The fourth industrial revolution, or “Industry 4.0”, which is new digital industrial technology, aims at advancement in industrial production, with major focus on progress in digital technologies. Basically, it can be viewed as a technology which enables industries to produce high-quality goods to lower cost by the use of advanced data analysis to develop more flexible and more efficient processes. Digital technologies make processes more efficient and help immensely in bringing new products and services.
The concept of sustainability can be traced back to forestry, where it implied that the harvesting done in the forest should always be less than what the forest yields. It emerged as a policy concept for the first time in the Brundtland Report of 1987. Since then, a number of different definitions of sustainability have emerged. Sustainability has been related to the rate of consumption of resources, the impact of human activity on the environment and overall survival of human species across the world in a broader sense.
A successful sustainability strategy of a company is characterized by its integration into the business model as well as the logistics. Logistics plays an important role in business operations and is a key factor related to sustainable development. Challenges exist in all forms of logistics chains, whether it be production, supply, distribution or reverse logistics. Challenges inefficient logistics system can be due to the structure or control methodology. Structure of the logistics system attributes to its design, whereas control refers to planning and operations of the logistics activity.
The developments which are undertaken in Industry 4.0 have a significant effect on the logistics, which gets modified bringing into picture Logistics 4.0. As the need of digitalization is increasing in the industry the continuous advances in communication and technology are paving way for improved logistics by means of Logistics 4.0, which can be considered to be comprised of five major functional areas under the umbrella of Industry 4.0. These are: data collection and processing, assistance systems, networking and integration, decentralization and service orientation and self-organization.
This transformation leads to tremendous improvement in fundamental elements of business, together with major improvement in sustainability and efficiency. The disruptive changes which are expected as a result of these technologies will need significant changes in business models and organizational structures. Hence, Logistics 4.0 can be a significant game-changer and provides a significant opportunity to businesses and governments to become more advanced by modifying their business models.
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