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The application of theories in food distribution and inventory management is a good chance to achieve positive results and demonstrate high-quality services. Among the existing variety of models and approaches, managers are not always ready and able to pick up the most appropriate one because of the lack of knowledge, practice, or information. A successful application of queuing theory depends on a proper understanding of its concepts and terms so that this model can become a valuable tool in the hands of operations managers.
Queuing theory aims at solving problems that may occur because of queuing. In fact, waiting remains a considerable part of everyday life because some people want to wait to receive the best services or products, and some organizations cannot deal with a great number of clients at the same time (Gumus, Bubou, & Oladeinde, 2017). However, clients may not realize that while they spend their time in queues, the shelf life of products expires, influencing their quality.
Therefore, inventory managers should be ready to take the steps, promote safety among customers, and sell products without losing money. Such principles as First in First Out (FIFO) and Last in First Out (LIFO) help to place products in accordance with their expiry dates, prices, and demand. However, the way of how products and food are introduced in the restaurant business and in supermarkets varies. Clients cannot check the quality of products or their expiry date when they wait for their orders in restaurants. Therefore, FIFO and LIFO may not be the only approaches to promote success in inventory management.
The peculiar feature of queuing theory is its variety of scheduling policies that may be used in operations management. The combination of inventory models with queuing theory promotes the creation of new standards and consideration of demand and lead time (Seyedhoseini, Rashid, Kamalpour, & Zangeneh, 2015). A priority procedure can be used as the mechanism to represent the order of services and selection from a queue (Dike, Obiora & Eze, 2016).
As well as customers with high priority should be served first, products that are defined as prioritized should be offered or used first. For example, there is an extensive supply of fresh fish to a restaurant. This product cannot be stored for long. Therefore, restaurant employees, including administrators, waiters, and cooks, should use the priority model and offer fish as the main meal of the day.
Priority queuing can be divided into two main categories. On the one hand, priority queues may be non-preemptive when services and operations cannot be changed, and, on the other hand, they can be preemptive when service or operations may be interrupted because of the presence of a higher-priority aspect (Jolai, Asadzadeh, Ghodsi, & Bagheri-Marani, 2016). In this case, a preemptive priority approach should be applied to operations management because it is not enough to change the menu but also to attract the client’s attention and prove that this decision has a reasonable and safe meaning.
In general, the queuing theory has a serious impact on operations and inventory level management. Food and restaurant business deals not only with clients with whom it is possible to talk and explain something but with food and products those expiry dates cannot be changed or postponed. The application of FIFO or LIFO can be a good decision in some operations. Still, the use of the priority model expands the boundaries of what can be done when situations are unpredictable.
Dike, D., Obiora, V., & Eze, C. (2016). Improving congestion control in a data communication network using queuing theory model. Journal of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 11(2), 49-53. Web.
Gumus, S., Bubou, G. M., & Oladeinde, M. H. (2017). Application of queuing theory to a fast food outfit: A study of blue meadows restaurant. Independent Journal of Management & Production, 8(2), 441-458. Web.
Jolai, F., Asadzadeh, S. M., Ghodsi, R., & Bagheri-Marani, S. (2016). A multi-objective fuzzy queuing priority assignment model. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 40(21-22), 9500–9513. Web.
Seyedhoseini, S. M., Rashid, R., Kamalpour, I., & Zangeneh, E. (2015). Application of queuing theory in inventory systems with substitution flexibility. Journal of Industrial Engineering International, 11(1), 37-44. Web.