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Keywords:

  • SERVICE DESIGN;
  • SERVICE ATTRIBUTES;
  • STAFF SCHEDULING;
  • SERVICE ECONOMICS.

Only a small set of employee scheduling articles have considered an objective of profit or contribution maximization, as opposed to the traditional objective of cost (including opportunity costs) minimization. In this article, we present one such formulation that is a market utility-based model for planning and scheduling in mass services (MUMS). MUMS is a holistic approach to market-based service capacity scheduling. The MUMS framework provides the structure for modeling the consequences of aligning competitive priorities and service attributes with an element of the firm's service infrastructure. We developed a new linear programming formulation for the shift-scheduling problem that uses market share information generated by customer preferences for service attributes. The shift-scheduling formulation within the framework of MUMS provides a business-level model that predicts the economic impact of the employee schedule. We illustrated the shift-scheduling model with empirical data, and then compared its results with models using service standard and productivity standard approaches. The result of the empirical analysis provides further justification for the development of the market-based approach. Last, we discuss implications of this methodology for future research.