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iLEGO 2021

3 November 2021

Logistics truck made out of grass

Practitioners from industry and academia have shared knowledge and expertise on Industry 4.0 for resilient and sustainable supply chain practices at Cardiff Business School’s Innovation in Lean Enterprise and Green Operations (iLEGO) workshop on 8 September 2021.

This year’s workshop, the 5th of its kind, was hosted virtually again this year and formed part of the LRN2021 Conference. Professor Rachel Ashworth welcomed the 160 delegates to the event, emphasising iLEGO’s importance in the School’s Public Value mission.

This year iLEGO’s has showcased very innovative presentations from experts on a range of topics around Industry 4.0 in the context of sustainable and resilient supply chains. The collaboration that the workshop has had this year with LRN2021 allowed the two events to expand their reach and audiences and enable the organising teams to make the events truly international.

Professor Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues Professor in Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Professor Janet Godsell, Dean of Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics, delivered the keynote address, discussing the link between supply chain productivity, resilience and sustainability, and ‘can we have it all?’.

She discussed ways in which supply chains can be designed in order to achieve benefits in all three areas, along with responsible consumption reduction.

Dr Nicola Millard, Principal Innovation Partner, BT was next to speak, discussing the forces shaping the future workplace: flexible working, and disengaging work from place and time. “We have an opportunity here to re-invent work itself. It should be work that is the focus in hybrid. If we’re going to re-invent work, let’s make it good for productivity, people and the planet.”

Asif Moghul, Market Development Manager, Design and Manufacturing at Autodesk, spoke next, sharing insights on how digital transformation helps people, the planet and profits. He explained to delegates about how to leverage technology, processes and people to make the impossible possible, and how collaboration is imperative.

After a short break, the focus of the next section was sustainability and models that are required in the future, related to digital technology.

Romy Kenyon, EMEA Senior Sustainability Manager at 3M spoke about futureproofing business through product design and new business models. He explained how we are reaching a tipping point in both climate change and business. He discussed the need to futureproof business through product design, new business models, sustainability goals, green public procurement, and recycling. His question was: “What can we do to improve our environment?”

I am always inspired by the diverse background of speakers and participants joining iLEGO each year. It was great to see the impact emerging technologies have on different industries and organisations, particularly as we have started to recover from the pandemic.

Nicholas Leeder, Global Vice President for Digital Transformation at PTC, spoke next about Industry 4.0 technologies and their role in sustainability and the circular economy, helping customer agendas around sustainability and reducing carbon in manufacturing.

Karen Miller, Senior Director of Product Management, GE Digital, was the final speaker of the day discussing ‘Data-Driven Insights to Predict Aircraft Maintenance Events and Increase Sustainability'. We heard about how, at GE Digital, they use full flight data, how they process & analyse it, and how we can learn from this data.

The 5th iLEGO workshop was a grand success that allowed more than 160 registered delegates from five continents and over 108 organisations to discuss synergies between digital technologies applications and sustainable supply chain practices.

Professor Maneesh Kumar Professor in Service Operations

“Our excellent speakers opined that the new business models driven by technology innovation bring numerous opportunities to be resilient and sustainable but at the same time pose many challenges for operations managers. Examples shared by speakers gave insights into ways we can better design, manage, deliver, and enable new business models through innovative operations. A common theme that cut across all six invited sessions was that people will still play a significant role in the era of Industry 4.0, though their existing skill-sets need to be repurposed to compete in the digital world.”

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