Three manual picker-to-parts order picking methods (parallel picking, zone picking, and dynamic zone picking) are employed in an experimental warehouse setup and compared in terms of productivity, quality, and job satisfaction. Participants worked in teams and were subject to either an individual- based, or a team-based incentive scheme. Furthermore, the influence of individual participants’ dominant regulatory focus (promotion or prevention) was taken into account. The outcomes show that in parallel picking an incentive system focused on individual performance is beneficial for productivity and quality compared to an incentive system focused on team performance, whereas team-based incentives are more productive in zone picking. These results were more explicitly present for participants with a dominant promotion focus. Participants with a dominant prevention focus picked more productively with team-based incentives in all picking methods. In addition to this, team-based incentives led to a relatively high quality in zone-picking, but a relatively low quality in dynamic zone picking. Our study shows that assigning the right people to the right picking task with a fitting incentive system can substantially cut wage costs without simultaneously harming productivity, quality, or job satisfaction.
Progress in Material Handling Research: 2014
de Vries, Jelle; de Koster, Rene; and Stam, Daan, "Performance Comparison of Various Order Picking Methods in Different Behavioral Contexts" (2014). 13th IMHRC Proceedings (Cincinnati, Ohio. USA – 2014). 14.