AMCROSS message traffic analysis

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Virginia Tech

The American Red Cross (ARC) provides many valuable services. One such service is to provide 24-hour emergency communications for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families worldwide. AMCROSS is the communications network supporting this service. AMCROSS is managed by EMERCOMM, a unit of the Armed Forces Emergency Services (AFES) branch of the ARC. Due to tightening Department of Defense budget constraints, subsidies received by AFES are shrinking. This situation deems it necessary to evaluate the existing operations for possible enhancing modifications.

This project conducts performance analysis and system modeling to quantitatively understand important characteristics and patterns involving AMCROSS message flow. This understanding helps define an origin from which performance benchmarking and system improvement can evolve. The performance analysis quantitatively describes the message activity flowing in, out, and through the AMCROSS system, thus, establishing several viable message-handling metrics. The system modeling focuses on incoming telephone operating margins. The operating margins are determined with a mathematical model applying multi-channel queuing theory. The modeling results showed adequate telephone resources exist for current peak-hour conditions; however, increased caller traffic could leave customer service below acceptable standards. Model sensitivity analysis identifies potential cost savings for shortening the time required for an operator to receive a caller's message.

queuing, Red Cross