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Thomas Industry Update Podcast

The biweekly Thomas Industry Update Podcast features insightful conversations with industry leaders to provide listeners with the actionable information they need to grow their careers, scale their businesses, and lead the future of industry.  

Episode 50: Expert Shares 3 Major Supply Chain Risks to Avoid

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“I spent 35 years trying to explain what supply chain management was to my friends and relatives, and they're like, what?” laughs Rosemary Coates, executive director of the Reshoring Institute and president of Blue Silk Consulting. “But today, of course, it’s headline news... Everybody talks about the supply chain and how it's affected our lives.” Host Cathy Ma talks to Coates about her experience publishing books that now serve as key references for industry professionals, her path to becoming an expert witness in supply chain-related legal cases, and the lessons she's learned about the supply chain through her experience in the industrial sector.

Additional resources from this episode:

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Episode 49: How Should Businesses Prepare Their Supply Chains for 2022?

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“We were set up to manage one or two disruptions at a time,” says Jen Upthegrove, director of global supply chain process & systems at Rockwell Automation. “We were never set up to manage this many disruptions concurrently at the same time.” Over the past year, the supply chain has rocketed from relative unknown into the global spotlight. But after more than 20 years at Rockwell, Upthegrove knows firsthand the inherent challenges involved in global supply chain management. Host Cathy Ma sits down with Upthegrove to discuss the impact of Industry 4.0 on traceability in the global supply chain and how to prepare for potential unexpected challenges in 2022.

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Episode 48: “Don’t Let Safety Go Lax” Amid Great Resignation 

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4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August. Among these now-open roles are industry professionals who were tasked with managing safety at manufacturing businesses nationwide. “Don't let safety go lax” amid staffing gaps resulting from the Great Resignation, warns Michelle Tinsley, co-founder and COO of Yellowbird, a two-sided marketplace connecting industrial businesses with safety needs to EHS and OSHA industrial safety professionals and consultants. Rachel Eigan, a certified industrial safety professional and the founder of Amplify Safety Consulting, is one of more than 600 safety professionals working in partnership with Yellowbird. In the latest episode of the Thomas Industry Update Podcast, podcast host and Thomas CMO Shawn Fitzgerald speaks with Tinsley and Eigan about how to prioritize safety at industrial businesses, the impact of COVID-19 on mental and other forms of health in the manufacturing space, and the dynamic future of industrial safety.

Additional resources from this episode:

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Episode 47: Industry 4.0 Shouldn't Be Overly Complex

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“Oftentimes we try to solve problems that are really urgent by adding layers of complexity — more process, more steps,” says Sunny Han, CEO and founder of Fulcrum. “But really, the answer is the opposite — to go simpler.” Thrown into flux by recent COVID-19 related supply chain disruptions, the manufacturing industry feels even more complex and unpredictable than usual. “Those that are able to handle that chaos better are going to come out on top,” explains Han. The secret to handling that chaos, he says in the latest podcast episode with host Shawn Fitzgerald, is knowing exactly what’s happening at any given moment across your industrial business, from production and scheduling to financials. Fulcrum, a manufacturing ERP platform, recently raised a $3.1 million seed round of VC funding to further develop its technology to help manufacturers track such critical business insights. 

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Episode 46: How Does Gen Z View the Manufacturing Sector?

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77% of Gen Z views the manufacturing sector more positively now than pre-COVID-19, according to a recent survey conducted by Parsable, an enterprise, cloud-based software company offering digital tools designed to enhance industrial productivity, safety, and quality. “You've read a lot of headlines about automation and robots taking over. But the reality is very, very different,” says Parsable CEO and this week’s guest Lawrence Whittle. “There are tremendous labor shortages. And clearly, one of the biggest available [labor] pools that’s available is Generation Z.” Whittle joins podcast host Cathy Ma to discuss the survey’s major takeaways and how its results could improve recruitment initiatives across the industrial sector in light of current labor shortages.

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Revisiting Episode 39: Behind the Scenes of the NFL's On-field Player Tracking Technology 

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“As football fans, we’ve all heard that a quarterback can really spin it,” says John "JP" Pollard, vice president of business development at Zebra MotionWorks™ Sport. But now, equipped with Zebra’s innovative tracking technology, “the tag in the football actually allows us to calculate in a quantifiable way the actual spin rate of the football.” In its seventh year as the official on-field player-tracking provider of the NFL, Zebra fuels the League’s Next Gen Stats program by collecting real-time location data that captures the activity of every player in every play on every inch of the field. Hear about how Zebra’s tracking technology works and how data could enhance the future of football in the latest episode with host Shawn Fitzgerald. 

Additional resources from this episode:

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Episode 45: What Does Reshoring Mean for U.S. Manufacturers? 

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“We're getting to an Amazon-driven, consumer-driven world,” says Mahesh Rajasekharan, president and CEO of global ecosystem integration software solutions company Cleo. “Even though they're B2B manufacturing buyers, they have a B2C mindset right now.” Learn the 3 questions industrial business leaders should be asking themselves as they consider the future of global supply chain post-COVID-19 and how reshoring will impact American manufacturing opportunities. The episode also features an interview with Niels van den Boogert, vice president and general manager of conveying solutions at Ammega, on how the brand’s multiple business lines are further expanding in light of the global shift toward reshoring. 

Additional resources from this episode:

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Episode 44: What’s the First Step to a Successful Digital Transformation? 

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Not sure how to start your digital transformation journey? Start small while thinking big, says Olivier Pauzet, vice president of product and IoT solutions at Sierra Wireless. And be sure to listen throughout the entire process -- not just to your leadership team but to all employees, says Chelsea Barnes, a manager of the operational change management division at Kalypso, a Rockwell Automation company. By outlining just a few key steps in the initial stages of your strategy, you can save both money and time over the course of your entire digital transformation journey.

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Episode 43: Chief Analyst Shares Predictions for Future of the Electronics Sector

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“I believe that we are on the cusp of some exciting technology advances that are going to drive some really exciting growth in our industry,” says Dale Ford, chief analyst of the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA). In conversation with Thomas President and CEO Tony Uphoff, Ford shares his perspectives on the state of the electronics industry and what the future holds for the sector post-COVID-19.

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Episode 42: How Can We Reduce the Gender Gap in Construction?

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While women comprise 47% of the American workforce, they represent only 9% of the construction workforce. Yet among the more than 7,000 employees at Rosendin Electric, one of the largest electrical contractors in the United States, women represent 30% of the company’s staff. While the firm’s focus on recruiting and retaining women is particularly unique for the construction sector, “it’s just the way that people live and coexist within Rosendin,” says Senior Safety Manager of East Coast Renewables Alison Elwell. In the latest podcast episode, Elwell speaks with Thomas Vice President of Platform Growth & Engagement Cathy Ma about diversity, culture, and communication in the construction sector.

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Episode 41: Inside Project DIAMOnD, the Nation's Largest 3D Printing Network

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While the COVID-19 pandemic caused innumerable, life-threatening challenges, it also gave the manufacturing industry a unique opportunity to showcase its collaborative potential. Host Tony Uphoff speaks to 4 key stakeholders from 3 companies involved in Project DIAMOnD, which stands for Distributed, Independent, Agile Manufacturing on Demand, a unique program created last year at the height of the pandemic. Backed by Microsoft, the Michigan-based initiative was developed by Automation Alley, a World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB), with the goal of creating the nation’s largest 3D printing marketplace and network to increase agile, urgent resource production.

Additional resources from this episode:

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Episode 40: Accenture CTO Reimagines the Future of Work

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“We're at a moment of truth now where it's the time that you really have to get digital transformation right to secure the right future,” says Accenture CTO and Group Chief Executive of Technology Paul Daugherty, who is the co-author of Human Plus Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI, on the latest episode of the Thomas Industry Update Podcast. In conversation with host Tony Uphoff, Thomas CEO and president, Daugherty explains how business leaders can overcome the 2 main barriers to digital transformation, the growing momentum of AI and the impact of big vs. small data, and the top 3 fundamental changes driving the future of work post-COVID-19.

Additional resources from this episode:

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Episode 39: Behind the Scenes of the NFL's On-field Player Tracking Technology 

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“As football fans, we’ve all heard that a quarterback can really spin it,” says John "JP" Pollard, vice president of business development at Zebra MotionWorks™ Sport. But now, equipped with Zebra’s innovative tracking technology, “the tag in the football actually allows us to calculate in a quantifiable way the actual spin rate of the football.” In its seventh year as the official on-field player-tracking provider of the NFL, Zebra fuels the League’s Next Gen Stats program by collecting real-time location data that captures the activity of every player in every play on every inch of the field. Hear about how Zebra’s tracking technology works and how data could enhance the future of football in the latest episode with host Shawn Fitzgerald. 

Additional resources from this episode:

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Episode 38: Is This the End of Global Free Trade?

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As a new administration begins to shift trade policy, U.S.-China trade uncertainties continue to linger, and digital transformation dominates the industrial space, industrial business leaders need to prepare for a new paradigm in global free trade. “A global values trade system is about to emerge,” says returning guest Andrew Blasi, Director at Crowell & Moring International. The global values trade system, he says, will encapsulate worker-centric policies, human rights, sustainability, data privacy, technological impacts, and more to influence decision-making. Hear more of Blasi’s actionable guidance to business leaders in preparing for the future of fragmented globalization, shared in conversation with host Tony Uphoff, in today’s episode.  

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Episode 37: Meet Chuck, the Robot That Caught Shopify’s Attention

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Meet Chuck. He’s an autonomous, mobile robotic solution designed to streamline millions of daily warehouse transactions through side by side collaboration with human employees. In utilizing Chuck, “you're not just creating a robotic system, you are creating a collaborative environment between human and robot,” explains Jerome Dubois, co-CEO and cofounder of 6 River Systems, the company behind Chuck and other technologies redefining the future of fulfillment. In today’s episode, Dubois talks with host Cathy Ma, head of audience development at Thomas, about the role of collaborative robotics in the workforce, how business leaders should strategically approach their industrial automation journeys, and the appeal of a“digital by design” workforce.

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Episode 36: Where Can I Get Funding for My Early Stage Startup?

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With $200 million in funding awarded annually to “high-risk, high impact” startups and small businesses, the congressionally mandated America’s Seed Fund program has been fueling innovative entrepreneurs for 40 years — without taking a stake in their cutting-edge businesses. In today’s episode, Program Director and Policy Liaison Ben Schrag sits down with host Tony Uphoff, Thomas CEO and President, to discuss the Fund’s forward-thinking mission, highlight innovative technologies on the horizon, and share recommended strategies for entrepreneurs interested in applying for financial support from America’s Seed Fund. 

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Episode 35: How Can Manufacturers Streamline MRO? 

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In the wake of COVID-19, 81% of business leaders now view the integration of technology as a higher priority than ever before. But while digital transformation is often discussed in the context of automation on the shop floor or digitization of sales & marketing, it’s less often recognized as an opportunity to streamline MRO. Ryan Chan, the CEO and founder of UpKeep, saw this as an opportunity to help industry professionals in both the front and back offices. UpKeep provides mobile-first CMMS software to enable maintenance and facilities operating teams to more effectively plan and respond to required maintenance events. Chan joins Thomas CMO Shawn Fitzgerald on today’s episode. 

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Episode 34: What's Holding the Trucking Industry Back from Innovation? 

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Shifting factors in the trucking industry — like fewer drivers, lower capacity, and rising demand — will likely result in 8-15% higher contract rates this year, according to U.S. Xpress. While this means more opportunity, it also means more paperwork. Will Chu, co-founder and CEO of Vector, a contactless pickup and delivery solution, is on a mission to simplify the logistics process by removing this physical paperwork from the supply chain. In conversation with host Tony Uphoff, Thomas CEO and President, Chu discusses the range of opportunities for innovation and how the pandemic has not only disrupted the freight industry but also created an opportunity for new technologies to transform the sector.

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Episode 33: Behind the Scenes: What Happens to Your Product Returns? 

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During a very busy eCommerce shopping season, there’s an equally busy system running behind the scenes: returns. Last year’s National Returns Day shattered previous records, with holiday shoppers returning 1.9 million packages. How did retailers prepare for this massive influx and what happens to your purchase once you’ve returned it? David Sobie, CEO and co-founder of Happy Returns, has all of the answers on this week’s episode. Join host and Thomas Director of Audience Development Cathy Ma for a deep dive into how Happy Returns is disrupting the logistics industry in efficiency, sustainability, and customer experience, especially in a new era of eCommerce fueled by COVID-19. 

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Episode 32: How to Survive Major Business Disruptions as a Small Business

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From shutdowns to reshoring, 2020 leading into 2021 has been a uniquely challenging era for industrial businesses. However, Bead Industries CEO Jill Mayer took these challenges in stride, strategically mapping out her fifth-generation family business' response to the challenges the business faced at the peak of COVID-19. In conversation with host and Thomas Chief of Marketing Shawn Fitzgerald, Mayer discusses her rise through the ranks of her 5th generation family business, how she spearheaded digital transformation at the 109-year-old company, and the traits she looks for when hiring new team members to join her workforce. 

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Episode 31: What Opportunities Will Reshoring Create for Manufacturers in 2021?

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With 69% of North American manufacturers recently indicating they're "likely" or even "extremely likely" to reshore their supply chains in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and tariffs, Thomas Insights brought longtime reshoring advocate Barry Zekelman, executive chairman and CEO of Zekelman Industries, onto this week's episode of the Thomas Industry Update Podcast. Alongside Thomas President and CEO Tony Uphoff, Zekelman told listeners about his rise through the ranks of industry — at just 19 years old Zekelman took over his father's steel business and transformed it into one of North America's largest steel pipe and tube makers — plus his passion for reshoring manufacturing to North America, and how he plans to combat the skills shortage that could grow as operations come back from overseas.

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Episode 30: Intel’s IIoT VP Reveals Strategies for Industry 4.0 Adoption

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To kick off season 2 of the Thomas Industry Update, we’re excited to welcome Brian McCarson, vice president and senior principal engineer at Intel. McCarson, who leads the Industrial Solutions Division Systems Engineering and Architecture team within the Internet of the Things (IIoT) Group at Intel, joins Thomas CMO Shawn Fitzgerald to give our listeners (and now, viewers!) the inside scoop on the future of IIoT to help industrial business leaders “solve problems today to be ready for the future.”

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Episode 29: Building a Business That Can Withstand COVID-19 with Terri Jondahl

For nearly every manufacturer across North America, 2020 has posed unique business challenges. 64% of manufacturers reported business impacts fueled by shutdown orders alone, based on data from a May Thomas Industrial Survey, which doesn't even account for the substantial supply chain impacts caused by COVID-19. In this episode, Thomas CEO Tony Uphoff sits down with Terri Jondahl, an experienced industrial entrepreneur and the longtime CEO of CAB Incorporated. Jondahl recounts how she built up her business to withstand the seemingly endless challenges that we encountered this year and shares her unique perspectives on process improvement.

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Episode 28: Reinventing Industrial Hiring Strategies with Michael Bell

U.S. Department of Labor data shows apprenticeships have grown 56% since 2013 and are expected to continue to skyrocket in coming years. In this episode, Thomas CMO Shawn Fitzgerald sits down with Michael Bell, CEO and founder of Synbyo, and Q3 Thomas Champion for Industry winner, to discuss his unique approach to solving the industrial skills gap. After seeing how manufacturing businesses have grown tired of poaching talent from each other, Bell believes his apprenticeship program, geared toward both young novices and experienced industrial professionals, could offer a long-term solution to the industrial skills gap.

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Episode 27: Exploring Opportunities for Veterans in Industry with Lieutenant Commander Terry Farrell

The manufacturing skills gap is one of the most urgent challenges facing key industry players today. Just over 50% of manufacturing leaders anticipate difficulties in attracting and retaining talent in the future, according to the National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey. But there is one demographic that the sector hasn’t fully tapped into yet: U.S. veterans. Lieutenant Commander Terry Farrell, Sahn-Gobahn’s North American IP Telephony Voice Services Project Manager, sees a huge opportunity for veterans who are looking for a new path after their service. Tune in for Terry’s insights on how veterans can serve as key assets to your industrial organization.

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Episode 26: Making Advanced Manufacturing Technology Approachable with Jason Ray

Although many industrial businesses already recognize the value of Industry 4.0 technologies, making a plan to adopt these technologies can still be an uphill battle. A recent Deloitte survey says that only 10% of C-level executives have longer-range strategies for leveraging new technologies. However, Jason Ray, CEO and co-founder of Paperless Parts, has set out to address that major gap by building a cloud-based platform focused on making Industry 4.0 into a more seamless, approachable experience. Listen in on Jason’s unique industrial perspectives alongside host Tony Uphoff as they dissect adoption challenges and provide actionable solutions to bring your industrial business into the next era of technology. 

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Episode 25: Transforming Operations Through the Digital Thread with Keith Higgins

As industrial business leaders increasingly recognize the value of data-driven decision making, they must first break down information silos. A recent McKinsey report notes that businesses end up spending more than 35% of their time looking for information rather than actively using that information for effective, data-driven decision making. So how can businesses optimize time spent working with data? Keith Higgins, the VP of Digital Transformation at Rockwell Automation, has the answer. Join Keith and host Tony Uphoff as they explore the digital thread and discuss why “edge is the new cloud.”

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Episode 24: Optimizing the Industrial B2B Customer Experience with Jeff Ackel

A recent Walker study says that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Join Tony Uphoff and Jeff Ackel, CEO of Sigma Thermal, as they discuss why the B2B customer experience is so critical to leading a successful industrial business, especially amid the challenging environment of COVID-19. Jeff will also share his tips on how to assess what the experience is like for your own customers and how you can optimize their experience to improve your customer retention and profits. 

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Episode 23: Redefining the Value of Company Culture with Tracy Tenpenny

Recent Gallup data says companies that prioritize company culture by hiring and retaining key talent drive 33% more revenue. Join Thomas Talent Acquisition Specialist Sam Schloss as he discusses the importance of company culture with Tracy Tenpenny, a 2019 Thomas Champion for Industry and the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Tailored Label Products. They’ll discuss how to attract, recruit, and retain top talent at your industrial business by building a strong company culture across a multi-generational workforce, and how to develop one of the most important elements of an effective company culture  – trust – through transparency. 

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Episode 22: Increasing Uptime Through Data-driven Decision Making with Ryan Chan

When diving into the data behind UpKeep, a CMMS software that just secured $36 million in Series B funding, it’s easy to see why investors and manufacturers alike are so interested in the company’s mobile-first solution. In a recent case study, UpKeep saved an industrial company $1.3 million and reduced their work order filings & asset info tracking time by 90%. Join Thomas CMO Shawn Fitzgerald and UpKeep CEO and founder Ryan Chan as they discuss how industrial business leaders should utilize operational data to make data-driven decisions, improve facility safety, and propel their businesses forward. 

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Episode 21: Advising Future Leaders with NextGen for Industry Winner Rose Celestin

Since starting her professional career at just 14 years old as a Purchasing Technician, Thomas NextGen for Industry Winner Rose Celestin has been blazing a trail through the supply chain ranks, quickly becoming a leader for the next generation of supply chain managers. Join Editorial Producer Lindsay Gilder as she sits down with Celestin, the Senior Strategic Sourcing Lead at WSSC Water, as they discuss Celestin’s predictions for the ongoing digital disruption of the industrial supply chain, the ongoing shifts in diversity across industry, and how business leaders can be more aware of and address unconscious bias within their teams.

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Episode 20: Globalizing an Industrial Business with the Hudson Technologies Team

Considering the U.S. exported $612 billion worth of goods and services in Q1 2020, American business leaders are familiar with global export strategies. But executing a global production strategy, which involves establishing consistent operations, hiring a skilled team, and connecting with customers in a new country, is a completely different (and difficult) tactic. Join host Tony Uphoff and members of the Hudson Technologies team as they discuss their successful globalization strategy and share their advice for how other U.S.-based companies can expand into 24-hour production on an international scale. Guests include Strategic Projects Manager Nelson Jacobson Jr., Director of Sales Operations John DeBone, Sales Engineer Farley Fitzpatrick, and Sales & Marketing Manager John Marfiak.

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Episode 19: Creating a Safer Industrial Workplace with Sam Bradbury and Mark Heidebrecht

Industry employees who don’t feel valued in their workplace or feel they lack the ability to make a change within their workspace are 70% more likely to claim a musculoskeletal injury. Join host Tony Uphoff and Ergonomics International co-founders, Board Certified Exercise Physiologists, and Board Certified Human Factors Professionals Sam Bradbury and Mark Heidebrecht as they discuss how industrial business leaders can more effectively engage with their teams to improve the critical — yet often overlooked — physical and cultural considerations of industrial workplace safety. They’ll also explore how industrial businesses can update their workspaces to accommodate COVID-19-related safety considerations. 

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Episode 18: Building a More Diverse Industrial Workforce with Mary Person

Of the more than 15 million people currently employed in manufacturing roles, only 29% are women, 12.3% are Black, and 16.8% are Hispanic or Latino. So how can industrial business leaders take actionable steps toward diversifying their manufacturing teams? Join host Tony Uphoff and Mary Person, Director of Governmental Relations and External Affairs for FH Paschen, as they discuss how to find, recruit, retain, and engage top talent at your industrial business and two impactful things you can do today to enhance diversity at your company.

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Episode 17: Envisioning the Future of IIOT with Shawn Davison 

As industrial business leaders increasingly recognize the potential of IIOT, global spending on Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)  platforms is expected to surge to $12.44 billion in 2024, a massive jump from the $1.67 billion spent in 2018. Join host Tony Uphoff and Shawn Davison, CEO of DevIQ, serial entrepreneur, and software architect, as they explore what the fast-approaching future of IIOT might look like, how industrial business leaders can harness the power of data and AI to further fuel company growth, and the shift toward manufacturing “products as a service.” 

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Episode 16: Applying Startup Lessons to Corporate Business Models with Sean Ammirati

Entrepreneurship is often seen as a bastion of lean, forward-thinking startups. But these agile, early-stage businesses aren’t the only ones with the capacity to develop game-changing products and services. Join host Tony Uphoff and Sean Ammirati, author, professor, venture capitalist, and co-founder & director of the Carnegie Mellon Corporate Startup Lab (CSL), as they discuss the lessons that established, large-scale businesses can learn from agile startups, the accelerating shift from digital transformation to business model innovation, and why manufacturing business leaders should see themselves as entrepreneurs to help solve industry-wide challenges. 

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Episode 15: Forecasting COVID-19 Impacts on Global Trade with Andrew Blasi Jr. 

As the World Trade Organization estimates a global trade decline between 13-32% and double-digit declines in trade volume across almost every region worldwide as a result of COVID-19, it’s clear that business leaders need to prepare for the impending long-term economic effects of the coronavirus. Join Tony Uphoff and Andrew Blasi Jr., director at Crowell and Moring International, as they discuss the substantial impacts COVID-19 will have on the future of global trade and how industrial business leaders should strategically plan for these impacts to keep their companies afloat. 

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Episode 14: Surviving COVID-19 as a Small Business with Jim Blasingame

Join Tony Uphoff and Jim Blasingame, author and host of The Small Business Advocate Show, as they discuss how small business leaders should strategically prepare their companies to handle the impacts of COVID-19 and the required business shutdowns associated with the pandemic. Blasingame explains his “surviving is winning” approach to keeping companies afloat during this challenging time and why he believes small businesses will be the foundation of the economic recovery. 

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Episode 13: Using Disney Tactics to Strategize Business Growth with Sean Brown 

Join Thomas CMO Shawn Fitzgerald and Sean Brown, Marketing Strategy Manager at Disney and Chief Fire Starter at creative brainstorming company Ignite the Mind, as they discuss how industrial business leaders should break through daily distractions to more effectively use their time as an investment in their business’ growth and future success. By encouraging creative, diverse thinking, leaders develop new ideas and product opportunities through effective brainstorming. Building on tactics developed through his years at Disney, Brown offers a playbook for industrial business leaders to orchestrate creative problem-solving at their own companies. 

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Episode 12: Leading an Industrial Business Through COVID-19 with Ralf Weiser

Join Tony Uphoff and Ralf Weiser, VP of Operations at Alexanderwerk, as they discuss how industrial business leaders should be pivoting their typical business strategies to ones that can accommodate this quickly shifting global pandemic, including harnessing Industry 4.0, embracing digital sales and marketing, and prioritizing company culture. They also discuss best practices for training, engaging, and retaining industrial employees, especially in uncertain times.

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Episode 11: Bridging the Industrial Skills Gap with Nick Wyman

By 2025, as many as 2 million skilled manufacturing jobs may be unfilled if proactive steps aren’t taken to address the growing skills gap. But one particularly promising solution to this industry-wide challenge has emerged: an increase in manufacturing apprenticeships. Join Tony Uphoff and Nick Wyman, CEO of the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation, as they discuss the impact of apprenticeships, why employers and employees should consider them as career development options, and why there’s never been a better time to future proof your industrial business.

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Episode 10: Achieving Effective Digital Transformation with Joseph Anderson

Only 33% of change initiatives succeed, according to a recent Gartner report. While it may seem like an industry buzzword, change management is actually a critical component of effective industrial business leadership, especially in the context of Industry 4.0. Join Tony Uphoff and Joseph Anderson, President of the Institute for Process Excellence (IpX), as they discuss constructive change management and data utilization as part of Industry 4.0, and how to identify an effective transformation roadmap for your industrial business. 

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Episode 9: Embracing the Future of Industry 4.0 with Tom Kelly

94% of industrial business leaders consider digital transformation a main strategic priority in 2020 ― but only 14% say they’re highly confident their companies are fully prepared to handle the changes associated with IIoT technology integration. Join Tony Uphoff and Tom Kelly, CEO & Executive Director at Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 Knowledge Center, as they discuss what the future of Industry 4.0 means for U.S. manufacturers and how to effectively digitize your industrial business by shifting your workplace culture.

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Episode 8: Driving Change at an Industrial Family Business with Michael Araten 

Close to 90% of American businesses are family-owned. This also rings true with industrial businesses, which are often multi-generational companies aiming to continue the legacy of their familial founders while keeping their business on pace with industry advancements. Join Tony Uphoff and Michael Araten, former CEO of K’NEX and current President & CEO at The Rodon Group, as they discuss how to maintain a family business’ mission-driven legacy while adopting new strategies and industrial technologies.

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Episode 7: Predicting Tariff Impacts with Andrew Blasi Jr. 

While President Trump last week signed the Phase One trade deal with China to implement a partial truce on trade, ongoing tariff uncertainty will continue to impact industrial businesses. Join Tony Uphoff and Andrew Blasi Jr., a director at Crowell and Moring International with a specific focus on regulatory policy and international affairs, as they discuss how manufacturers should prepare for the impacts of ongoing tariff uncertainty and the changes we can expect to see in the short- and long-term.

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Episode 6: Encouraging Women to Pursue Industrial Careers with Allison Grealis & Aleah Titus

While women make up 50% of the U.S. population, they comprise only 30% of the manufacturing workforce. Join Tony Uphoff in conversation with Allison Grealis, president of Women in Manufacturing and vice president of association services for the Precision Metalforming Association, and Aleah Titus, LPG operations manager at ABB Traction USA and a 2019 NextGen for Industry award winner, as they discuss their experiences as women in industrial leadership roles, their perspectives on how industry has changed in recent years, and what advice they’d share with other women interested in pursuing industrial career opportunities. 

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Episode 5: Managing Shifting Supply Chain Dynamics with Rob Handfield

As changing tariffs and other market factors shift supply chain management dynamics, industrial business leaders must quickly adapt to changes as — or even before — they happen. Join Tony Uphoff and Rob Handfield, founder and executive director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative and professor of supply chain management at NC State’s Poole College of Management, as they discuss how tracking key data and collaborating effectively can solve supply chain challenges. 

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Episode 4: Reinventing STEM Education with Dr. Sal Menzo

In the face of the growing skills shortage, STEM education and workforce development programs are absolutely critical for American manufacturers. Join Tony Uphoff and Dr. Sal Menzo, Superintendent of the Wallingford Public Schools in Connecticut, as they discuss engaging students of all ages in STEM curriculums and how to garner townwide support for STEM & workforce training initiatives through community engagement.

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Episode 3: Developing an Industrial Company Culture with Karen Norheim 

Company culture is more than just a buzzword. Companies with engaged employees outperform their competition by 20%,  show 21% higher profitability, and have 59% less turnover. Join Shawn Fitzgerald, CMO of Thomas, and Karen Norheim, President and COO of American Crane & Equipment Corporation, as they discuss how to optimize productivity, improve morale, and engage a multi-generational workforce by developing a strong company culture at your industrial business. 

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Episode 2: Incorporating Video in Your Industrial Marketing Strategy with Chris Bryant

Video is a key component of any marketing strategy, driving high-quality leads and putting a trustworthy face on your industrial business. Chris Bryant, Creative Director at Empire Studios, discusses effective storytelling through video and how to incorporate the tactic into your industrial marketing strategy in conversation with host Tony Uphoff.

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Episode 1: Exploring Global Export Opportunities with Anne Evans 

If you've considered exporting but aren't sure where - or how - to start, this inaugural episode will serve as your blueprint. Anne Evans, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service, explores current export opportunities and resources available to American industrial businesses in conversation with host Tony Uphoff. 

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How to Find the Thomas Industry Update Podcast

Stream, download, and subscribe to the Thomas Industry Update Podcast on the following platforms: 

Have suggestions for future topics you'd like to hear Tony and his guests discuss? Share them with us at podcast @ thomasnet.com.

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