Friday, September 21, 2012

Randomness Helps

I never stop being amazed by small, counter-intuitive operations innovations. From a New Yorker article on Yoox, the online fashion site:

When clothes arrive at the warehouse...folded items are placed in black plastic storage bins that look like large milk crates. The crates are packed randomly—pants, shirts, and sweaters are mixed together willy-nilly. When an order comes is placed on a conveyor belt that...delivers it to the correct wrapping station, which are manned by humans. Were items sorted with their like, the humans would have to search all of them to find the one matching the order, but since items are sorted randomly, it's easy to spot the right one. "Chaos is our friend," Guillot said.
I don't know how to use randomness like this at ZMO but maybe there's a way?

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