Industry and Logistics 4.0 –The time is now!
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Industry and Logistics 4.0 –The time is now!

Yasanur Kayikci: Associate Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the Department of Industrial Engineering at the Turkish-German University in Istanbul

Qhawekazi Memani

In a new era of doing business that involves digitalisation – the introduction of connected devices, Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data analytics, machine learning, social block chains, 3D/4D printing – many companies in the supply chain and logistics industry are trying to automate processes further through the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud technologies.

This arouses questions in the minds of many people: Where will people work? What will happen to universities and lecturers? Is South Africa ready? Are the people ready?

To address the questions and issues that arise with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Yasanur Kayikci: Associate Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the Department of Industrial Engineering at the Turkish-German University in Istanbul, presented a public lecture on 24 July at the Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) Desmond Tutu Hall under the heading: ‘The Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Supply Chain Management’. The public lecture was organised by the Department of Logistics in the Faculty of Management Sciences.

In her presentation, she highlighted that production in the supply chain industry and logistics is influenced by a number of factors such as megabrands, low-carbon and less harmful products, and demographic shifts whereby people can be able to live longer – up to a 150 years. The sharing economy is a requirement as is sovietisation-augmenting the range of services or products offered especially in additive manufacturing businesses. Climate change has a huge influence on business, as does urbanisation – research shows that most people will move to urban areas in this era.

“Not only do businesses face the challenge to adopt these new ways presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, individuals and households also need to adopt the digital transformation quickly or the idea will be lost,” she said.

She shared that 40-trillion gigabytes of data are expected by 2020, which implies that social media platforms will now be able to gather many users in a short space of time. “A 100 per cent, online connected users will be present in the future,” she says. The onus is then on the businesses or individuals to make use of such online presence.

It is also expected that by 2035 data storage will be at about 175 zettabytes (ZB), and next year it’s expected to be 40ZB. For future tasks in logistics, changing behaviour for ordering goods is of vital importance. She also shared factors of success, future successes and challenges.

She also made it clear that there are key sustainability impacts in logistics such as the society, environment and the economy with the loss of jobs being the main concern. But she said the new era will provide new job opportunities for the younger generation or those who are willing to learn.

“People must look for alternatives and adopt the new ways,” she said.

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