In writing my book, Silicon Collar, I saw plenty of examples of how machines make human workers safer, smarter and speedier. I also became more aware of poor implementations where the man-machine balance is broken and leads to worker and customer dissatisfaction. In this series, I will highlight some of those experiences.
a) I used to order tickets on the mobile phone, using the AMC Stubs app. At the theatre, we would use the kiosk to print the tickets. For the last few weeks, the app has not worked (without a fathomable error message) and so we have gone to ordering off the web. Unfortunately, 2 out of the 4 kiosks always seem to be broken or out of ticket stock. So, it’s back to standing in line for the tickets
b) The tickets have a bar code and the usher has a scanner. I have never seen him/her use the scanner. It’s the old tear the ticket routine.
c) The theatre has self-serve Coke Freestyle soda machines. But you have to stand in line to pay for them. And the POS machines in the food section do not recognize the phone number associated with your AMC Stubs. So, the poor cashier has to look up that number on a screen, write it down on a piece of paper and enter it on another screen (not kidding). All that to get you your discount for being a Stubs member or to use the credits you have accumulated
d) They have 4 Freestyle machines. Quite often 2 of them are not functioning, because they have run out of ice.
End result – needless crowds at the ticket counter, and at the concession stand, and a harried work force all of which could be easily fixed by a team which keeps the automation working smoothly.