Fourth industrial revolution and its impact on furniture manufacturing SMEs

Lawrance Seseni, Charles Mbohwa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


To date, the world has witnessed three different industrial eras. At the current moment, the world is following the industry 4.0 that is a German strategy for using high technology. This strategy is still in its infancy stage; however, organisations and universities are paying attention to this new strategy. The problems that SMEs face range from lack of skilful employees to securing financing. With that in mind, this study aims to find out if furniture-manufacturing SMEs will be participants or observers in the industry 4.0 era. This study is a qualitative study where a case study was developed out of 117-furniture manufacturing SMEs. It was found that the workforce is not highly skilled, they do not even run the business formally, they find it difficult to obtain funding and infrastructure makes it difficult to operate rate due to poor infrastructure. This study is limited to furniture manufacturing SMEs that are based in Gauteng province, particularly Johannesburg region. Therefore, the findings of this study cannot be generalised. Further study must be conducted on the programme of the classes that the workforce will undertake. This will help ensure that they get the relevant education for industry 4.0 and their sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2572-2577
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event3rd North American IEOM Conference. IEOM 2018 -
Duration: 27 Sept 201829 Sept 2018


  • Furniture Manufacturing
  • Industry 4.0
  • SMEs
  • Smart Factories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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