, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 257-296
Date: 16 Jun 2012

The next industrial revolution: Integrated services and goods

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Abstract

The outputs or products of an economy can be divided into services products and goods products (due to manufacturing, construction, agriculture and mining). To date, the services and goods products have, for the most part, been separately mass produced. However, in contrast to the first and second industrial revolutions which respectively focused on the development and the mass production of goods, the next — or third — industrial revolution is focused on the integration of services and/or goods; it is beginning in this second decade of the 21st Century. The Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) is based on the confluence of three major technological enablers (i.e., big data analytics, adaptive services and digital manufacturing); they underpin the integration or mass customization of services and/or goods. As detailed in an earlier paper, we regard mass customization as the simultaneous and real-time management of supply and demand chains, based on a taxonomy that can be defined in terms of its underpinning component and management foci. The benefits of real-time mass customization cannot be over-stated as goods and services become indistinguishable and are co-produced — as “servgoods” — in real-time, resulting in an overwhelming economic advantage to the industrialized countries where the consuming customers are at the same time the co-producing producers.

James M. Tien received the BEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and the SM, EE and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has held leadership positions at Bell Telephone Laboratories, at the Rand Corporation, and at Structured Decisions Corporation. He joined the Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering at RPI in 1977, became Acting Chair of the department, joined a unique interdisciplinary Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems as its founding Chair, and twice served as the Acting Dean of Engineering. In 2007, he was recruited by the University of Miami to be a Distinguished Professor and Dean of its College of Engineering. He has been awarded the IEEE Joseph G. Wohl Outstanding Career Award, the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award, the IEEE Norbert Wiener Award, and the IBM Faculty Award. He is also an elected member of the prestigious U. S. National Academy of Engineering.