Committee Chair

Alp, Neslihan

Committee Member

Wigal, Cecelia; Sharp, Scott


Dept. of Engineering


College of Engineering and Computer Science


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a not-for-profit organization in health care financing with more than 4,300 employees and has a service area covering ninety five counties in Tennessee. The company now has three customer service divisions and the regional division is the biggest customer service division of the company.The objectives of this study are to evaluate the performance of the contact center of the regional division and improve its performance through the simulation while still maintaining the standard service level required by the BlueCross BlueShield Association. The simulation model was built by using Pro Model 2002 to represent the operation of the contact center.The two performance measures - the service level and percent agent utilizations-were evaluated through the simulation models.The results from the simulation model showed that the service level of the current contact center operation was 93.74% to 98.50%, which exceeded the required service level-80% of incoming calls answered in 30 seconds - while the average percent utilization of agents was low (48% to 63%).The improvement models were then created by reducing the number of customer service representatives (CSRs). Based on the output of simulation models,the contact center can reduce the number of customer service repr sentatives by 20% while still achieving the required standard service level of the Association.


There are a lot of people who have been helpful to me during my academic years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Neslihan Alp as my academic and thesis advisor, who has always advised and supported me through my years at UTC. Next, I wish to thank Dr. Cecelia Wigal whose guidance has been invaluable for this study.I would like to thank the Scott L. Probasco Jr. Chair of Free Enterprise and College of Engineering and Computer Science for awarding me graduate assistantships for the study in the master's degree program at UTC.I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. John Blake, the vice president, and Ms. Deanna Quinn, the manager of Creative Business Solutions at Business Engineering division, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for giving me the opportunity to conduct this study with the company. I wish to thank Mr.Scott Sharp, a senior operations consultant, and Mr. Kittipong Wattanawongsawang (Jack), an industrial engineer, who dedicated their valuable time for this study. Especially,I would like to thank Mr. Jack who has helped and supported me throughout this study.I also wish to thank the writing center at UTC for helping with this thesis,and all my friends in Chattanooga for their concern and support. Finally,I would like to thank my parents and Ms.Manasvinee Rawevorn for always giving me support and encouragement.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Health insurance--Customer services--Tennessee; Call center agents--Evaluation; Management--Simulation methods


BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee


Industrial Engineering

Document Type

Masters theses




ix, 90 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.2 .S574 2002