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Analysis of the current state of Industry 4.0 in purchasing : a multiple case study based on the purchasing year cycle

Schulz, Alina (2017) Analysis of the current state of Industry 4.0 in purchasing : a multiple case study based on the purchasing year cycle.

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Abstract:The much-discussed topic, Industry 4.0 receives more and more attention. However, literature mainly focuses on Industry 4.0 in coherence with production and the practical application. Due to the minimal attention in literature for purchasing in connection with the fourth industrial revolution, this research pursues the subject. A multiple case study has been conducted with companies from different industries to explore the status quo of applications regarding Industry 4.0 technologies in procurement. The theoretical framework of the purchasing year cycle was adapted regarding Industry 4.0 and used to analyse the interviews. Qualitative data obtained from nine conducted interviews was analysed and compared with corresponding literature. The analysis revealed that Industry 4.0 in procurement is still in its infancy. Most companies market new technological developments within their firm as Industry 4.0 applications. However, some of the implementations can be considered as advanced technologies of the third industrial revolution and not as Industry 4.0 in procurement. Therefore, companies need to fully adapt the third industrial revolution before being able to successfully carry on with the fourth industrial revolution. It was figured that the companies share similar visions. They aspire to make use of Industry 4.0 applications to lead the firm to more transparency, efficiency, and enable more precise forecasting. It was analysed that interconnected cyber-physical systems can be considered as the organisational antecedents for Industry 4.0 in procurement. Following the adapted framework could help companies to overcome uncertainties that appear due to the novelty of the topic. Hence, the concept of a company-wide interconnected ERP system received special attention in this paper. The ERP system is suggested as a unifying system for the companies encouraging the connection to their suppliers.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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