Essential Features of the Queuing Systems at the Customer Counter and Garage

A queue denotes a line of customers waiting to be served, representing a physical queue or virtual queue, where customers are placed on “hold” by a mobile operator. A typical service system is characterized by fluctuations in demands for services and simultaneous consumption and production of services, which might pose difficulty in managing. The varying arrival rates of customers and different service time requirements translate into a queue development (Bordoloi, Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons, 2019). The success of the Thrifty Car Rental queuing system depends on the effective execution of the following five essential features.

Calling Population; this is the population of potential customers to the customer counters and the garage (Bordoloi, Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons, 2019). The calling population for Thrifty Car Rental is composed of both local and international customers as well as business and tourist customers. 

Arrival Process; this is the nature of customer arrival in the service environment. Customers’ arrival at the service center is random and varies with the size of the market and nature of demand (Bordoloi, Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons, 2019). Similarly, the arrival of cars from clients to the garage is random.


Queue Configuration; this is the process of managing queues to ensure customers seamlessly get into the service environment (Wang & Zhou, 2017). Thrifty Car Rental has put into place a dedicated team to handle customers when they come in. Customers who had made prior arrangements are attended to by dedicated staff. Similarly, clients returning the cars are swiftly attended to so that the vehicles can be re-assigned to new customers. New walk-in customers are attended on a first-come, first-served basis.

 Queue Discipline: this is the order followed by service providers in offering service to customers (Bordoloi, Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons, 2019). In the case of Thrifty Car Rental, customers with prior arrangements are given priority. When they arrive, they are attended to by dedicated staff. For the cars being returned, the company has dedicated personnel to ensure there are no delays. Customers are served using the first-come, first-served approach.

Service Process: this is the process through which customers access the service (Bordoloi, Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons, 2019). Thrifty Car Rental has a proper process of serving customers. The customer attendants use the computer terminals and vary the number of staff to ensure service is offered in a streamlined and efficient manner.  For customers with prior arrangements, dedicated staff is on standby to ensure no delays occur. Besides, for the cars being returned, there is an elaborate process starting with confirmation of odometer reading, all the way to cleaning, refueling, and delivery to the customer. Payments have also been streamlined to ensure efficiency.

Reply to Students’ Discussion Posts

Discussion Post – Arlene

I like Arlene’sstatement thata waiting customer is a “potentially” lost customer. It is evidence that wait time significantly influences customer behavior and attitude and can generatively influence next purchase. Companies need to manage their queue effectively to avoid losing customers. As discussed, online booking effectively manages a queue system, where clients reserve the service before arriving at the business premises to reduce waiting time. Keep the customers happy by providing things like snacks in case they have to wait. 

Discussion Post–Marina

Hello Marina, you have excellently explored the five essential elements for a quieting system. I agree with your assertion that the arrival process can either be static and dynamic. The static arrival process occurs as a result of customer walking-in, to a service counter and can arise randomly and at varying intervals. The dynamic arrivals are primarily appointment-based, emanating from aspects such as online booking, and the best approach for managing a queuing system. 

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Bordoloi, S., Fitzsimmons, J, A, & Fitzsimmons, M, J. (2019). Service Management: Operations, Strategy, Information Technology, Ninth Edition. McGraw-Hill Education

Wang, J., & Zhou, Y. (2017). Impact of Queue Configuration on Service Time: Evidence from a Supermarket. The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.