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The adoption of intelligence amplification in the slotting process : a case study in the data validation automation of a Dutch Retailer

Kloppenburg, G.W. (2019) The adoption of intelligence amplification in the slotting process : a case study in the data validation automation of a Dutch Retailer.

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Abstract:Slotting is one of the most customer-sensitive, labor-intensive, and complex problems encountered within different companies (Jones & Battieste, 2004). It is the allocation of products in the warehouse based on different rules or strategies. There are many different algorithms and methods to calculate the optimal assignment of the location for products in the warehouse. Different policies and processes on how the warehouse should be arranged are designed but there is no uniform way of the allocating products. Currently, this time-consuming process is done manually. This research explores the possibilities for partially automating this process and thus saving time and, eventually, money. The slotting process contains many tasks where a lot of expertise is involved. And thus, this process is difficult to fully automatize. We therefore introduced the concept of Intelligence Amplification (IA) to the process of slotting. IA is the symbiosis between human and the computer. The decisions should be made under construction of cooperation between humans and machines instead of depending on the predetermined programs, exclusively when it becomes very complex. In other words, the capabilities of the human brain will be extended with the computer power to achieve a system superior to information processing. The slotting process is analyzed and split up in different tasks. After the assignment of tasks to human and machine, the tasks are categorized on different categories. Most tasks of the slotting process are based on rules. One of those rule-based tasks of slotting is the data validation of products. The numerous consults of experts were held to understand the purpose of the need for validation because it is a time- and energy-consuming task. In respect to that conclusion, there is a need for a reference architecture for rule-based tasks. With adopting the concept of Intelligence (Burstein, Muivehill, & Deutsch, 1999) Amplification, we designed a reference architecture to handle rule-based tasks. In other words, a solution is created which focusses on a close collaboration between the human and machine to empower the human in the process of rule-based tasks, in this case, the slotting process. The prototype of data validation, designed and developed in this research, proves that the reference architecture works. The results of the testing of the prototype give enough hints and insights for the implementation of the tool. The workers’ performance will be enhanced as well as the quality of work in the slotting process. The contribution to the research field of intelligence amplification is a reference architecture for rule-based tasks in the slotting process with help of the user. This reference architecture could support future research in the application of intelligence amplification in different sectors. Without the help of humans, machines will never be smarter. To ensure that control remains with the human, the machine remains as smart as we make it ourselves. The contribution to practice lies in the explanation of the concept of IA and the prototype of the validation tool based on the reference architecture. In principle, many rule-based tasks could be automatized with help of the reference architecture. With the prototype we contributed to the knowledge of AH, by demonstrating how data validation can be done. This in combination with people who are not programmers by nature, but who can create rules that deliver results or advice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Unknown organization, ENSCHEDE, Nederland
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science, 58 process technology, 70 social sciences in general
Programme:Business Information Technology MSc (60025)
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