Worker interacting with Equipment
When a person and equipment operate together to perform a given set of tasks, interest focuses on the efficient use of both the person' time and the equipment's time. When the working time of the operator is less than the equipment run time. a worker-machine chart is a useful device in analysis. If the operator can operate several pieces of equipment. the problem is to find the most economical combination of operator and equipment, such that the combined cost of the idle time of the equipment and the idle time for the worker are at a minimum.
Worker-machine charts are always drawn to scale. the scale being time as measured by length. Exhibit S to.S gives an example of a worker-machine chart in a service setting. With many services, however, the "machine" that the worker interacts with is often a computer, which is simultaneously providing and cc'Iecting information (as in the case of making an airline or hotel reservation). In designing these types of processes, the goal is to provide the necessary information as quickly as possible to both the worker and the customer, and also to provide a format for collecting customer data that is both accurate and fast. This is accomplished by having significantly large computer capacity, which is relatively inexpensive in comparison to the cost of the worker.