Supply Chain 4.0: Global Practices and Lessons Learned for Latin America and the Caribbean

This White Paper is the product of a joint effort by the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Economic Forum’s System Initiatives on Shaping the Future of Production and Shaping the Future of Mobility. It captures current levels of awareness and adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies across the supply chain and the broader economic transformations that are taking place. The 4IR transformation of the supply chain is also referred to as “Supply Chain 4.0”.

The first section of this White Paper presents a global overview and analysis of initiatives launched in advanced economies. The second section summarizes the results of a detailed examination carried out in six LAC countries – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Paraguay – on the state of four supply chains, namely appliances, automotive, food processing and textiles. The third section offers recommendations that the public sector, the private sector and both together can adopt to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities identified throughout the study.

Three main requirements stand out across all countries covered in the study, both in advanced economies and in the LAC countries: (1) the need for an integrated Supply Chain 4.0 policy approach and framework; (2) the need to learn from and build on leading sectors and companies in each country, to ensure inclusive development across the economy; and (3) the imperative to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their 4IR transformation efforts.

The findings and conclusions presented in this paper are based on the results of 95 interviews with policy-makers, business executives and researchers around the world and the LAC region, as well as on the review of more than 300 national plans, industry reports, documents and research papers.

21 January 2019