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Scope for industry 4.0 in agri-food supply chain

Claudine Soosay and Raja Kannusamy

A chapter in The Road to a Digitalized Supply Chain Management: Smart and Digital Solutions for Supply Chain Management, 2018, pp 37-56 from Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute of Business Logistics and General Management

Abstract: This study investigates the current capabilities and technologies adopted in the agri-food industry in Australia and the scope for transition to Industry 4.0. Data were collected from 360 firms representing suppliers, producers, manufacturers, wholesalers, logistics providers and retailers to represent a supply chain perspective. The technologies and strategies were grouped based on the various supply chain players against the maturity stages of Industry 4.0 as prescribed by Schuh et al (2017) in order to discern the integration efforts and degree of interoperability in the supply chain. We establish that upstream players tend to adopt technology mainly for internal operational efficiencies and B2B transactions. We propose that the individual orientation, interoperability and capabilities of these firms will need to be reassessed to derive a systematic plan for progression into a technology architecture for the overall supply chain. Despite the fragmented adoption of advance technologies evident at various points of value creation in the supply chain, we recognize and highlight the vulnerability of many small businesses and upstream players in the food industry who appear to be lagging behind in the fourth industrial revolution as well as the disruptive changes entailed to keep up and compete in the digital age.

Keywords: Agri-food supply chain; Industry 4.0; Maturity stages; Survey methodology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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