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GIBS Business School

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About the course

The manufacturing sector is experiencing a (r)evolution. Are you positioned to respond to these changes? Is your business future proof?

The course will begin with an interrogation of the strategic tools required to engage with potentially highly disruptive markets; explore how social and technological forces are likely to re-frame the manufacturing sector in the future; and consider how the rise of mass customisation, additive manufacturing (3D printing), robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) will impact the sector.

Day two will explore the development of advanced new materials (focusing on nano-technology); new forms of work organisation (encompassing product development, production, and supply chain management); and perhaps most importantly, the rapid rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its major disruptive consequences for every facet of manufacturing.

Following the format of The Future of Manufacturing Series, there will be a "project-week" between the two course blocks. During this week course participants will be tasked with preparing board presentations advocating for company resource deployment in one of the market and/or technology disruptors that will be unpacked during the first two days of the course.

The third day comprises analysing each of the board presentations and further discussing the strategic consequences of the material covered.

The final day covers real-world examples of engagement with future manufacturing challenges. Inputs on company responses to future manufacturing challenges from leading industry practitioners will be shared, followed by an interrogation of lessons from the practitioners, and linkages back to the material covered during the course.

Key focus areas:

  • Strategic tools to engage with disruption;
  • Mass customisation;
  • Additive manufacturing;
  • Robotics and AI;
  • Advanced Materials;
  • New work organisation forms (production, product development, supply chain);
  • The internet of things;
  • Syndicate assignment: Prepare a board presentation advocating how a company should respond to one of the six disruptors explored Board presentations: Six disruptors;
  • Expert panel: Leadership insights on disruptors; and
  • From theory to practice: Defining appropriate strategic responses.

How you will benefit:

After attending all three programmes, you should fully understand:

  • The key role of African trade and industrial development in the future of South African manufacturing;
  • Industrial and trade policy challenges that will need to be managed by manufacturers;
  • The multiple dimensions of the green manufacturing challenge, and how individual manufacturing businesses can respond to, and benefit from, the green (r)evolution – within their business and their supply chain; and
  • How technological and social forces will impact on manufacturing in the future.

Who should attend

Senior business and public-sector executives with manufacturing portfolios. The course will be taught at a masters’ level and executives should preferably also have a four-year technical or academic qualification.

Trust the experts

Justin Barnes

Dr. Justin Barnes is an expert in the field of industrial development. Justin has worked in the South African manufacturing sector since 1995. He co-established B&M Analysts in 1997 and left the University of Natal at the end of 2002 to focus on the company’s growing interests. He still, howe...


Johan van Zyl

Dr Johan van Zyl is the senior managing officer at Toyota Motor Corporation and has a long standing career in manufacturing as highlighed below: Career of Dr Johan van Zyl: Jul. 1993 Joined Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd. (TSAM) as sales director Mar. 1995 Group marketing director May...


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