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Phoenix Computer

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 586
  • Category: Computers

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Phoenix Computer manufactures and sells personal computers directly to customers. Orders are accepted by phone and through the company’s website. Phoenix will be introducing several new laptop models over next few months and management recognizes a need to develop technical support personnel to specialize in the new laptop systems. One option being considered is to hire new employees and put them through a three-month training program. Another option is to put current customer service specialists through a two-month training program on the new laptop models. Phoenix estimates that the need for laptop specialists will grow from 0 to 100 during the month of May through September as follows: May-20, June-30, July – 85, August-85, and September – 100. After September Phoenix expects that maintaining a staff of 100 laptop specialists will be sufficient.

The annual salary for a new employee is estimated to be $27,000 whether the person is hired to enter the training program or to replace a current employee who is entering the training program. The annual salary for the current Phoenix employees who are being considered for the training program is app. $36,000. The cost of the three-month training program is $1500 per person, and the cost of the two-month training program is $1000 per person. Note that the length of the training program means that a lag will occur between the time when a new person is hired and the time a new laptop specialist is available.

The number of current employees who will be available for training is limited. Phoenix estimates that the following numbers can be made available in the coming months: March-15, April-20, May-0, June-5, and July-10. The training center has the capacity to start new three-month and two-month training classes each month; however, the total number of students (new and current employees) that begin training each month cannot exceed 25. Phoenix needs to determine the number of new hires that should begin the three-month training program each month and the number of current employees that should begin the two-month training program each month.

The objective is to satisfy staffing needs during May through September at the lowest possible total cost; that is, minimize the incremental salary cost and the total training cost. It is currently January, and Phoenix Computer would like to develop a plan for hiring new employees and determining the mix of new hires and current employees to place in the training program.

Case Problem 2: Phoenix Computer

1.The monthly cost of a new employee is $2,250 = $27,000/12. The training program is 3 months for a new employee and costs $1,500. So the total cost of hiring a new employee and training her/him to be a laptop specialist is $8,250 = 3($2,250) + $1,500.

2.The training program is only 2 months for current employees and costs $1,000. So a replacement employee will only need to be hired 2 months before the laptop specialist is needed in this case. So the incremental cost of putting a current employee through the training program is $5,500 = 2($2,250) + $1,000.

3.It is clear that 100 new employees will need to be hired either to become laptop specialists themselves or to replace current employees who will become laptop specialists. So the company’s monthly payroll cost will increase by $225,000 = 100($2,250) in September over January.

A linear program can be formulated and solved to minimize the cost of hiring and training over the period from February to August.

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