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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Production Planning & Control

For a Special Issue on

Innovative approaches in reshaping the Supply Chain for societal challenges

Manuscript deadline
30 June 2023

Cover image - Production Planning & Control

Special Issue Editor(s)

Rosanna Fornasiero, CNR -National Council of Research
[email protected]

Andrea Zangiacomi, CNR-STIIMA
[email protected]

Tatsushi Nishi, Okayama University
[email protected]

Toshiya Kaihara, Kobe University
[email protected]

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Innovative approaches in reshaping the Supply Chain for societal challenges

Nowadays, Supply Chains (SC) are part of a global and complex environment, and they need to identify evolving paths to gain competitiveness and meet incoming challenges [Paul et al., 2021; Ivanov et al., 2020]. In particular, there are several important social trends affecting the global scenario that will seriously impact on SCs of the future. Aging population [UN, 2019], lack of specialized workers with specific skills and competences on digital technologies [Zangiacomi et al., 2020], growth of urban population and megacities [UN, 2019] are arising challenges in terms of operations management (both in production and logistics), and the raise of smart cities is expected to improve quality of life, and sustainability levels requiring a concurrent integration of SCs  [Li et al., 2018].  Product personalization is still an open issue [Fornasiero et al., 2021; Matt et al., 2018] forcing companies to enrich customer relationship [Foltean et al., 2019]. The rise of the “do it yourself” (DIY) paradigm in society also requires to redefine SC configuration to provide citizens with reliable means of production [Sarkar et al., 2020].

In light of this scenario, the concept of Society 5.0 represents the vision of a new human-centered society [Nahavandi, 2019; Deguchi et al., 2020; Nair et al., 2021], where digital technologies are applied in everyday life, and in different spheres of activities, to provide products and services satisfying various needs as well as reducing economic and social gaps, for the benefit and convenience of all citizens [EU, 2021; Fukuda, 2020; Kaihara et al., 2020]. In particular, the ongoing evolution towards Industry5.0 is expected to enrich the prior focus of industy4.0, embracing a synergy between humans and autonomous machines for a sustainable and resilient society [Maddikunta et al., 2021].

The aim of this special issue is to reflect on the evolution of SC towards Industry5.0 paradigm enhancing the active role of different SC stakeholders such as workers, consumers and citizens and leveraging on digital technologies.  The research on these topics have been partly applied at the factory level [Longo et al., 2020; Matt et al., 2019; Kaihara et al., 2018] but a similar approach specifically addressing SC and its peculiar needs and potential is still in its infancy and call for novel contributions.

In particular, it is necessary to fill the gap collecting recent advancements in research and application of interdisciplinary and innovative studies going beyond the factory level to address SC with the specific aim to reshape it for societal challenges towards a SC.5.0. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Active Customer: innovative approaches to gather and manage huge volumes of data collected from customers and markets and improve capability of SCs to predict demand, to configure personalised solutions (based for example on Big Data and Analytics, Artificial Intelligence), to enrich customer experience. New operational models for handling consumer data (and related privacy issues) and involve them in the value creation.
  • SC Collaboration & Orchestration: digital platforms and related decision-making tools to increase real time coordination and synchronization among all the actors of the chain, to facilitate tracking of orders, planning decentralized production and distribution also involving customers.
  • SC traceability for social sustainability with innovative solutions to guarantee quality, sustainability and originality of materials for consumer trust, based on track and trace systems of SC processes, blockchain, sensor-based real time monitoring systems (e.g. IoT).
  • Coping with urban context: new methods and tools to integrate SC activities (manufacturing and distribution) with smart cities infrastructures thanks to appropriate location and communication technologies. In particular, systems based on AI (such as machine and deep learning) to optimize the flows of citizens and goods, personalized shipping and to efficiently implement last mile delivery.
  • Urban manufacturing: management of small and medium modular production facilities (i.e. start-ups and fab-labs) within urban areas to exploit the DYI paradigm, as well as to face temporary needs of local production due to emergency and disasters. New models to study how the configuration of SC could include and empower citizens within this context.
  • Safety and ergonomics in SC operations: new models and tools to fully exploit autonomous systems and collaborative robots to share work environment with humans, relieving them from risky and heavy tasks in SC operations.
  • Training programs for new SC skills: to bridge the gaps in acquiring specialised talents in SC workforce caused by digitalization it is essential the context-aware identification of both hard and soft SC skills and the design of VR/AR specific skill programmes with support of AI.
  • Social sustainability assessment at SC level: new methods and tools to enable actors at different levels, both internal and external to SC (i.e. suppliers, consumers, citizens), to monitor and assess the social sustainability performance basing on digital solutions.
  • Inclusivity in SC and Ethical challenges: new operational models to valorise peculiarities of the workforce in terms of age, gender, and socio-cultural differences, assuring inclusive interaction with new technologies. New models considering ethical challenges, to reduce the risk of unfair decisions and undesirable behaviours in AI-based decision tools.

Submission Instructions

Select "special issue title” when submitting your paper to ScholarOne.

Original contributions on successful applications of above mentioned innovative models and tools in real industrial or SC cases are particularly welcome. Theoretical contributions will be considered if a strong appeal for industrial applications can be justified and demonstrated.

Expected publication dates 2023.

It is expected that papers will be published in the online version of the journal as soon as they are accepted for publication.

A selected number of papers from the 23rd IFIP/SOCOLNET Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises, Pro-Ve2022 and  from IFIP Conference on Advanced Production Management Systems, APMS2022 will be invited to submit an extended and updated version in this special issue. Please visit https://pro-ve-2022.ipl.pt/ and https://www.apms-conference.org/ for more details.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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