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Running the machine faster: Acceleration, humans and warehousing

Tony Cragg, Thierry Sauvage, Mohammed Haouari, Sarrah Chraibi and Oussama El Khalil Houssaini

A chapter in The Road to a Digitalized Supply Chain Management: Smart and Digital Solutions for Supply Chain Management, 2018, pp 3-22 from Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute of Business Logistics and General Management

Abstract: To reduce the lead-time, modern logistics seeks to respond faster by accelerating physical and information flows. However, what are the impacts on logistics workers of an ever-faster logic? The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between process acceleration and the autonomy of order pickers. The method is to use exploratory qualitative research, based on fifteen visits to different regional distribution centers (RDCs) in the retail supermarket sector. The contribution of this paper is to apply Rosa's (2013) social acceleration theory to the specific context of logistics warehousing and to demonstrate how speeding up order picking systems is a key driver of change that has an impact on worker autonomy.

Keywords: acceleration; autonomy; warehousing; order picking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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