Digital transformation in the footwear industry
: assessing the potential of IoT on portuguese SMEs in the footwear industry

  • Diogo Marques Vaz (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In the last few years, manufacturing companies, from the most diverse industries and sectors, have been investing in industry 4.0 technologies. One of these technologies is the Internet of Things (IoT), which has been revolutionising industries, namely manufacturing, healthcare, energy, retail, and agriculture. Manufacturing firms are adopting IoT not only to improve quality, production and reduce costs but also to enhance the logistic chain and improve customer experience. However, very little progress has been made in the Portuguese footwear industry towards the implementation of the Internet of Things, particularly in the SME segment. This dissertation has analysed the potential operational and production advantages of IoT, the associated economic impact, as well as the limitations of this technology and the challenges for its implementation in Portuguese footwear SMEs. Finally, this dissertation aims to present an adoption roadmap. The results provided positive indicators of operational and productivity gains translated into cost reduction in work insurance, energy, travelling, acquisition of raw materials and decrease of inventory units, and production waste. Nevertheless, the associated potential of each IoT use case is dependent on the capacity of Portuguese footwear SMEs to invest and acquire the necessary technical resources. The main barriers to the adoption of IoT derive from the limitations of the technology and the specific challenges associated to the Portuguese footwear SMEs economic and technical framework. Nonetheless, the technological advances, the cross collaboration among the different footwear stakeholders, and a well-defined implementation strategy can overcome these barriers and bring operational and economic benefits.
Date of Award12 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorAndré de Almeida Pinho (Supervisor)


  • Digital transformation
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Portuguese footwear industry
  • SMEs
  • Use cases
  • Benefits
  • Challenges
  • Limitations
  • Implementation


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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