University of Twente Student Theses


Anticipating the Future for Manufacturing SME’s with the Smart Industry Maturity Scan (SIMS)

Vaivode, Zanda (2019) Anticipating the Future for Manufacturing SME’s with the Smart Industry Maturity Scan (SIMS).

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Abstract:Today, the industrial production firms are aiming to improve competitiveness through the fourth industrial revolution technologies, which incorporates a fusion of physical production with the digital world of information technology. The potential benefits Industry 4.0 will bring are clear, however, there is a shortage of practical research on actual hurdles confining employment as well as how those are predicted to be overcome by SMEs. In order to gain a profound opening of the phenomenon implementation in practice with all of its challenges, a study was done in three case companies operating in the timber industry in Eastern Latvia. First, descriptive data were collected with the use of SIMS scan developed by Ungerer (2018), which were further used for the collection of the qualitative data by workshops at the manufactories. The study indicates several factors that hinder the employment of the new production revolution technologies. The main challenge on Industry 4.0 implementation is the shortage of technology experts in the region as well as in the timber industry, which hinders the possibility of inter-firm connectivity due to the slow individual firm progress. Further, the SMEs lack financial resources necessary for modern machinery acquisition and it has been concluded that, although there are certain benefits, Industry 4.0 employment is highly case-specific and cannot be suited to every firm in the industry due to the strategical differences. Findings of the influence of Industry 4.0 belong to a new research field, however, the literature review on different aspects aligns with the overall findings. Limitations of this study include limited sample size and the size and origin of the case companies themselves, which restricts the validity and the international generalizability of the research
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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