The “Expert Talk Series: Remaking the Industry Agenda in the Shadow of the Pandemic”, co-organized by the Unilab Foundation and Makati Business Club, aims to provide a discussion on Indutry 4.0 (Advanced Manufacturing sectors) latest data and case studies of subject matter experts focused on different parts of the world, underpinned by the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic and global value chain.


On 21 October 2020, the third session of the 5-part weekly online series, featured Mr. Mauro Guillen, a professor from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Guillen focused his discussion on “How Today’s Biggest Trends will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything”. He views the COVID-19 pandemic from a different angle – the pandemic as a great accelerator which intensifies the development towards adopting Industry 4.0.


He made mention of 3 trends – supply chain management, automation, and consumer behavior.


Nowadays, companies focus on strengthening their supply chains in order to ensure business continuity. Anticipating and avoiding disruptions is very important for every business to be able to survive and thrive through the pandemic and even after the pandemic. Moreover, he also made mention of the findings from a survey in which technology is the lead answer of respondent companies when asked about what they need in the future.


The second trend is automation – a highly incentivizing strategy to build company resiliency. For industries that are high in human interaction, companies are beginning to adopt automation in observance of the physical distancing guidelines. As a case in point, warehouse automation will continue to go on even years after the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this context, revenues and order intakes are projected to increase considering that the company can cut on production to delivery costs.


On consumer behavior, he highlighted the pent-up demands of consumers which happens when the economy is in a state of recovery from regression. There are shifts in consumer preferences as people become more aware of how products reach its final stage. People are now taking into consideration the ethics along the supply chain and fairness exercised by companies as factors to help them decide on which product to buy and utilize. He encouraged companies to make use of the ‘Trust Cycle’ – deliver on promises, be consistent, reassure the customers, provide proactive service, and be transparent.


In the current context that people live in, a complex recalibration of globalization is happening on a wide scale – the business world is experiencing a relocation and diversification on how to operate, the emerging markets are slowly taking over in the world market with middle classes as their target population, and there is a reduction on physical immigration as growth in remote work and virtual teams now largely operate on a global scale.






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