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.