Washington: The 'Monday effect' that letdown of returning to work after a weekend along with other factors may lead to longer times between ordering and shipping, and more errors in order fulfillment, according to a study. Researchers, including those from Lehigh University in the US, found that process interruption that occurs when operations are shut down over the weekend, along with human factors like the "Monday blues," hurt supply chain performance on Mondays. The study, published in the journal Information Systems Research, is the first to look at the impact of the "Monday Effect" on supply chains, the sequence of processes that move a product or service from creation to customer. The researchers used a dataset of more than 800,000 transaction records gathered during a 12-month period from the US General Services Administration to look at variations in operations performance by days of the week. They also analyzed order and fulfillment data from one of the largest supermarket chains in China. The team, including researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of California, San Diego in the US, found the "Monday Effect" was prevalent and significant. For example, the time between receipt of a purchase order and shipping is 9.68 percent longer on Mondays than other weekdays, on average, said Oliver Yao, a professor at Lehigh University. Mondays, it turns out, are subject to both process- and human-related impacts said, Yao. The researchers noted that weekends create bottlenecks at distribution centers that are tackled on Mondays as orders are processed, picked, staged and shipped to customers. Humans completing processing activities are impacted by adjusting to returning to work, more prone to errors and less efficient, they said. Most supply chain managers are unaware of this impact, but they can take steps to counteract the "Monday Effect", Yao said. The most effective way to reduce the Monday performance gap, the researchers explained, is integrating technology solutions, such as automated order processing systems. Yao found using electronic markets can improve Monday performance by as much as 90 percent. "For example, technology reduces the Monday performance gap by 94 percent in order-to-shipping time, 71 percent incomplete orders fulfilled, and 80 percent in the portion of shipments that have incorrect numbers of products," he said.
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