Monday blues not only affects employees returning to work after the weekend but also impacts Amazon package deliveries as the supply-chain performance gets hurt, say researchers. Oliver Yao, a professor of decision and technology analytics in Lehigh University's college of business found that process interruptions that occur when operations are shut down over the weekend, along with human factors like the "Monday blues," hurt supply chain performance on Mondays.
That means a longer time between when a purchase order is received and when it is shipped, as well as more errors in order fulfillment, said Yao who worked with researchers at the University of Maryland and University of California, San Diego.
To reach this conclusion, Yao and colleagues 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 analysed order and fulfillment data from one of the largest supermarket chains in China.
They found the "Monday Effect" was prevalent and significant.
For example, time between receipt of a purchase order and shipping is 9.68 per cent longer on Mondays than other weekdays, on average.
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, said the study that appeared in the journal Information Systems Research.
Most supply chain managers are unaware of this impact but they can take steps to counteract the "Monday Effect."
Strategies include increased staffing on Mondays (or any day returning from a break, including holidays), fewer Monday meetings and non-fulfillment activities, better training, additional pay or mood-lifters such as free coffee or motivational talks, and double-checking Monday work.
The most effective way to reduce the Monday performance gap is integrating technology solutions, such as automated order processing systems, said Yao, who found using electronic markets can improve Monday performance by as much as 90 per cent.
For example, technology reduces the Monday performance gap by 94 per cent in order-to-shipping time, 71 percent in complete orders fulfilled, and 80 per cent in the portion of shipments that have incorrect numbers of products.
"Technology is more helpful in substituting for labor when humans are more prone to making mistakes," the researchers said. "Computer-to-computer links avoid potential human effects resulting from the weekend break."