From the attached case study, determine the challenges faced by the Help Desk at BankUSA and suggest strategies to mitigate them.Using the data on call volume in the case, select a forecasting model to forecast the short-term demand. Justify why this model was selected over other forecasting models. Support your position.
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BankUSA: Forecasting Help Desk Demand by Day
â??Hello, is this the Investment Management Help Desk?â? said a tired voice on the other end of the
telephone line at 7:42 a.m. â??Yes, how can I help you?â? said Thomas Bourbon, customer service
representative (CSR). â??Iâ??ve got a problem. My best customer, with assets of over $10 million in
our bank, received his monthly trust account statement. He says we computed the market value of
one of his stocks inaccurately by using the wrong share price, which makes his statement $42,000
too low. I assured him we would research the problem and get back to him by the end of the day.
Also, do you realize that I waited over four minutes before you answered my call?â? said the trust
administrator, Chris Miami. â??Mr. Miami, give me the customerâ??s account number and the stock in
question, and Iâ??ll get back to you within the hour. Letâ??s solve the customerâ??s problem first. I
apologize for the long wait,â? said Bourbon in a positive and reassuring voice.
The Help Desk supports fiduciary operations activities worldwide by answering questions from
company employees, such as portfolio managers, stock traders, backroom company process
managers, branch bank managers, accountants, and trust account administrators. These internal
customers originate over 98 percent of the volume of Help Desk inquiries. Over 50 different
internal processes and organizational units call the Help Desk. Some external customers such as
large estate and trust administrators are tied directly to their accounts via the Internet and
occasionally call the Help Desk directly.
The Help Desk is the primary customer contact unit within fiduciary operations, employing 14
full-time customer service representatives (CSRs), 3 CSR support employees, and 3 managers, for
a total of 20 people. The 3 CSR support employees work full-time on research in support of the
CSRs answering the telephone.
The Help Desk handles about 2,000 calls a week, and the pressure to reduce unit cost is ongoing.
Forecast accuracy is a key input to better staffing decisions that minimize costs and maximize
service. The accompanying table shows the number of calls per day (Call Volume).
The senior manager of the Help Desk, Dot Gifford, established a team to try to evaluate shortterm forecasting. The â??Help Desk Staffing Teamâ? consists of Gifford, Bourbon, Miami, and a new
employee, David Hamlet, who has an undergraduate major in operations management from a
leading business school. This four-person team is charged with developing a long-term forecasting
procedure for the Help Desk. Gifford asked the team to make an informal presentation of their
analysis in 10 days. The primary job of analysis has fallen on Hamlet, the newly hired operations
analyst. Itâ??s his chance to make a good first impression on his boss and colleagues.
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