instead, subprocesses supported in the literature should be individually measured and empirically evaluated in research so that further understanding about the relationship between organizational context and learning may advance.

Friday 12/12/97, 11:30 – 12:30, room 103 School of Management: Fred Easton, School of Management, Syracuse University, "Dial '911':  Capacity Planning for a Police Department Dispatch Center"

Summary: Each day, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Dispatch Center receives an average of 4,000 telephone calls from residents and visitors.  Approximately 28 percent of these are emergency 911 calls, calls from alarm and security companies, or calls from Police Officers; the balance are administrative (ADM) calls to a general 7-digit SDPD telephone number. Commonly, ADM callers wish to provide non-emergency information to public safety officers.

The center, one of the most technologically advanced systems in the country, aims to respond to at least 90 percent of all emergency calls within 20 seconds of the first ring. Unfortunately, the center’s performance with its ADM callers may be less than satisfactory. On average, the ADM dispatchers keep their callers waiting about 49 seconds. During certain times of the day, some ADM callers are queued for more than 6.5 minutes before reaching an ADM dispatcher.

The SDPD dispatch center, with an authorized staffing level of 87 dispatchers (some of whom are bilingual), wants to improve its performance with ADM callers.  However, it is unwilling to significantly degrade its emergency call performance.  Furthermore, as a public agency operating with a fixed budget, additional resources may be difficult to justify.

This presentation will review some of the challenges we've encountered in our pro bono project to help the SDPD Dispatching Center improve its performance with ADM callers.  The project has three major components:

1. FORECASTING:  Predict the number of arriving calls, hour by hour, over a relevant planning horizon, using call statistics provided by the SDPD dispatch center.

2. RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS:  Develop an efficient model that quickly estimates hour-by-hour performance for various call volumes and staffing levels, based on the current configuration of the dispatch center.

3. STAFFING & SCHEDULING:  Compare the effectiveness of traditional 10 hour/day watches (shifts) used by the dispatch call center with alternative employee schedules, determine the most effective way to deploy a fixed number of operators, and measure the incremental benefit of additional staff.

Friday, 1/30/98, 3:30 - 4:45, room103, School of Management: Professor William L. Maxwell, College of Engineering, Cornell University, “Insights into the Practice of Scheduling”

Summary: There are exciting developments in the use of software to help plan and control the flow of materials through both the factory and the entire supply chain.  Whereas five years ago there was only the hope that computers could be linked to MRP/DRP systems and perform some rudimentary scheduling, today users are requiring that scheduling be an integral part of such systems.  There are now upward of 100 commercial scheduling systems being marketed?it is a very active new area for the application of computers.

For the past 15 years Professors Conway and Maxwell of Cornell University have been working with industry and commercial users to develop the database structures, scheduling algorithms, and user interfaces necessary to bring scheduling systems to industry.

In this presentation, Professor Maxwell will share his insights into where industry has been in the area of scheduling, where it is now, and where it should be headed.  The presentation will also include a discussion of a system developed at Cornell in cooperation with industry.

Professor William L. Maxwell is the Andrew Schultz Jr. Professor of Industrial Engineering at Cornell University.  He is known for his early work on the theory of scheduling and his research on materials handling systems design.

Friday 2/6/98, 10:00-12:00, room 010 School of Management: Mr. Robert Keller, Manager, Quality and Operations, Xerox Corporation, and Dr. Jeffrey Karrenbauer, Vice-President of INSIGHT Management Support Systems, " Supply Chain Management"

Summary: This talk will present two perspectives on supply chain management.  Mr. Keller will will introduce students to supply chain management (SCM) at Xerox.  I will discuss how SCM fits  into the Corporate structure, our particular supply chain design,  its competencies, and factors that are critical for successful SCM.  In addition, there will be time set aside for an open dialog on general opportunities in SCM as well as general questions on SCM at Xerox. Dr. Karrenbauer will share his insights on directions and opportunities in SCM, particularly with respect to developments in information technology.