AI recorded the highest predicted impact (61 per cent), helping improve not only the performance of tasks, but also reducing inefficiencies and replacing manual work. One of the abilities of the technology is to increase customer sales, but more interesting is its ability to create new jobs. This is opposite to the usual thinking of it as a threat to jobs rather than job creation. AI is followed by the IoT, which recorded a predicted positive impact of 22 per cent, helping improve real-time management of operations and supply chains, and predictive maintenance and forecasting potential which are vital aspects of the technology. BDA was also considered a game changer, not only in predictive potential but in developing client base segmentation and from this, targeted marketing, new business insights and the recognition of new opportunities.
Aligned with the impact that these innovative technologies might bring to the sector, the team also examined the volume of investment as an indicator of the potential adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. Advanced robotics was at 31 per cent, being recorded as the highest volume of investment, with a particular focus on informal/ad hoc education and training, followed by the hiring of experts. AI and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) were documented similar investment trends at 12 per cent each, with the former focused on developing skills and knowledge and the latter more operationalised measures of cost savings in fuel, drivers and reduction in pollution. Two interesting areas with a sizeable percentage of some investment were blockchain (34 per cent) and the IoT (33 per cent), where funding was utilised in skills training, knowledge development and partnerships, suggesting potential avenues for its future usage.
There were also strong links between certain technologies, such as IoT with 3D printing and IoT with robotics, suggesting that there may be synergies to be gained from combining the IoT with other technologies in the field of manufacturing and supply chain management. By leveraging the power of the IoT to enhance other technologies, businesses may be able to improve efficiency, reduce costs and achieve better outcomes overall.
It’s noteworthy that the predicted technology impact is not always the same as the predicted future investment. Out of the various technologies scrutinised, Vietnamese supply chain experts anticipate that AR/VR, blockchain and AVs will have the least impact over the next decade and consequently receive the least investment.
Researcher and RMIT Vietnam Dean of Students, Associate Professor Seng Kiat Kok emphasised, “what was clear from the results of the study is that industry is already mobilising and prioritising the technologies it sees will have the most potential and the most opportunity for the future”.
“The inherent complexities in global supply chains and in the infrastructure required for each technology create a myriad of concerns that must be addressed before their advantages can be fully realised,” Associate Professor Kok said.
“It highlights the need for comprehensive planning, strategic partnerships, and investment in skills development to effectively leverage the benefits of Industry 4.0 technologies in supply chain operations.”
Story: Ha Hoang