PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate how modern network video technology could be used to improve different warehouse types and operations and how barriers may prevent its implementation.Design/methodology/approachAn exploratory multiple-case study with nine case companies was conducted, including on-site visits, interviews, questionnaires and a workshop.FindingsThe authors identified 12 video applications that could improve warehouse operations by making them safer, faster, more transparent and more reliable than they are at present. The authors found that video applications complemented existing information technology and offered a new dimension that provided the real-time analysis of different activities in warehouse operations. The main barriers to implementing video technology included uncertain return on investment, staff integrity, union restrictions and integration with other systems.Research limitations/implicationsThe study contributes to the literature by exploring how information technology could be used to improve warehouse operations and by developing a classification matrix that outlines the video applications that suit the warehouse type and operation. Building on the contingency theory, the authors also described a conceptual framework for guiding future relevant research on warehousing.Practical implicationsVideo technology provides an opportunity to improve efficiency and cut costs in warehouse operations, which could contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the company and the supply chain. However, several barriers must be overcome to enable its implementation. Furthermore, competing technologies, such as augmented reality and the internet of things, are being developed in parallel.Social implicationsThe identified video applications could help to increase safety, sustainability and traceability in warehouse operations and, potentially, across the entire supply chain.Originality/valueThis research is the first to explore the potential of introducing video applications to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of various warehouse types and operations.
International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2017