CruiseTime competes as a “no frills” Cruise Line offering an alternative for budget-sensitive vacationers who consider price to be an important factor in choosing a cruise line. Given this, CruiseTime has focused on ways to reduce cost in their operation.

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Description

Introduction: 

CruiseTime competes as a “no frills” Cruise Line offering an alternative for budget-sensitive vacationers who consider price to be an important factor in choosing a cruise line. Given this, CruiseTime has focused on ways to reduce cost in their operation. However, they have found that the quality of service that they provide their customers has suffered, in particular, their check-in process is “a mess”, as Manager of Check-in Operations Blaine Yee has described it. “The cycle time from when we see our first passenger arrive for check-in until we have taken the last passenger to their room has become too long. As well, some customers are finding that they are stuck in too many lines for too long. This is worrisome as it has reduced the number of referrals that we get from our customers.” Blaine has thus asked for your help in “making better use of our capacity – I know that we have enough capacity to get everyone through the process and to their rooms in a reasonable amount of time and with shorter waits, but we just aren’t using that capacity properly.”


Overview

The check-in process is conducted in a serial manner – customers complete one activity in the process before proceeding to the next. Often this, along with the general variability in service times at the activities, leads to line-ups in front of the different activities. Blaine has had the theory of constraints described to him, and has commented that “although some of the activities are more to blame than the others, there doesn’t seem to be one identifiable bottleneck – sometimes there will be lines in one area, and sometimes lines in another.” 


In the weeks before departure, passengers will have received an information package in the mail with a brief description of the steps for check-in as well as the documents that are required for check-in (many of which require completion by the passenger). Passengers are permitted to arrive for departure beginning at 11:00 am for check-in, and are required to arrive by 2:00 pm. (most are eager and arrive between 11:00 and 12:30); the checking-in of the passengers (see steps below) proceeds until the last customer is taken to their room. As Blaine describes it “…what we are trying to do is put a large amount of people through a sequential process in a short amount of time. We need help with managing the flows throughoutthe process as there are many areas that can serve as bottlenecks at any given time.” 


Instruction Files

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