A Case Study of Batching in a Mass Service Operation

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Journal of Operations Management




Job batching is used extensively in manufacturing and the relevant theoretical considerations have been well-researched. However, while batching is also employed in mass services, it is not clear to what extent the manufacturing theory may be transferred. A single case study of a court scheduling service system with embedded instances of batching was studied to address this question. The findings and analysis of the case indicate that while the factors that affect batching in manufacturing still apply, so do additional factors. The net effect is a broader set of considerations which influence the determination of when batching is desired in mass services and how big batches should be. Definitions of these factors, their relationships with batch size, and testable hypotheses are offered.