Magazine Issue 3-2014 – Smart factory – Boosting productivity with industry 4.0

Industry 4.0: New era for more productivity

With Industry 4.0, the “Internet of Things” is moving into the production environment. The concept of the smart factory is improving performance in the supply chain enormously. However, if the concept of Industry 4.0 is to be successful in practice, process steps need to be standardised and modularised.

Rapidly changing market requirements, economic fluctuations, and increasing digitisation are presenting more and more challenges for the industrial sector with increased demand and willingness to adapt. Companies that wish to enjoy success on the current global market must make their production operations faster, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

Further content in this issue:

  • China Sourcing Study
    China is one of the most important procurement markets in Asia and is becoming increasingly significant for the industrial sector in particular.
  • Procurement for online companies
    The example of XING AG demonstrates how mature start-ups can professionalise procurement.
  • Procurement Outsourcing
    Can procurement outsourcing be an effective alternative for the management of indirect spend?



The fourth industrial revolution heralds a completely new era in the way which information technology is integrated in industrial production processes. Merging information and communication technology systems with automation and production technologies marks the end of rigid production structures. Flexibility, resource efficiency and the integration of customers and suppliers in the value added chain will be the hallmarks of networked production. For business, this groundbreaking shift toward Industry 4.0 brings enormous potential for growth. But what does this mean in practical terms? We’re here to answer that question. In a study conducted together with the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, we take a closer look at the relationship between industrial companies and the Chinese procurement market, as well as identify the success factors that make China one of the West’s most important Asian trading partners.


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