Get access

Forecasting Hourly Peak Call Volume for a Rural Electric Cooperative Call Center


B. Wade Brorsen, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078-6026, USA. E-mail:


This research forecasts peak call volume of a centralized after-hours call center for rural electric cooperatives to help the call center determine staffing levels. A Gaussian copula is used to capture the dependence among non-normal distributions. Using a centralized call center reduces costs by approximately 75% compared to having individual call centers at each cooperative. Adding cooperatives to the centralized call center is projected to further decrease costs per member. An out-of-sample forecasting exercise after the call center expanded validated the model's forecast that additional cooperatives could be added without a proportional increase in the peak number of calls. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.