The purpose of this paper is 1) to investigate the effects on the crucial Industry 4.0 technological innovations that interact between the real and virtual worlds and that are applied in the sustainable supply chain process; 2) to contribute to the identification of the opportunities, the challenges and the gaps that will support the new research study developments and 3) to analyze the impact of the Industry 4.0 technologies as facilitators of the sustainable supply chain performance in the midst of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This research is performed through a bibliographic review in the electronic databases of the Emerald Insight, the Scopus and the Web of Science, considering the main scientific publications on the subject.
The bibliographic search results in 526 articles, followed by two sequential filters for deleting the duplicate articles (resulting in 487 articles) and for selecting the most relevant articles (resulting in 150 articles).
This article identifies the opportunities and the challenges focused on the emerging Industry 4.0 theme. The opportunities can contribute to the sustainable performance of the supply chains and their territories. The Industry 4.0 can also generate challenges like the social inequalities related to the position of the man in the labor market by replacing the human workforce with the machines. Therefore, the man-machine relationship in the Industry 4.0 era is analyzed as a gap in the literature. Therefore, as a way to fill this gap, the authors of this article suggest the exploration of the research focused on the Society 5.0. Also known as “super-smart society,” this recent theme appeared in Japan in April 2016. According to Fukuda (2020), in addition to the focus on the technological development, the Society 5.0 also aims at the quality of life and the social challenge resolutions.
This article contributes to the analysis of the Industry 4.0 technologies as facilitators in the sustainable supply chain performance. It addresses the impacts of the Industry 4.0 technologies applied to the supply chains in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it analyzes the research gaps and limitations found in the literature. The result of this study can add value and stimulate new research studies related to the application of the Industry 4.0 technologies as facilitators in the supply chain sustainable performance. It can encourage the studies related to the COVID-19 impacts on the sustainable supply chains, and it can promote the research development on the relationship among the man, the machine and the labor in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
This paper forms part of a special section “Managing Industry 4.0 technologies and their impact on the sustainable performance of territories”, guest edited by Ilias Vlachos, Morgane Fritz, Salomée Ruel and Vikas Kumar.Funding: This work was supported by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior–Brazil–CAPES (Finance Code 001) and the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development–CNPq (grant number 311881/2019-0).
Acioli, C., Scavarda, A. and Reis, A. (2021), "Applying Industry 4.0 technologies in the COVID–19 sustainable chains", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 70 No. 5, pp. 988-1016. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-03-2020-0137
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