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“Our community of

“Our community of values must be used to explore further technological developments” With the Material Handling & Logistics Conference Europe (MHLC), Dematic is aiming to establish an industry-wide European networking platform on the subject of supply chains. Visitors to the event, which will be taking place on March 8th and 9th, 2020 in Stuttgart, can thus expect a diverse selection of speakers who will be covering various themes. The editorial team from our sister publication f+h, media partner to the event, will be talking to selected speakers about the topics they will be covering at the conference. We start with Claudia Olsson, founder and CEO of Stellar Capacity, as well as author of the 2030 Future Scenario for the Digitalisation Commission established by the Swedish Government. Ms. Olsson, as founder of Stellar Capacity, your work focuses on the impact of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, on people and society. What is the recommended approach to dealing with future socio-political challenges? Claudia Olsson: Taking the impact of network effects, the speed of digital developments and the global megatrends into account, we need to prepare for a world where we will face greater complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty. Exploring the various potential future scenarios and analyzing how to best respond and build resilience is one way to address changing global conditions. Another option is to define purpose and vision, which serves as an anchor in times of rapid change. The combination of logistics and artificial intelligence no longer belongs to the realm of science fiction. When it comes to practical implementation, what do you think is holding it back? NEWS AND MARKETS Claudia Olsson: Active digital leadership is key to advancing the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies. At Stellar Capacity, we often support companies as they map their key challenges and strive to establish a strong market position. In many cases, there is a clear need to invest in new technical systems or to upgrade and update existing ones. Another red flag is the lack of skills needed for achieving success with the latest technologies and in the ongoing training of employees. In addition, we need to take a closer look at the corporate culture and communication within these companies - do we dare to experiment, take risks and try new approaches and technologies? Are we curious and driven to explore new ways of working? Is the end goal more important than the ex-

isting hierarchies? By identifying the limiting factors and gradually removing them, we can seize the opportunities of technological progress far sooner. Two out of three German companies want to invest in artificial intelligence within the next few years. They are doing this to increase efficiency and reduce costs. What role will artificial intelligence play here? Claudia Olsson: By implementing AI-powered solutions in manufacturing processes, companies can improve operational efficiency, predict the need for maintenance and potential interruptions, No amount of AI or cobots will help if the people in the organization are not open to change as well as reduce errors and material waste. The automation of certain routine processes, for example accounting processes and financial reporting, can improve digital productivity in the workplace as employees will be able to focus on more complex and more important tasks. From artificial intelligence to robotics – another at times controversial topic for both the general public and those from the world of logistics. The statements in the book “Machines Like Me “ by Ian McEwan can be interpreted in such a way that robots are becoming more and more like humans. Does this not represent a danger to our society? Unlike the industrial applications, is this not indeed science fiction? Claudia Olsson: Developments in robotics will accelerate in the coming years. We see researchers working on advanced humanoid robots, and experimenting with sensors and artificial muscles and materials that can even self-repair. There is no doubt that the coming years will demonstrate further progress in this area and, of course, as the robots are designed to complement us humans, their flexibility and abilities will increase. However, they will still only perform the tasks we have instructed them to do. We are still in control of their actions. Given the impact on the future viability of our technical systems, our focus should be on our values as humans. How do we want robots to impact our future and why? Our values need to guide the developments as the technology will mainly be an expression of our values. The use of robotics is becoming increasingly common in logistics centers. What impact does your work have on those who wish to introduce robots into the daily routine and are there limits to what artificial intelligence can achieve? Claudia Olsson: One key recommendation is for companies to actively develop internal systems for continuous learning and digital upskilling. On a European level, 44% of Europeans report that they are lacking basic digital skills. There is already a shortage of digitally skilled manpower and the demands will only continue to grow. To enable future innovation and growth, there needs to be an industry-wide focus on securing access to skilled manpower for the future. For the companies collaborating with Stellar Capacity, we have identified the need for a greater focus on digital aspects, rather than simply just technology – no amount of AI or cobots will help if the people in the organization are not open to change. The interview was conducted by Winfried Bauer, Editor-in-Chief, World of Industries f+h is an exclusive media partner of MHLC In the US, the intralogistics system integrator Dematic has already successfully established the “Material Handling & Logistics Conference” event format. Next year, the industrywide networking platform on the theme of supply chains will also be coming to Europe. Our sister publication f+h is an exclusive media partner of the conference for the “Optimizing work processes” stream. You will find the entire conference program on our website. Simply enter the web address in your browser or scan the QR code. Editorial board: Winfried Bauer (Editor-in-chief), E-mail: Peter Becker (Editor-in-chief), E-mail: Nicole Steinicke (Editor-in-chief), E-mail: Manfred Weber, E-mail: Managing editor: Winfried Bauer Assistant editors: Petra Weidt, Melanie Lerch, Angelina Haas, Ulla Winter, Doris Buchenau Design/Layout: Anna Schätzlein, Sonja Daniel, Anette Fröder, Mario Wüst E-paper designer: Anna Schätzlein Publishing house: Vereinigte Fachverlage GmbH Lise-Meitner-Str. 2, 55129 Mainz, Germany Commercial register No.: HRB 2270, District Court of Mainz VAT-ID: DE149063659 Privacy statement: Managing director: Dr. Olaf Theisen Publishing director: Dr. Michael Werner, E-mail: Correspondent India: Sushen Haresh Doshi M.Sc. Advertising sales director: Beatrice Thomas-Meyer, E-mail: Advertising sales manager: Oliver Jennen, E-mail: Andreas Zepig, E-mail: Sales representatives Austria: Heinz-Joachim Greiner, E-mail: Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway: Malte Mezger, E-mail: France: Marc Jouanny, E-mail: Great Britain, Ireland: Rob Brewer, E-mail: Italy: Edgar Mäder, E-Mail: Switzerland: Hermann Jordi, E-mail: USA, Canada, Mexico: Patrick Venezia Jr, E-mail: Advertising disposition: Annemarie Benthin, E-mail: Isabell Faß, E-Mail: Brigitte Glückler, E-Mail: Nevenka Islamovic, E-mail: Heike Rauschkolb, E-mail: In cooperation with: Hannover Fairs International GmbH, Messegelände, 30521 Hannover, Germany Internet: WORLD OF OF INDUSTRIES 1/2020 9


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