Waiting in Line: Why Use a Single Line Queuing System

Smiley Service

customerThere is something about waiting that people just don’t like. The grueling boredom associated with it is what people hate the most. According to studies, the wait in a line feels longer as people overestimate how long they have been there.

The New York Times explains that expectations affect how people feel about standing in line. Uncertainties heighten the frustration of waiting, while reasons for interruptions or delays improve the mood of the experience. Using a traffic system counting and knowing the average wait time of each customer are important analytics for improving the waiting experience and all around operations.

Waiting and Waiting

How long people wait in line depends on several different factors, including the number of people in line, the numbers of servers, and the time it takes to serve each customer. For the most part, however, wait time is also affected by the queuing system. This is defined by the customer population source and the process or serving system in place.

Making the Line Move Faster

A common challenge in waiting lines is how to make it move faster to reduce waiting time. The single-queue concept is a much better choice, as it reduces the average wait time and is more orderly than multiple waiting systems.

Fairness in Line

A single line queue gives everyone roughly the same average waiting time. Customers are attended to fairly, or without getting lucky by picking the fastest line. They are served in a first come, first served fashion. This promotes fairness and improves the queue flow and service time.

Greater Efficiency with Single Line

The single line is often used because of its statistical efficiency. Queue flow speed is also significantly lower than the wait time of customers in a multiple-line system. If you have three or five service agents and a single queue, for example, the speed of the line flow can be improved by as much as 30 percent.

Apart from the choosing the single line system, it is also wise to implement electronic queuing methods inside your store. Give customers an idea of the estimated wait time. Reconfiguring multiple line systems into a single queue can satisfy customers and improve efficiency, too.

CMA Publishes Provisional Decision on Payday Loan Market


Payday LoanIn early October 2014, the UK’s competition authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), published its final proposals for the payday loan market. The concerns it investigated were first identified by the Office of Fair Trading’s 2012 compliance review into the payday loan sector, where it was identified that many lenders competed on the speed and convenience of providing the loan, and not on price.

Perhaps the most eye catching item in the report is the proposal for all lenders to be compelled to make information available to the major price comparison websites. Unless a lender is both shown on a price comparison site and includes a link to that site on their website, then under these proposals they will not be allowed to lend money. Forcing lenders to use these sites should both improve price competition and make it easier for new firms to enter the sector.

In its provisional report of June 2014, the CMA estimated that the lack of competition within the marketplace could be adding up to £10 to the cost of a £260 payday loan taken out over a three week period.

Other CMA proposals include:

• A requirement for loan lead generators to clearly explain their role to customers
• Increased transparency regarding lenders’ late payment fees and charges
• Measures to allow customers to compare the costs of loans without undergoing credit searches; thus, damaging their credit licence and record
• Development of real-time data sharing, allowing lenders to see if customers have obtained loans from other lenders
• Customers to be provided with statements showing all charges paid on all loans over the last 12 months, not just on the current loan

In all but the last of the above, the proposal takes the form of a recommendation to the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, to act in this area.

The CMA will now consult on its proposals, with submissions invited up to October 30, and will publish a final report around the turn of the year.

Simon Polito, Chair of the Payday Lending Investigation Group at the CMA, said: “Greater price competition will make a real difference to the 1.8 million payday customers in the UK. At the moment there is little transparency on the cost of loans and partly as a result, borrowers don’t generally shop around and competition on price is weak. By ensuring that there are accredited websites providing impartial, relevant and accurate information about payday loans, we can make it easier for customers to make comparisons and there will be a much greater incentive for lenders to offer lower cost loans and to win borrowers’ business.”

Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chief Executive of the trade association the Consumer Finance Association, welcomed the CMA findings, describing them as “sensible, proportionate proposals”.

NOTE: The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.

The Significance of School Uniforms

Smiley Service

school uniformIf you like going on the Internet for your daily news fix, chances are you’ve already come across a few bits about some students in America getting worked up about their dress codes. Apparently, some schools decided to ban certain clothes, and many of the students think it’s all part of a sexist agenda.

This is the kind of mess that makes school uniforms look like a good idea. School uniforms are doing school a huge favour by saving them from the embarrassing issues that plague similar institutions half a world away. But, what do they actually do to students? If everything in school is meant to train students for life in the real world, what are identical clothes training them for?

According to school psychologists, uniforms teach students plenty of lessons, but the most important ones are that they allow students to form an identity, and set their expectations for the real world. Industry veteran explained that uniforms show other people that they’re part of an organisation, making the wearers gain more credibility and instant camaraderie with people of the same group.

It’s a harsh lesson, but students need to know that not everything can go their way once they’re the ones sending out resumes. Even though modern companies encourage creativity, the fastest way of finding success is fitting into the established group. Businesses value cohesiveness just as much as skill, because hiring a genius is hardly worth it if makes everyone else quit their jobs.

Another reason for implementing a school uniform – and some say this is the most important benefit – is the belief that it reduces peer pressure. Most incidents of bullying and insecurity come from the denigration of what the victim is wearing upon initial contact with other people. Schools with uniforms hardly have this problem.

There seems to be a lot of wisdom behind the implementation of uniforms, though, not everybody will be willing to adopt them. They can serve as a helpful reminder that school is just the start of everything, and not where anyone should peak.

Fashion: Echoing Street Trends

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Fashion has always been the echo of both prevailing popular culture and counterculture. The meteoric emergence of the punk rock attitude of the 70’s, the alternative boom of Generation X in the 90’s, along with the modern flair of the generation’s Millennial all come with an inherent sense of style and sensibilities.

people passing byA Hunger for Identity

Every generation comes to a point where they inevitably want to make their own stamp on fashion and culture as a whole. This hunger for identity causes the youth’s hunger for a distinct identity to be satiated. To this end, they become as creative and outlandish as they want to be. Sometimes, they work and become trends and turn into mainstays of pop culture. Oftentimes, however, the results are comical fads that die out as quickly as they sprout.

A Never ending Cycle

Inevitably, these fashion trends grow big enough and gain mainstream acceptance. Soon they become so big that they become the prevailing norm. Yet again, they get so worn out andpassé that they cause the next generation in line to rebel against it and counter it with their own unique culture reflected in their music, art, fashion styles.

So continues the continuous cycle from one cultural trend to another. It is only natural, after all, for those at the grassroots level to sniff out the bandwagon riders who simply want to make money out of a hip cultural phenomenon.

Constants Through Changes

While the shape and form of fashion and youth culture trends keep changing, there are still some things that essentially stay the same. According to companies that offer Brixton Clothing items, many brands with their own unique identity can endure through the changes of the times simply because they do not hop onto bandwagons and redefine themselves in accordance to the whims of the prevailing winds.

Fashion has always been a mirror of youth culture. Their attitude reflects in what they wear and how they wear their clothes, along with how they carry themselves. Current fashion is an entity shaped with the distinct mark of every generation of the past.

The Path to Progress

Teacher's Table

educationProgress is only possible when people start working together towards a common goal, and the rule stays the same regardless if it’s individuals or entire groups. The latter is much more difficult to accomplish, but the rewards of success are also much greater.

Coming Together

This is why the Mapua Institute of Technology recently collaborated with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio. According to Mapua’s President and CEO Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, the partnership between the two schools is all about developing an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset in the student body.

The school will be implementing this new mindset by creating an “invention center” similar to the one CWRU has. This is a special laboratory wherein students, faculty, and alumni can invent as creatively as they can. Through this center, students are supposed to be able to think about the needs of society and work with other people in finding ways to solve them.

The success of engineers is always good news for everyone else. There are a few questions surrounding the effectiveness of this plan in real world application. What are the realistic expectations of the program, and where is it more likely to succeed?

Realistic Expectations

The most likely scenario that will come out of this partnership – at least for the first few years – is Mapua catching up with the standards of CWRU. The only question is how fast Mapua can match their American partners to make the relationship look more like a partnership.

According to experts observing the situation, the renowned Philippine school can find equal footing with CWRU in as soon as four to five years, depending on the management of the program. People need to remember that Mapua is the top engineering schools in the Philippines and a high-ranking engineering university in the Asian landscape.

The four years will serve more as a getting to know period for the students going into the center to get their feet wet in the new system. They’ll get the hang of it before long, and people will start seeing the new creative solutions to many of the infrastructure problems that Filipinos face every day.