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Journal of Competitiveness

The Implementation of Industry 4.0 Elements as a Tool Stimulating the Competitiveness of Engineering Enterprises

Lea Kubickova, Marcela Kormanakova, Lucie Vesela, Zdenka Jelinkova

Keywords:
supplier-customer relations, engineering companies, Industry 4.0, competitiveness

Abstract:
The article deals with the implementation of Industry 4.0 elements in Czech engineering companies in connection with the impact of this trend on the relationship between supplier and customer. The implementation of Industry 4.0 elements can have a positive effect on the relationship between supplier and customer through higher labour productivity, higher product quality as well as shorter production or delivery times. Industry 4.0 brings great opportunities for companies, which can mean greater efficiency and competitiveness; on the other hand, there are questions about whether companies are ready for it, i.e. whether there is sufficient infrastructure necessary to put Industry 4.0 into practice. The aim of this article is to identify the specifics of supplier-customer relationships in engineering which respond to the current trends and to find out how Czech engineering companies have implemented specific elements of Industry 4.0. No study of this kind has ever been conducted in the environment of Czech engineering companies. Based on the analysis of primary data obtained from 236 Czech engineering companies, the current trends in the management of relations between suppliers and customers are described; Czech engineering companies can use our results to increase their competitiveness. Emphasis is placed on Industry 4.0, planned investments in this infrastructure and the implementation of individual elements. Of the elements of Industry 4.0, Czech engineering companies mostly use tools and methods ensuring data security, automation of technological equipment and processes, cloud computing, mass customization and introducing sensors into production. Our results show that the investment in the necessary infrastructure is mainly related to the size of the company, with almost half of the large companies surveyed planning to invest in the infrastructure necessary to implement Industry 4.0 elements, while 46% of micro-enterprises do not plan to invest in Industry 4.0 elements.

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10.7441/joc.2021.01.05


Kubickova, L., Kormanakova, M., Vesela, L., & Jelinkova, Z. (2021). The Implementation of Industry 4.0 Elements as a Tool Stimulating the Competitiveness of Engineering Enterprises. Journal of Competitiveness, 13(1), 76–94. https://doi.org/10.7441/joc.2021.01.05

Journal of Competitiveness

  

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ISSN 1804-171X (Print); eISSN 1804-1728 (On-line)


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