demand and capacity mismatch

By Steven | January 8, 2020

We may still remember as we were standing at end of a long line in a department store waiting for a cashier to check out our groceries, or sitting beside an empty table waving to a busy waitress to come over and take our orders. In the department store, we were already ready to pay for our goods which placed in our shopping carts. While because the cashier was not ready to serve us, we had to waste our time in waiting the service from the cashier. Moreover, when we finally moved into the famous restaurant in lunch hour with empty stomach and luckily enough in finding an empty table, we were so desire to have our food ready in the next minutes. However, ten minutes later, we were still waving desperatly to the super busy waitress who just had no spare hand for new customers. Those are not individual cases happening just in service inducstry, but look like happening everywhere, compounding with the advancing of information technologies. IT information system becomes not only business key success factor, but also core business function. Ranging from ordering, sales, marketing to making business decisions, are all managing by IT systems. The working flow in a typical business is illustrated below:

Users request services – register students, ask for sales reports, order additional storage – to IT personnel. Those IT people will then design / deploy / operate IT systems to fulfill users service requests. The IT system, then, send the results back to IT people and, those IT staff will further forward the results generated by IT systems to users. The IT people is taking over the role in connecting Users and IT system. They will translate users’ requests into the language understand by IT systems, and also translate the results with the IT systems back to information communicated by human users. Where the IT people (resources) would easily become the bottleneck on capacity management. With 10+ years in BI field, I’ve noticed inefficiency in capacity management, where customers’ demand and capacity are often mismatched. To solve that, many companies tend to additional capacity through outsourcing (offshore). However, increased operational costs by extra capacity would not touch the mismatch issue at all. Automation, another populate alternation toward the issue, would be next to impossible due to the difficulty in automating irregular routine procedures. Hence, I will illustrate a Just-In-Time(JIT) system by leveraging NLP in processing customers’ requests (orders), then transform users’ requests into automated sequence tasks. The input will be online chat or email. The system then will ensure an order be execute whenever resources (hardware, software or data) are ready.

comments powered by Disqus