Waiting Time

Posted in Operations and Supply Chain Terms, Total Reads: 955

Definition: Waiting Time

Waiting time is the time interval for which one has to wait after placing a request for an action or service and before the action/service actually occurs.

In operations, it is the time between the actual processes. The main aim of a company is to minimize the waiting time between the processes. At times, waiting time depends on how important a process is. This will tell how fast the request will be serviced or which request will be serviced first in case of multiple requests. The customer behaviour varies depending on the waiting time for a service. Eg – There maybe balking customers who may not join a queue due to its length. Or customers maybe reneging, leaving the queue after some time without taking the service.

Eg – Jobs waiting for their turn to be processes in a CNC machine. Here waiting time for a job in queue is the time taken for the job in front to be loaded, machined and removed from a CNC machine


Vehicles waiting at the toll plaza to get a toll receipt. Here waiting time for a vehicle in queue is the time for the vehicle in front to reach the poll booth, obtain the receipt and leave.


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