The fourth industrial revolution: what awaits us?
3 December, 2020
4min. reading time
In the nineteenth century, the world was turned upside down. Driven by the invention of the steam engine, Europe (and eventually the entire world) found itself in an industrial revolution. Areas urbanized, production took place on much larger scale, and mass industry was born. Not long after that, the second industrial revolution followed: the technological revolution. This period distinct itself by revolutionary inventions based on electricity such as the light bulb, the car and photography. In the 20th century, not long after WWII, the digital revolution introduced a new era: the age of the television, computer, internet and of course the mobile phone. In other words, three important, characteristic and especially influential periods. Now, people speak of the fourth industrial revolution. What can we expect of this? And what does this mean for the logistics industry?
Contrary to the industrial revolutions in the past, which we have acknowledged afterwards, the fourth industrial revolution (or industry 4.0) has been announced for a longer period. Even before it has begun. Now, we find ourselves on the cusp of this impactful period: predictions become more concrete and the first developments have already introduced itself in our lives.
What can we expect?
After the first periods, in which steam, electricity and computers were the central elements of the revolutions, the fourth industrial revolution is focused on connectivity. Communication between humans and machines will integrate even more, if not merge completely. Networks, platforms, devices, systems and people will all be connected. The first results, that serve as a condition for further developments, we are already familiar with. Think of 5G networks, 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Consequences for the logistics industry
Research tells us that future developments like delivering packages with drones, self-driving trucks and integrations between communication flows and local 3D printers can be a serious threat to the logistics industry. On the other hand, predictions of a digitized industry are promising. As we speak, you can already benefit from AI in your warehouse and can use realtime data with the help of the right tools.
Whatever the consequences may look like in a couple of decades, one thing is certain: change is necessary. By focusing on the factor human – by investing in skills and resources – as well as on becoming an IT minded and flexible organization, you can turn possible threats of the revolution into opportunities for your business.
The fourth industrial revolution gives us an exciting perspective, that’s for sure. At this moment, the actual developments may be unclear, and no one knows what the logistics industry will look like in ten, twenty or even thirty years from now. Of course, you can defy the upcoming revolution yourself, but you don’t have to. To be able to deal with the fast developments in the world of IT and the logistics industry, you can seek the safety of the Boltrics peloton. By choosing for the branch standard, you are always up-to-date and at the same time ensured to have the right branch specific tools available, that will help you to grow. Now, as well as in ten, twenty or thirty years.
Developments in the near future
The developments of the fourth industrial revolution serve as a warning, but you can also see them as an opportunity. An opportunity to grow as an organization, support your processes in a better way, and show your (potential) costumers that you are ready for the future. Are you curious about what developments you can expect on short notice? Soon we will share the predicted trends for 2021. Stay tuned!