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Corporate survival in Industry 4.0 era: the enabling role of lean-digitized manufacturing
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran / Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia.
University of Skövde, School of Engineering Science. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. (Produktion och automatiseringsteknik, Production and Automation Engineering)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5530-3517
2019 (English)In: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, ISSN 1741-038X, E-ISSN 1758-7786Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

purpose– The study demonstrates how small manufacturing firms can leverage their Information Technology (IT) resources to develop the lean-digitized manufacturing system that offers sustained competitiveness in the Industry 4.0 era.

Design/methodology/approach – The study performs an in-depth 5-years case study of a manufacturing firm, and reports its journey from failure in the implementation of enterprise resource planning to its success in integrating IT-based technology trends of Industry 4.0 with the firm’s core capabilities and competencies while pursuing manufacturing digitization.

Findings – Industry 4.0 transition requires the organizational integration of many IT-based modern technologies and the digitization of entire value chains. However, Industry 4.0 transition for smaller manufacturers can begin with digitization of certain areas of operations in support of organizational core strategies. Development of leandigitized manufacturing system is a viable business strategy for corporate survivability in the Industry 4.0 setting.

Research limitations/implications – Although the implementation of lean-digitized manufacturing system is costly and challenging, this manufacturing strategy offers superior corporate competitiveness in the long run. Since this finding is rather limited to the present case study, assessing the business value of lean-digitized manufacturing system in a larger-scale research context would be an interesting avenue for future research.

Practical implications – Industry 4.0 transition for typical manufacturers should commensurate with their organizational, operational, and technical particularities. Digitization of certain operations and processes, when aligned with the firm’s core strategies, capabilities, and procedures, can offer superior competitiveness even in Industry 4.0 era, meaning that the strategic plan for successful Industry 4.0 transition is idiosyncratic to each particular manufacturer.

Social implications – Manufacturing digitization can have deep social implications as it alters inter and intra organizational relationships, causes unemployment among low-skilled workforce, and raises data security and privacy concerns. Manufacturers should take responsibility for their digitization process and steer it in a direction that simultaneously safeguards economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Originality/value – The strategic roadmap devised and employed by the case company for managing its digitization process can better reveal what manufacturing digitization, mandated by Industry 4.0, might require of typical manufacturers, and further enable them to better facilitate their digital transformation process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Industry 4.0, Information Technology, Lean manufacturing, Digitization, Manufacturing performance
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Production and Automation Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17158DOI: 10.1108/JMTM-11-2018-0417Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85070289468OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-17158DiVA, id: diva2:1326295
Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-18 Last updated: 2019-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Fathi, Masood

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