Research Reveals Lag Times, More Errors on Mondays For Supply Chains
Research from Maryland Smith’s Martin Dresner reveals that even supply chains can have a case of the Mondays. That return-to-work dread that puts people in bad moods – and has been documented to drag down productivity and impact financial markets – also wreaks havoc on the efficiency of moving goods from one place to another on Mondays.
Dresner, a logistics professor and chair of the department, worked with Oliver Yao of Lehigh University and Kevin Xiaoguo Zhu of the University of California, San Diego on the study, which was published in the journal Information Systems Research.
In the first-of-its-kind study, the researchers found that lag time from weekend operating interruptions, along with people’s moods on Mondays, hurt supply chain performance on Mondays. That translates to longer times between when a purchase order is received and shipped, and more order fulfillment errors.
Dresner and his co-authors looked at a year’s worth of data from more than 800,000 transactions in the United States, along with order and fulfillment data from one of China’s largest supermarket chains. They studied variations in operations performance by days of the week and found a significant dip on Mondays. For example, time between receipt of a purchase order and shipping is, on average, 9.68% longer on Mondays than on other weekdays. Weekends, write the researchers, are to blame for bottlenecks that tack extra orders on to Mondays for processing. Plus, people aren’t at their best on Mondays – they are less efficient and more prone to errors when coming off a weekend.
So how can managers make Mondays less manic for supply chains? The researchers say technology can help. They find using IT-enabled electronic markets can drastically reduce fulfillment issues, especially for products that aren’t shipped as often – high-value items, products that are slow-moving, and specialty items with few buyers.
Read the full research article, “‘Monday Effect’ on Performance Variations in Supply Chain Fulfillment: How Information Technology-Enabled Procurement May Help,” in Information Systems Research.