The Smart Factory & Digital Supply Chain

Industry 4.0: Smart operations & supply chain management for sustainable competitive advantage


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in Open Executive Education in Belgium and #27 worldwide


former participants


for Learning impact

One of Europe’s leading institutes of technology and one of its leading business schools have come together to create this unique, three-day programme. With Vlerick Business School, you learn the latest in smart supply chains and digital leadership. And with the RWTH Aachen Engineering Campus, you get an action-focused learning experience. 

You gain the skills, experience and confidence to implement a smart factory and digital supply chain – and develop a plan to make the transition.  

Detailed programme

The three-day Smart Factory and Digital Supply Chain programme consists of three modules. Together they cover the most important strategic building blocks of your operations and supply chain: 

Module 1: The smart supply chain  

  • Discover smart operations and understand why they’re so important 
  • Explore the impact digital technologies will have on your supply chain 
  • Know how digital technologies will transform your organisation – and impact competition 
  • Learn how to measure the return on investment of digitally transforming your operations and supply chain – and how to build a case for Industry 4.0. 

Module 2: The Smart Factory: From Operational Excellence to Industrial Manufacturing Platforms

  • See the smart manufacturing big picture: Have we reached Industry 4.0 – or are we heading to 5.0?
  • Discover how digital twin technology and new standards for connectivity lead to a new level of operational excellence
  • Explore how AI and ML can augment operational decision-making 
  • Find out how digitisation supports localisation and operational resilience 
  • Discover how platform-based business models can power new manufacturing models – and the threats and opportunities for established companies

Module 3: Leadership in digital transformation 

  • Explore roles in digital transformation – including your own 
  • Learn about necessary experiments and making the right choices
  • Discover how to manage the change of a digital transformation

Why this programme

If you want to transform your operations with digital technologies, this programme is a great place to start. It gives you the knowledge, skills and insight to benchmark your digital strategy – and lead and manage your transformation.

Your immediate return on your investment in the programme will include:

  • Understanding current and emerging trends
  • Knowing the changing impact that digitisation may have on your supply chain and production
  • Learning how to move beyond operational excellence – and how digitisation should shape future business models, differentiation, and sustainability
  • Discovering how to use and deploy technologies correctly 
  • Highlighting the digital initiatives you need to take now – and how to measure their impact to grow your business
  • Developing the essential knowledge and skills required to measure, analyse and successfully implement digital initiatives
  • Embracing digital leadership to take your business to the next level
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Your questions, answered!

Discover everything you need to know on the smart factory and digital supply chain with leading Vlerick professor Ann Vereecke. She shares quick answers to the most searched questions on the smart factory and digital supply chain.

Who should attend

  • Operations and supply chain managers who want to draw up a plan to further digitalise their supply chain and factory.
  • Plant managers and production managers who want to motivate their team towards digitalisation.
  • Managers working in a manufacturing organisation who want to steer digital choices and set priorities.
  • Supply chain consultants who want to grow further to include more people in digital initiatives.
  • Logistic service providers, who want to develop a plan to digitalise their distribution centres and supply chain

In previous editions, we had the pleasure of welcoming participants from companies like:


Success stories

Dries Boon

This programme gave me insights into concepts such as IoT, digital twins, and platform-based ecosystems. With renowned professors, testimonials from the business world, and interactive exercises, the programme offers real added value. And because it’s presented in a hybrid form, today's digital reality is tangible right from the start.


Ann Vereecke

Ann Vereecke

Professor of Operations Management

Ann Vereecke advises on the supply chain that best fits your strategy and products.

Karlien Vanderheyden

Karlien Vanderheyden

Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Karlien Vanderheyden focuses on how individuals can impact an organisation’s people, processes and performance.

Stijn Viaene

Stijn Viaene

Professor of Digital Transformation

Stijn Viaene is dedicated to helping executives transform their enterprises for a digital world.

Frank Piller

Frank Piller

Professor of innovation management

Frank Piller is professor at RWTH Aacken and a leading expert on strategies for customer-centric value creation. Frank focusses on the need of established corporations to deal with disruptive business model innovations.

Get in touch!