As described in detail in Chapter 5 capacity is the output of a process or facility over a given time period. For a manufacturing plant, examples of capacity include: televisions per week, barrels of oil per year and gallons of laundry detergent per month. For a service operation capacity is usually measured over shorter time periods, because time is more critical due to the customer's interaction with the process. Examples here would include customers per hour in a restaurant calls per hour in a call center and guests per hour at the front desk of a hotel.
Capacity utilization, as also decried in Chapter 5, defines what percentage of the available capacity is actually being used. For example, a call center might have 1,200 workstations but on a given day, only have 600 of them staffed with operators. In this case, the call center would be working at 600/ I,200 or 50 percent capacity utilization that day.