It is a basically a system mostly used by the businesses to control and manage the queues of their customers. The system can be designed to be very simple or complex, depending on the needs. Quite often, the most basic and simplest system will serve the needs of most businesses.
Back in the days when systems are not heavily utilized, businesses used to manage their queues manually. From standing in line, calling out to customers verbally, or issuing them with a handwritten paper ticket. In fact, nowadays issuances of handwritten paper tickets are still being used in some places like private medical clinics.
There are many types of queues available in today’s world. The most common one as listed below:
These are the types of queues which are manned by someone who is managing the queue. You can find such queues in retail shops, supermarkets, information counters and private medical clinics etc. Depending on the place, the ones managing the queues may or may not issue them a queue number. Most often than not, customers or users will simply form a line automatically, and the one serving them will summon everyone in the queue sequentially.
These are the types of queues which are not manned by anyone. Basically users simply form a queue and wait for their turn. You can find such queues in public areas like self served machines (ATM, bills payment kiosks), taxi stands or even public toilets. It is simply nurtured inside all of us to automatically queue in a first in first our manner. Though not frequent, it is in such queue where dispute may arise should the queue line be blurred. Such queues usually have a physical barrier built to allow people to queue within the barrier in a neat and organized fashion.
In such a queue, it is mostly separated from the normal queue. For instance, businesses may choose to create and have a dedicated separate queue only for entitled members or VIPs to enjoy express or faster service. This queue may or may not have any relation to the normal queue. For instance, business or events may choose to serve users from each queue in an alternate fashion or perhaps even prioritizing this queue over the normal queue.
You may have seen some customer care centre or even banks placing some kind of kiosk machine for users or customers to self-register themselves and take a queue number. This eliminates the need for human intervention, saving manpower resource. Some of the kiosks do not require any registration. Instead, users can simply choose the service they require and a queue number to the respective service counter will be issued. The kiosk can be of those standing type machine or even as simple as a tablet device.
Particularly for self registration kiosk, some actually do request for your mobile number for the purpose of notifying you of the queue status via SMS after you have obtained your queue number on premise. This allows customers or users to wait anywhere else nearby and be notified when their turn is nearing.
Somewhat similar to Hybrid Queue except mobile or virtual queue allows you to join the queue directly from your mobile phone. This will either be through a mobile app or SMS. For mobile app, it is usually more interactive for users unlike via SMS where users will need to key in some special format text before sending it out. Using an app is preferred as customers or users will be able to view their queue status in real time. In the case of SMS, users will have to wait periodically to receive updates on the queue status. This is becoming a very popular approach due to the convenience as it allows customers or users to join and view the queue status remotely from just anywhere even before reaching the premises.
This system has become so powerful such as it has been deployed to almost every business which involves customers waiting for services. Without the use of such system, it can be quite chaotic and tedious to manage and control queues. Queue management system is used to ensure the queue are controlled in a well and organized manner. Customer only needs to take the queue number and then later monitor the counter queue display panel for their turn. This eliminates the need of calling out to customers verbally or having to stand in line. With the queue ticket, customer can simply sit and wait around the premises.
However, to use or not to use the online or mobile queue solely depends on the business and their budget. Should they prefer to provide a much more convenient experience to customers, then the virtual or mobile queue function should definitely be considered. Reason being, it can provide customers benefit such as less waiting time, convenience and better user experience. In turn business could also enjoy the benefits such as more customer acquisition, retention & loyalty, and reducing dropout rates.
The queue management system is usually deployed where there are queues to be managed and control. This does not necessarily mean only for businesses, but it can also be deployed during events with long queue of people. Some may have the confusion that the system can only be deployed to businesses with long queues. This is not the case as even for short queues, there still needs to be a system in place so customers can be conveniently called in sequence and in a systematic manner.
There are really many places where we can use the queue management system. Some of those would be places like customer service with multiple counters, medical clinics and hospital, restaurants and F&B outlets, shopping mall and retail outlets, telecommunication service counter, barbers, salon, amusement park, banks and really so much more.
If you would like to know more how an online queue can be used for those places as mentioned above, you may want to read more on How It Works
Generally, the queue management system works in the following manner:
1) Customer request for a queue ticket for the system. The ticket could be issued from an integrated touch screen ticket dispenser or just a thermal ticket dispenser. At times, neither is used but the queue ticket is being issued by an officer sitting at the information counter. If the business has an online or mobile queue feature, then customer may also join the queue from mobile app or SMS, which is this case they may receive the queue number through the mobile app or via SMS.
2) Depending how the system is being configured and which queue management solution the business is using, it may issue the ticket number in sequence or based on which queue channel the customer is joining. The queue channel is usually categorized by the type of service. For instance in a bank, they may have a service for account opening, cash deposit or investment. Customers who came to the bank for cash deposit service may receive a queue number starting with 2xx while those coming for investment may receive a queue number starting with 3xx.
3) Once customer has obtained the queue ticket, they will then wait around the premises and monitor for the queue number on a queue number display panel. The display panel could be a counter display panel or a centralized display panel. Counter display panel would meant, the customer is usually already assigned to a specific counter written on the queue ticket. They will only need to monitor the queue number of the display panel of the counter which they are assigned to. For the centralized display panel, basically all the counters queue status information would be made available on a single screen. The screen will have some segments to indicate the queue status of the different counters. This display panel is usually a full screen LCD or integrated module with the TV.
4) Over at the counters section or the ones serving the queue, he or she will have keypad or button console installed where the button is press to summon the next person in queue. Some simple system could simply have a single button to call on the next person in queue. Some sophisticated system could have much more options to press such as being able to transfer a person to another queue or call back the number which has missed the queue. Basically, customers who has been served will actually enter the “served list” on the backend system whereas those has missed the queue will enter the “missed list”. This bucket of missed list will also be displayed on the LCD display panel so people would know if their number has missed a turn. Depending on how the business runs their operations, some may even require the person to take another queue ticket if they have already missed the queue for quite some time.
5) Some of the system also has a feedback management system integrated with the queue management system. Basically customer could provide their feedback through the kiosk or simply through their mobile device.
6) Most of the queue management systems also have an integrated reporting and analytics feature. This basically means business could retrieve the information and statistics of the people who join their queue, analyse and study the data and make certain improvement to their business functions. For example, they may notice a surge on the number of people joining the queue for cash deposit operation. This may prompt them to increase the manpower at this counter to reduce the queue and faster response to customers.
Note that the above is only a general guideline. Depending on the business industry and background, it may differ slightly for a hospital queue system, F&B queue system, entertainment outlet queue system, banking queue system and others.
Some of the more advance queue management systems also include features like sensor based queuing and through video camera recognition.
It uses the iBeacons technology for the sensor to be able to identify customers and they can then be queued automatically.
This is mostly used in airport where the video camera is used along with sophisticated programmed software to recognize and analyse the crowd.
Through such technologies above, it can further aid the queue management system to collate information such as the number of people entering a premises, the length of the queue, number of people in the queue, the average waiting time for each person in the queue, total waiting time, the frequency of people joining the queue and at which period is the highest peak. All these information can then later be translated back through the prediction algorithm within the system to give businesses or even customers more accurate queue information.
Technically speaking, almost all of us have used the queue management system one way or the other. If you have ever waited in a queue with an assigned queue number, chances are you have already used the system. This may not only be for customers as such systems are also used in events and functions with large audience and users. For those ad-hoc events which involves long queue of people, the event organizer may choose to instead allow online queuing only through an app. This not only reduces the hardware cost but also provide more convenience to users when being able to join and monitor the queue remotely all from their mobile device.
For those business owners who are looking for a queue management systems in Singapore, we have compiled the complete list of vendors in Singapore for your ease of reference along with their contacts information. You may wish to visit their websites to know more on their products. Singapore based companies only (not in any order):
Contact: email@example.com | Website: http://outrich.com/qms/
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.knkit.com/queue-management-system/
Contact: email@example.com | Website: https://awebstar.com.sg/queue-management-system.html
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://elegancesystem.com/products/q-media-system-singapore/
Contact: email@example.com | Website: https://www.signalgryd.com/catalogue/#queue-number-system
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.qtechqueueingsystem.com/
Contact: email@example.com | Website: http://www.arrowlogic.com.sg/queue-management-system/
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.evantek.com (Our Solutions -> Nemo Q)
Contact: email@example.com | Website: http://www.stoval.com.sg/QMS.html
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.trust-touch.com.sg/services/its-for-business-management-software/queue-management-system/
Contact: email@example.com | Website: http://www.pcompl.biz/index.php/solutions/industry-specific/clinic-management-erp-software-solution
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.relsystems.net/
Contact: email@example.com | Website: http://www.attsystemsgroup.com/queue-management-system/
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.solution-space.com/solutions/eqms/
Contact: email@example.com | Website: http://www.bluebelldiscovery.com
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: https://www.foodicon.com.sg/queue-number-system
Should you require more information on queue management system, you may also refer to this link.