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An ordered collection of persons or things in which one is serviced after another. For example, persons may form a queue to buy tickets to the cinema. Likewise, an employee may form a list of tasks to be done each day and perform them each in turn. The word queue is most common in Britain and the Commonwealth; the equivalent in American English is waiting line or simply line.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


the build-up of customers who are delayed while waiting for service. Queuing can occur in a retail outlet where shoppers queue at supermarket checkouts or cars queue on petrol station forecourts. Similar queuing problems occur in factories where components queue to be processed on machines.

Variability in the demand for service and the variable time to complete service makes it difficult to judge the level of service to provide for customers. Where numerous service channels are provided, customers will experience few delays even when many customers arrive simultaneously for service. On the other hand, providing numerous service channels involves large labour costs, as in the case of supermarket checkout staff or bank clerks, or large investment in physical facilities, such as tanker berths or airport runways.

Queuing models employing statistical techniques can be used to analyse queues and to balance the cost of resources used to provide service against the cost of the time lost by customers while waiting for service.

These models consider the number of potential customers; the likely rate at which they arrive; whether they arrive singly or in batches; the number of parallel queues; maximum queue length; order of service (first come, first served or prioritized); number of servers; likely service time; and whether customers are served singly or in batches. For complex queues, SIMULATION techniques may be employed to decide the level of service to provide and how to organize the service facilities. See BALK, MULTIPLE CHANNEL-SINGLE PHASE.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
Considering the appeal of the Krispy Kreme waiting line, it would not be surprising to find professional queuers in the line to increase the image of a hard-to-get product and make customers want to join the line.
The new money will largely go to those states that have failed to do their part (since they tend to have the longest waiting lines), removing incentive for states to contribute.
Yet, almost every hospitality organization relies on waiting lines to match its serving capacity with the number of guests who want service.
When the waiting lists for that surgery have grown too long, as happened in 1990 and 1997, the Ontario ministry of health has expanded surgical capacity and quickly shortened the waiting lines.
Express "one basket" or cash only waiting lines are familiar to supermarket customers throughout the world.
There were no waiting lines for the restrooms because both women's and men's facilities were open to all the men in attendance.
The Slovak Spectator visited the new premises of the Foreigners' Police department in the Vajnory district, which opened on March 19.Everybody visiting the Foreigners' Police department in Petrzalka can remember the old police office building divided into two parts for foreigners coming from non-EU countries and EU citizens, and long waiting lines in front of the former in particular.After several postponements, the department finally moved to Regratska Street in the Vajnory district, opening its doors on March 19.The building is pretty nice and the waiting area is a lot bigger, so more people can wait here," Milan Dogo from Serbia told The Slovak Spectator.
Speaking on state TV's morning talk show, Pamborides shocked the hosts when he admitted that doctors still receive under-the-table money to help patients receive treatment faster, a notorious practice stemming from the inefficient systems that created endless waiting lines for patients.
"During curfew-hours periods, we literally had to leave our houses the minute the curfew was lifted near dawn to be able to catch waiting lines," Fallaha recalled.
"In this way, we are cutting waiting lines, saving customers' time and money, improving the quality of the service and making doing business easier," the prime minister said at the promotion of the new system Tuesday.