104 episodes

Welcome to Manufacturing Happy Hour, the podcast where we get real about the latest trends and technologies impacting modern manufacturers.

Hosted by industry veteran Chris Luecke, each week, we interview makers, founders, and other manufacturing leaders that are at the top of their game and give you the tools, tactics, and strategies you need to take your career and your business to the next level. We go beyond the buzzwords and dissect real-life applications and success stories so that you can tackle your biggest manufacturing challenges and turn them into profitable opportunities.

Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

Manufacturing Happy Hour Chris Luecke

    • Technology
    • 4.9 • 76 Ratings

Welcome to Manufacturing Happy Hour, the podcast where we get real about the latest trends and technologies impacting modern manufacturers.

Hosted by industry veteran Chris Luecke, each week, we interview makers, founders, and other manufacturing leaders that are at the top of their game and give you the tools, tactics, and strategies you need to take your career and your business to the next level. We go beyond the buzzwords and dissect real-life applications and success stories so that you can tackle your biggest manufacturing challenges and turn them into profitable opportunities.

Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    Leading a Company Through an Acquisition with Fiix Software CEO James Novak

    Leading a Company Through an Acquisition with Fiix Software CEO James Novak

    James Novak is the CEO of Fiix Software, a company that provides an industry-leading cloud-based CMMS that helps manufacturers plan, track, and optimize maintenance. It's also worth noting that just over one year ago, they were acquired by Rockwell Automation, which brings us back to the premise of today's show…leading through an acquisition!
    Managing a company acquisition is a tough job, and keeping your team happy through it can be even more challenging. In this episode, James explains the steps leading up to Rockwell Automation’s acquisition and what he did to make the transition as smooth as possible.
    He explains what the role of a CEO should be in this scenario and some tips for keeping employees reassured and happy with the process. James also gives some insights into how Fiix Software helps manufacturers better plan, track, and optimize maintenance programs.
    In this episode, find out:
    What led James to become the CEO of Fiix Software
    Important lessons learned from his previous experiences at Blackberry
    Why you should always be innovating if you want to grow a company
    The kind of company James wanted to build
    How the Rockwell Automation acquisition happened
    How to lead a team through an acquisition
    Why a CEO should try to keep as many options open as possible
    Advice for other manufacturing leaders looking to be acquired
    The top surprises James faced when Fiix Software was being acquired
    http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/iTunes (Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here.) Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “We believe that proper maintenance leads to sustainable outcomes in the world.”
    “So as long as everyone's focused on the customer, regardless of if you have differences of opinions, nobody's right, nobody's wrong. There are different paths to get there, and I felt like Rockwell was going to get the right thing done.”
    “If I'm a manufacturing company, and I'm going through an acquisition, or I'm thinking about acquiring, you have to be very, very deliberate about every single move that happens.”
    Links and mentions:
    https://www.fiixsoftware.com/?utm_source=show+notesandutm_medium=linkandutm_campaign=manufacturing+happy+hour (Fiix Software), a cloud-based CMMS software that helps manufacturers plan, track, and optimize maintenance with powerful integrations, reports, and embedded AI tools
    https://www.2cats.ca/ (2Cats Cocktail Lounge), a relaxed, cozy nightclub with a makeshift dance floor serving up music alongside cocktails and wine in Toronto, Canada
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/ (http://manufacturinghappyhour.com) for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 37 min
    Selling Your Company and Creating the ‘Netflix of Manufacturing’ with Darrin Mitchell

    Selling Your Company and Creating the ‘Netflix of Manufacturing’ with Darrin Mitchell

    Darrin Mitchell is the CEO of Mitchell Industries and the Chief Marketing Officer of Manufacturing Masters, an on-demand video platform featuring the world’s best manufacturing information. But before that, he was the CEO of a manufacturing company of his own for almost 20 years called Trout River Industries.
    In this episode, Darrin gives us a bit of backstory on how he built the ‘Netflix of manufacturing’ after selling Trout River Industries. He shares the challenges of parting ways with his company and the important lessons he learned throughout his career.
    Darrin doesn’t hold back and gives some solid tips for business owners in the manufacturing space about dealing with competition, finding balance in your life, and making better decisions going forward. He explains how Manufacturing Masters works and how it can help others in their quest to build better manufacturing businesses.
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/ (ManufacturingHappyHour.com) for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.
    In this episode, find out:
    Why Darrin built the ‘Netflix of manufacturing‘
    Why sometimes it’s better to collaborate than compete
    The importance of building healthy partnerships in manufacturing
    Why you shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone
    How to find a balance between work and home life
    What it’s like to sell a business that’s become part of your identity
    How Manufacturing Masters works
    http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/iTunes (Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here.)
    Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “It's very important to occupy the mind space of your current and unknown future customers.”
    “If your mindset is to compete, you're just using energy that inevitably is just for a completely lost cause. Because ultimately, your customers want to see you as a problem solver, not someone who just beat up their competitor.”
    “If you're thinking about the future of manufacturing, everything is in partnerships. And you have to make sure they're healthy partnerships.”
    Links and mentions:
    https://manufacturing-masters.com/?utm_source=show+notesandutm_medium=linkandutm_campaign=manufacturing+happy+hour (Manufacturing Masters), training and content developed just for manufacturers from over 80 industry experts
    https://www.mitchellindustries.ca/?utm_source=show+notesandutm_medium=linkandutm_campaign=manufacturing+happy+hour (Mitchell Industries), offering a range of coaching and resource services
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/ (http://manufacturinghappyhour.com) for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 40 min
    Turning Video Security into Video Intelligence with Spot AI CEO Tanuj Thapliyal

    Turning Video Security into Video Intelligence with Spot AI CEO Tanuj Thapliyal

    Tanuj Thapliyal is an IT engineer and academic researcher-turned-entrepreneur. He's the Co-Founder and CEO of Spot AI, a video intelligence company that's helping manufacturers access and leverage video from their facility's cameras to make better business and operational decisions. It’s time to think about video security from a completely different perspective…
    In this episode, Tanuj breaks down the main differences between video security and video intelligence and explains the different use cases for the latter. He gives us a bit of backstory into Spot AI and some examples of customers they have helped avert disaster with their fantastic service.
    Tanuj explains why video intelligence should be about empowering workers with knowledge not Big Brother-style surveillance. He also explains Spot AI’s approach to cyber security and why customers always have full access to their own video to do with as they wish. Tanuj also shares some exciting news about Spot AI’s future.
    In this episode, find out:
    What video intelligence is and how it’s different from video security
    Spot AI’s early beginnings to where it is now
    The different use cases for video intelligence
    Why video surveillance should empower the whole workforce, not watch them
    How Spot AI remains cyber-secure
    Spot AI’s plans for the future
    http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/iTunes (Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here.) Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “The more people you give access to video to, the more it transforms that organization.”
    “From a company culture perspective, you need there to be a belief in education, a belief in learning, a belief in sharing knowledge with other people.”
    “You have to empower customers to keep the data where they want to keep the data, but enable them to solve the workflow and then enable a switch so they can revoke access.”
    Links and mentions:
    https://www.spot.ai/?utm_source=show+notesandutm_medium=linkandutm_campaign=manufacturing+happy+hour (Spot AI), a company that’s helping manufacturers access video footage to make faster, smarter decisions
    https://www.brassmonkeytaipei.com/ (The Brass Monkey), an energetic stop offering steaks, ribs, burgers, and British-Indian curries plus beer and cocktails in Taipei, Taiwan
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/ (http://manufacturinghappyhour.com) for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 44 min
    Deploying Intelligent Robots at Scale with Dexterity CEO Samir Menon

    Deploying Intelligent Robots at Scale with Dexterity CEO Samir Menon

    Samir Menon, the Founder and CEO of Dexterity, joins us on the show this week to share how his research on “Robots moving in a human-like manner” could contribute to the next phase of robotics. Dexterity is a company that delivers full-stack robot dexterity solutions for logistics, warehousing, and supply chain operations. But even before founding the company, Samir has been on a mission to leverage robotics to "make repetition options." He’s also keen on eventually democratizing robots and deploying them at scale.
    In this episode, Samir gives us a rundown of how his work at Dexterity is delivering tangible solutions for warehousing and supply chain operations. We hear some insights into how making robots more accessible could benefit not just small businesses but individuals as well. Samir also shares how making repetition an option could address the looming labor shortage in manufacturing and eventually transition people to higher-value work.
    In this episode, find out:
    Why making repetitive work optional is crucial in manufacturing
    The evolution of robotics
    Why the democratization of robots is vital moving forward
    How the advancements in robotics affect human workers
    Samir breaks down the past, present, and future of robotics into six stages
    http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/iTunes (Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here.) Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “When it comes to startups you’ve got to be focused on
    the problem you’re solving, technology is just a driver to do that.”
    “I would love to see robotics enable people to build their own small businesses and take productivity into their own hands.”
    “It’s important to focus on what delivers long-term success when scaling up in startups."
    Links and mentions:
    https://dexterity.ai/?utm_source=show+notesandutm_medium=linkandutm_campaign=manufacturing+happy+hour (Dexterity.ai), delivering full-stack robot dexterity solutions for logistics, warehousing, and supply chain operations. Their robots pick, move, pack, and collaborate with human-like skill in existing infrastructure to solve the toughest problems in material handling.
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/ (http://manufacturinghappyhour.com) for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 40 min
    Industry 4.0 Trends and Data That Actually Matters with Jeff Winter

    Industry 4.0 Trends and Data That Actually Matters with Jeff Winter

    Jeff Winter is an Industry Executive for Manufacturing at Microsoft who helps manufacturers across the US digitally transform at scale. Plus, he’s seen a few things over the past 15 years through his involvement in the Industry 4.0 community and Smart Manufacturing-centric leadership within organizations like ISA (International Society of Automation).
    In this episode, Jeff shares some fascinating data management and digital transformation statistics and trends. He explores how the present data generation and storage habits call for more defined data strategies going forward. We hear some IoT trends and common barriers to a successful digital transformation initiative.
    In this episode, find out:
    Why there’s a growing gap between data generated and storage capabilities (with statistics!)
    The current trends around the different types of data
    Why data roles are rising in demand
    Interesting trends in IoT
    Why most digital transformation initiatives fail
    How company culture affects how organizations address new technology
    http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/iTunes (Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here.) Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    “Digital transformation drastically changes the way companies operate, which is both scary and difficult.”
    “Spend as much time investing in the right company culture as you do in the right technology.”
    “Part of your company’s overall data strategy works its way backwards into the data roles needed within the organization.”
    Links and mentions:
    https://www.empireburgerbar.com/ (Empire Burgers and Brew), spot for elevated comfort fare, cocktails, wine and craft brews, plus a year-round roof deck in Naperville, IL
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/ (http://manufacturinghappyhour.com) for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 41 min
    Hire Diverse Talent or Risk Going Out of Business Featuring Equity Machine Works Founder Justin Sherman

    Hire Diverse Talent or Risk Going Out of Business Featuring Equity Machine Works Founder Justin Sherman

    Justin Sherman grew up in the shadow of one of Boeing’s largest manufacturing facilities in Everett, WA. However, it wasn’t until he started his career that he was exposed to the realities of manufacturing careers, including the lack of diverse talent in this field.
    Now, as the Founder of Equity Machine Works SPC – a social enterprise committed to creating opportunity through support, training, and employment for disadvantaged populations – he’s helping to level the playing field.
    In this episode, Justin explains the importance of attracting diverse and young talent to the manufacturing field as a whole. We hear about the limitations that come with a lack of diversity in the field, and actual statistics that prove there’s a skill gap that needs to be filled. He also shares tips on how to foster a diverse talent-friendly work environment and to eventually become part of the change.
    In this episode, find out:
    What diversity means in this context
    Why diversity is vital to the survival of businesses in the manufacturing industry
    Ways to ensure diversity thrives within the field
    How organizational culture attracts diverse and upcoming talent
    Why embracing hybrid business models is beneficial
    What characterizes a workplace that’s ready for diverse talent
    http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/iTunes (Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here.) Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!
    Tweetable Quotes:
    "Compensation is not only about money — it's thoughtful provisions and subsidies.”
    "Taking a person-centric approach doesn’t only make work-life more functional, it gives access to more talent.”
    “Looking at skilled positions like machinists and welders, both of them are about 95% male.”
    Links and mentions:
    https://equitymachine.works/ (Equity Machine Works), a social enterprise operating as a manufacturing organization with the aim of bridging the skills gap within the industry and providing sustainable diversity practices
    https://orionworks.org/ (Orion Industries), a non-profit social enterprise that provides vocational services and employment to individuals with barriers to employment
    https://www.skillsinc.com/ (Skills Inc.), a self-supporting company offering a wide range of manufacturing jobs to people of all abilities
    https://amzn.to/3Bza3SE (Hiring for Diversity), by Arthur Woods
    https://pioneerhumanservices.org/manufacturing-enterprises/pioneer-industries-manufacturing/manufacturing (Pioneer Industries Manufacturing), a social enterprise specializing in aerospace part production
    https://www.quinnspubseattle.com/ (Quinn’s Pub), a hip gastropub located in Seattle, WA
    Make sure to visit http://manufacturinghappyhour.com/ (http://manufacturinghappyhour.com) for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
76 Ratings

76 Ratings

renoperk ,

Hoppy as a Retro Encabulator IPA

Most industry podcasts provide a cure for insomnia. Chris does a great job of selecting guests and asking the questions that keep us engaged. Especially liked this week’s discussion with Mike Kraft about the wayback machine known as the Retro Encabulator.

oliviabaker13 ,

Highly recommend! 💯

If you’re looking to stay up to date with the ever-evolving manufacturing landscape or simply love hearing from innovative founders and makers - highly recommend tuning in to Manufacturing Happy Hour! Chris is a fantastic host who leads really engaging interviews with the industry’s game changers. If you had time to read this review…you have time to hit that follow button!

john sh 1423 ,

Great Podcast

I listened to one show and was hooked and have also found a few other podcasts that are great along the way. Really enjoy the content, humor, guests and more. Thanks for sharing!
John

Top Podcasts In Technology

Lex Fridman
Jason Calacanis
NPR
Jack Rhysider
Gimlet
Bloomberg Intelligence

You Might Also Like

Gorilla 76
WaitWhat
Advanced Manufacturing Now
Nick Cegelski & Armand Farrokh
Tim Ferriss: Bestselling Author, Human Guinea Pig
The Manufacturing Report