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‘Underperformance Management’: – A Case Study in the Logistics Industry
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The order picking operation is one of the most time-consuming activities in a warehouse and contributes to large operational costs that often exceed 65% of the total operating costs (Coyle, et al., 1996; Thompson, et al., 1997). As order picking is identified as the most labor-intense activity, representing up to 50% of all warehouse labor activities, warehouse operator performance in order picking activities is to be perceived as a key factor for operational excellence (Burinskiene, 2009). Hence, the purpose of this research is to advance the understanding of management related underperformance among employees in the logistics warehouse industry. Given the purpose, the objective is to explore how to manage productivity among underperforming full-time warehouse operators. In-depth knowledge has been obtained by the means of a case study conducted at a case company on the Swedish market of Third-Party Logistics (3PL). The data collection comprise one conducted survey, productivity data depicted from the internal Performance Measurement System (PMS) and qualitative data obtained through open and semi-structured interviews with e.g. warehouse operators and warehouse managers. The empirical contribution from this research can be concluded in three main suggestions:

 The performance metrics depicted from the PMS should be used by first line management to lead and develop the employees.

 First line management should act pro-actively towards organizational barriers to create a work environment where the employees cannot undermine the system.

 Each organization should develop a structured action plan to manage underperformance.

The findings of this research contribute to the concept of Performance Management in terms of in-depth knowledge. The results should be contextually reviewed, which also applies for the generalizability of the conclusions.

Keywords: Performance management, labor management, first line management, logistics industry, warehouse operators, mixed workforce, order picking

Abstract [sv]

Plockning av ordrar är en av de mest tidskrävande aktiviteter i ett lager och bidrar till stora driftskostnader, ofta överstigande 65% av de totala driftskostnaderna (Coyle, et al., 1996; Thompson, et al., 1997). Då orderplockning identifieras som den mest arbetskraftsintensiva aktiviteten, vilken kan uppgå till 50% av all arbetskraft i ett lager, bör lageroperatörens prestation uppfattas som en drivande faktor för operationell framgång (Burinskiene, 2009). Syftet med denna forskning är att öka medvetenheten kring vikten av att ta itu med underpresterande anställda inom lagerindustrin i allmänhet och orderplockning i synnerhet, utifrån ett arbetsledningsperspektiv. Målet är att undersöka hur första nivåns chefer kan hantera produktivitet bland underpresterande heltidsanställda lageroperatörer. Fördjupad kunskap har erhållits genom en fallstudie vid ett företag som erbjuder lösningar inom tredjepartslogistik. Den insamlade forskningsdatan omfattar en enkätundersökning, produktivitetsdata från det interna mätsystemet, granskning av operationella dokument samt kvalitativ data genom öppna och semistrukturerade intervjuer med bland andra lageroperatörer och första nivåns chefer. Det empiriska bidraget från denna forskning kan sammanfattas till tre huvudsakliga förslag:

 Utdrag av individuell prestation från det interna mätsystemet bör användas i arbetet att leda och utveckla medarbetarna.

 Förebyggande åtgärder mot organisatoriska hinder för att skapa en arbetsmiljö där medarbetarna inte tillåts underminera systemet.

 Varje organisation bör ha en strukturerad åtgärdsplan för hur underprestation bör hanteras.

Det forskningsrelaterade kunskapsbidraget från resultaten bidrar till en fördjupad insikt inom ämnesområdet ’Performance Management’. Resultaten från denna forskning bör betraktas i sitt sammanhang och generaliserbarheten bör värderas på motsvarande sätt.

Nyckelord: Prestationsledning, arbetskrafthantering, arbetsledning, logistik, lagerarbetare, orderplock

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 90 p.
Series
Degree Project in Production Engineering, Second Level, 553
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-127958OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-127958DiVA: diva2:646929
Examiners
Available from: 2013-09-10 Created: 2013-09-10 Last updated: 2013-09-10Bibliographically approved

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