Order pickers and individual differences between them could have a substantial impact on picking performance, but are largely ignored in studies on order picking. This paper explores the role of individual differences in picking performance with various picking tools (pick by voice, RF-terminal picking and pick to light) and methods (parallel, zone and dynamic zone picking). A unique realistic field experiment with 101 participants (academic students, vocational students and professional pickers) is employed to investigate the influence of individual differences, especially the Big Five personality traits, on picking performance in terms of productivity and quality. The results suggest that (PbV) performs better than RF-terminal picking, and that Neuroticism, Extraversion, Conscientiousness and the age of the picker play a significant role in predicting picking performance with voice and RF-terminals. Furthermore, achieving higher productivity appears to be possible without sacrificing quality. Managers can increase picking performance by incorporating the insights in assigning the right pickers to work with a particular picking tool or method, leading to increased picking performance and reduced warehousing costs.

, , , , ,
doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2015.1064184, hdl.handle.net/1765/87326
ERIM Top-Core Articles
International Journal of Production Research
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

de Vries, J., de Koster, R., & Stam, D. (2016). Exploring the role of picker personality in predicting picking performance with pick by voice, pick to light and RF-terminal picking. International Journal of Production Research, 54(8), 2260–2274. doi:10.1080/00207543.2015.1064184