Over the last three decades,
Information Technology (IT) systems have undergone a significant revolutionary
progress that subsequently impacted every aspect of daily life. One of the most
radical changes is the shift from computers to smart devices utilizing the
infrastructure services based on cloud computing. This new beginning of the
Internet era, marked by an integrated computer-based automation and ubiquitous
computing systems, is moreover being connected to the wireless network by the
Internet. These recent developments have enabled not only the virtually endless
possibilities of interconnecting human beings and machines in a cyber-physical
system context using information obtained from different sources but also
direct communications between machines. The implementation of this kind of
network within the production and operations environment is termed Industry 4.0.
The introduction of Industry 4.0 into manufacturing has
many impacts on the whole supply chain. A collaboration between suppliers,
manufacturers and customers is crucial to increase the transparency of all the
steps from when the order is dispatched until the end-of-life of the product.
Furthermore, due to the introduction of digitization and automation of
processes, the whole supply chain management (SCM) structure. In order to
understand the opportunities and possible threats from the introduction of
these new technologies, therefore it is necessary to analyze the impact of
Industry 4.0 on the supply chain as a whole.
This research presents a preliminary analysis of
the impact of Industry 4.0 on SCM and aims to provide a thought towards Supply
Chain 4.0. The scope of the analysis has been intentionally limited to, include
only four functions within a supply chain, i.e. procurement, transport
logistics, warehouse and order fulfillment. This is presented with respect to
the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the SCM. It is hoped that the outcomes
will open up future pathways to draw the bigger picture and thus conduct a
fuller analysis of these impacts.