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EECO Asks Why Podcast

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Welcome to EECO Ask’s Why – A podcast that dives into industrial manufacturing topics and spotlights the heroes that keep America running. On this podcast, we do not cover the latest features and benefits on products that come to market. Instead, we focus on advice and insight from the top minds of industry because people and ideas will be how America remains number one in manufacturing in the world.
250 Episodes
Submarines, airplanes and supply chain...oh my!In this powerful hero episode Karen Blackburn shares about her amazing journey through manufacturing.  Having over 40 years of hands on experience in multiple procurement roles led to a conversation full of wisdom and truth. Karen started out working for a company that manufactured submarines for the US Navy.  She speaks to many of the lessons learned there and how they served her well in future positions.  From the deep water to the high skies she also found herself at an aerospace manufacturer.She currently is the material managers at Dust Solutions and the insight shared about how the world of procurement has shifted was extremely insightful.  Karen shares many of the ways sourcing has evolved and how her role is completely different now than it was in recent years.In true hero fashion we got to know what Karen enjoys outside of work and anytime she can find herself behind the camera in nature makes for a great day.  There was so much unpacked in this conversation and we know there is something there for everyone.Here's to our hero Karen and for the many she is an inspiration to.Remember to keep asking why! Guest: Karen Blackburn - Materials Manager at Dust Solutions IncIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
"I like to connect people to what it is they need so they can accomplish what it is that they set out to do." - Ayoka Gay That quote summarizes the powerful conversation we had with our hero Ayoka Gay.  She is driven to serve others and help them understand the many options that exist for the future.  Her story is amazing and began at Lockheed Martin where she was an integral part of the F-35 project.  She shares the feeling of watching the blood, sweat and tears come to fruition when she witnessed the first flight of the F-35 alongside her amazing colleagues.These days Ayoka is making a huge impact in industry and is taking a proactive approach to supporting the next generation in their development.  She sees the looming skills gap with a glass half full mindset as the opportunity that lies ahead is huge for so many.  She shares advice on how to get started by forging your own path and also the importance of seeking wise mentors that will provide much needed counsel.  Ayoka's energy is contagious and she will leave you energized and smiling due to her optimistic outlook on life.  She is doing amazing things and you will quickly hear why she is our hero! Guest: Ayoka Gay - Agile Office Leader  at Schneider ElectricResources:Daring GreatlyUnlocking Us PodcastStart with WhyIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Does your curiosity lead you to wondering how to make things around you better?Our hero Amanda Prochaska is driven by her personal curiosity and forged an amazing path that she shares in this fun conversation.  When Amanda is serving others she is completely in her happy place! She has a passion for procurement and that world has evolved greatly over the years.  When she decided to take the entrepreneurial leap she found her stride and the value that Wonder Services delivers is incredible.  We had some fun debunking misconceptions around procurement and she gives wonderful advice for those wanting to learn more about the professional procurement world and action you can take to begin your own journey down that path. Amanda loves to hit hiking trails and has a wonderful family.  Her faith is not just something she talks about but it truly is who she.  We love her energy and there is tons of wisdom and insight from her amazing hero journey! Guest: Amanda Prochaska -  Founder & Chief Wonder Officer @ Wonder ServicesIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Ovens, tomato sauce, crusts, cheeses, meats, veggies and even fruit - these are all components to making an amazing pizza!  Knowing how to arrange these items to make perfect pie is a visualization of manufacturing. Now - what if you wanted the best pizza available how do you do it?  Prabhjot Singh breaks down how you can analyze the manufacturing process and make the adjustments that will leave Digiorno in the dust!He has dedicated his career in helping manufacturers better understand their processes and make improvements that truly make an impact.  He is a proponent of crawl, walk and run thinking.  The great part of his expertise is he has end users sprinting past their competitors in no time.  Some of the areas explored are:Understanding the different types of data sourcesHow to select the KPI's that matter Defining what a happy path in manufacturing looks likeUtilizing root cause analysis to rearchitect workflowsAs we strive to serve those in manufacturing with the ideas that make an impact it is conversations like these that move the needle.  There is a ton of wisdom and insight that can be applied in your operation today.  Huge thank you to Prabhjot and for the great team at Pyze for how they are serving industry. Remember to keep asking why! Guest: Prabhjot Singh - CEO at PyzeIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Data is not a cost - it is an asset! The surge of data available to industrial manufacturing has been moving at an exponential rate.  Industrial 4.0, smart manufacturing and IIoT can make the best engineers feel like they are drinking from a fire hydrant.  Robert Cooke is on a mission to help people connect with data in a meaningful way.In this thought provoking conversation Robert shares how he founded 3 Forge with the idea of building a full stack platform that puts the most important information in front of people when they need it the most.  He shares how there are three ways to engage with data: asking, reacting and inputting.  Robert unpacks a ton of insight into how Complex Event Processing engines interact with multiple streams of data to create screens that make sense to the users in the moment.  For those wanting to learn how to begin a career in this sector he shares impactful advice on the programs and classes that will put you on the best path.  Hint - if you love math pay attention as that will be a huge factor for success.As you think about the data at your facility consider how it is being utilized.  For most there is an opportunity to optimize and through solutions like 3Forge that reality is hitting the plant floor.  Grab a notebook and sit back as Robert connects the dots between people and data in this powerful idea episode.Enjoy and keep asking why! Guest: Robert Cooke - CTO and Founder at 3ForgeIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Chris Roche forged an amazing path that started with his love of soccer.  Starting back in his elementary days in England he always found himself pursuing an entrepreneurial journey. Since coming to the US he has taken on some incredible challenges and currently is the CEO of Catalyst Consulting. His knowledge of marketing and demand generation put him at the forefront of helping SaaS and B2B companies connect better with their customers.  Marketing is a long-run game and he emphasizes the importance of how investments today are critical for impact in the future. His advice for those wanting to enter the world of marketing is spot on.  Too often others are waiting to get everything "perfect" before taking action. He advocates for making something happen now and adjust based off what you learn.  In regards to learning and mentorship his take on both topics is full of wisdom. One-step ahead - find someone one step ahead, learn, apply and keep moving forward.This hero conversation had it all and there was so much that can be applied to any career to grow.  Chris gave us a peak behind the curtain during the lightning round including his favorite movie - hey if you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball!We highly encourage others to connect with Chris and check out the great things he and the team at Catalyst Consulting are doing.  Enjoy learning from this hero and remember to keep asking why!Guest: Christopher Roche - Chief Executive Officer at Catalyst ConsultingIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Electric motors are the lifeblood of industry and knowing how to properly select them is critical.  It is easy to get overwhelmed if you have never sourced an electric motor before and this conversation will take all the stress away.Mike Rathbun is an expert in all things power related and electric motors is one of his specialties.  He shares practical tips that everyone needs to know to make the best decisions when it comes to electric motors.  Mike reviews:Nameplate basics (what matters most)Operating environment considerationsMotor nomenclature Reliability 101This episode is packed with insight that you can implement right now to make an impact.  Stop being confused by electric motors as we close the knowledge gap on this critical area of industry. Enjoy and remember to keep asking why! Guest: Mike Rathbun - Power & Control Solution Architecture Manager @ EECOHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
The customer experience impacts us all.  When you enter a store the journey begins. Everything from how you find the items you are looking for to the actual purchasing process, every step makes an impression on how you evaluate a business.  This reins true in the industrial manufacturing sector as well as the markets are more competitive than ever so any opportunity to remove friction should be capitalized.Paula Courtney knows the importance of a fluid customer experience and shares a ton of wisdom and insight on how to make a true impact.  She shares when customers make a decision to walk away versus when they will stick around even if the experience isn't perfect.A few of the areas that Paula unpacks that provide valuable insight are:Exposure of weaknesses Investments that move the needleSoliciting the right feedbackUnderstanding behavioral analytics The golden rule - follow the money!!At the end of the day the more you can arm your customers with information and foresight on what challenges you might have as a supplier. The better your customers will be and in that process you will build trust like no other.Grab something to take notes with as Paula is an absolute expert in the customer experience and she will shine a light on many areas we all need to understand better as we strive to provide superior customer experiences! Take action and remember to keep asking why! Guest: Paula Courtney - CEO & President at The Verde GroupWebsiteVerde Group BlogTwitterIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
This is the incredible conclusion to Micah Miley and Mike Rathbun's amazing modernization case study.  It began by them working together to get their ducks in a row.  Then it moved into actual project management which basically meant they were dialed in with each other at all times (this is how trust and friendship is built).  In this episode they review the moment we have all been waiting for - delivery and commissioning!!  This part of the story had many twists and turns (LITERALLY) and you can feel the pressure build as they recap how the equipment made it to the site.  Everything came together to the moment where the rubber meets the road.  In those tense times the results of planning, engineering and good old fashioned teamwork come to light.Listen for yourself as you hear how this project had an "IT'S ALIVE" moment!  This was such a powerful testimony and really shows how the EECO team is committed to serving others. As EECO Asks Why says we are all about people and ideas over products.  Stories like this are what makes that not just a saying but a reality.  Many thanks go to Micah and the team at Summerville CPW for opening up their facility and sharing their story.  Come back next week to hear an amazing hero journey from one of the primary leaders at Summerville and listen as she unpacks her incredible story.Share this case study with others and remember to keep asking why!  Guests:Micah Miley - Engineer at Summerville CPWMike Rathbun - Power & Control Solution Architecture Manager at EECOIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
For those that have walked a modernization project from cradle to grave you know success lies in the details and planning.  Showing up on gameday doesn't work for a NFL team and neither does success in a project of any size.  In part two of this powerful story Micah Miley and Mike Rathbun unpack how they were able to work together to ensure the project would have a successful outcome.They explore areas such as how communication flowed between all parties in the heat of planning.  There was a special bond that formed due to the constant communication and you will hear the power of partnerships that are grounded with trust.  As with most things in life there were plenty of hurdles and obstacles.  Micah and Mike openly review how they managed adversity together and through exquisite communication, complete honesty and a few bottles of Tums they were able to navigate the project management phase of this journey together.There is a ton to learn from this case study and the transparency they share is what makes conversations like this golden.  If you are struggling right now with project management grab a notepad as this team shares it all and there are a ton of tips that could serve you well as you aim for success in the future.Come back next week for the incredible conclusion of this Case Study of Modernization! Guests:Micah Miley - Engineer at Summerville CPWMike Rathbun - Power & Control Solution Architecture Manager at EECOIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Paula Courtney has an amazing journey that is full of inspiration for others to learn from.  As the CEO of Verde Group she is leading the way in improving the customer experience by providing insightful market research consultation services. Paula shares about her entrepreneurial journey and how taking risks was something she always leaned into and the results have been incredible. She take time to unpack several items that are sure to aid others in their journey including:What it takes to find success as an entrepreneurHow women can support each other for successWhy nurturing confidence is key for a growth mindsetWho we can learn from to grow (the power of mentors)Paula is a phenomenal leader and finds true joy in helping others find success.  It was a blessing to get a peak into her amazing world.  This is a powerful conversation that is full of insight to help anyone grow in the future.Be the hero you have inside and keep asking why!Guest: Paula Courtney - CEO & President at The Verde GroupWebsiteVerde Group BlogHBR ArticleTwitterIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
What if you could look at your operations holistically and marry your energy data to the production data?  Welcome - you just entered the world of energy intelligence! Natalie Birdwell is leading the way in this sector and helping industrial users everywhere make an impact with the energy they are already consuming.  In this conversation Natalie unpacks items such as:How to move from energy monitoring to energy intelligenceAreas of low hanging fruit to get a quick win and build advocatesTypes of individuals involved with energy intelligence initiatives Potential headwinds that exist and how to adjustMeasuring what matters - how to speak the right language to show real resultsAs Natalie highlights energy intelligence provides the industrial user the ability to look out of the windshield and make decisions that will positively impact operations based off the energy being utilized.  That is a huge leap forward and one that many can start taking advantage of now.To learn more about this fascinating topic we encourage you to connect with Natalie and the great team at as they are leading the way with helping industry make a true impact with energy intelligence!Guest: Natalie Birdwell - VP of Strategic and Corporate Development @ ndustrial.ioIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
At the core of who Tanuj Thapliyal is a desire to help people.  That has driven him to great lengths and ultimately founding Spot AI.  Tanuj put in the work to learn the skills needed to serve others so much so that he completed a double masters program at Stanford.  Having a passion for entrepreneurship he has great advice for those wanting to pursue their own path.Some of his advice included finding those that are a few steps ahead of where you are to help push you to achieve what you never knew possible.  He correlates being an entrepreneur to playing a game of croquet versus golf.  In his view it is not so much about the long drives that make a difference in business as much as it is the little steps you take every day to get better. Tanuj is helping industrials all over realize the power they have at their fingertips in utilizing video technology to enable better business decisions and improve processes.  He has a great practice where he tracks what brings him energy and what takes it away.  From reviewing those results he tries to lean in on the items that help him grow and also brings fulfillment to his journey.  That is a cool tip many can learn and start implementing today.  From sausage McMuffin's to video enabled AI this conversation has it all.  You'll quickly hear why Tanuj is our hero and we highly encourage others to connect with him and the team at Spot AI for support in turning video into decisions on the plant floor.Guest: Tanuj Thapliyal - CEO at Spot AIIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Do not leave culture to chance because it influences everything!  David Friedman literally wrote the book on how to design company cultures that make an impact and he shares some of the insights he's learned over the years that are sure to help you move forward.  David leaves no ground uncovered and reviews areas such as:How culture can drift and what to do to correct itWhat a "culture plan" is and why most organizations miss this Eight step framework for creating a winning cultureThe incredible power of ritualsHow to create fundamentals (behaviors) that you'll actually have buy in withImplementation and putting culture into practiceDavid is an award winning Vistage speaker and has poured his heart into the topic of culture.  It can be what separates the best from the rest and is now more critical than ever when it comes to attracting and keeping talent.  As industry evolves the importance of company culture keeps rising as a key differentiator and conversations like this are sure to set you on a path of success.  So will you design your culture or are you letting the environment around you define it for you?We highly encourage others to connect with David and the team at CultureWise as they are the industry leaders in helping businesses take control and begin acting with intent to build a culture by design! Guest: David J. Friedman - Founder/CEO at CultureWiseDavid's Resources: WebsiteCulture By Design - BookIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Every journey is unique and what makes Bob Meads so special is the passion in which he unpacks his creation story that led him to the amazing world of augmented reality.  Beginning with his career in the Navy, Bob always had a passion for technology.  That love for technology presented many opportunities for him to grow his skillset which included items such as computer and PLC programming.  From C++ to Java he never backed down from the challenge of mastering these platforms.  At the heart of what he always loved was software.  So when the opportunity presented itself to solve problems that industrial manufacturers were facing with a technology like augmented reality Bob leaned in and hasn't looked back.  He's literally on the front lines of many industry 4.0 initiatives and helps people every day accomplish some of their most challenging modernization goals.Bob's happiness comes from serving others and that resonates loud and clear in his story.  For fun you can find him brewing some of his favorite beers while manning a smoker full of seasoned meat.  Bob is hands down a hero of industry and we know his story will leave you inspired and ready to chase your passions.We hope you enjoy and remember to keep asking why! Guest: Bob Meads - President at iQagentAugmented Reality DemoIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
To create visibility for your business you must be able to position yourself and your company as expert resources.  Through that process you can earn attention, trust and visibility.  But how is that accomplished?  Welcome to the party industrial marketing!  In this idea episode Joe Sullivan from Gorilla 76 breaks down ways that manufacturers can take the lead and be in control of so much of their destiny in the future.Joe covers many areas including:Knowing your audienceHow to talk about and overcome "resistance" New ways to conduct market researchMarketing and sales convergence How to engage subject matter experts to build valueKnowledge extraction dayDeliver value without sellingThe true purpose of marketing for manufacturingJoe brought his A game in this conversation and it is chocked full of wisdom and insight that you can act on today.  The bottom line is that if you are trying to reach new levels of growth you need to know how your audience consumes information, how they make buying decisions and then meet them where they are rather than forcing the way you want to sell on them.We highly encourage others to connect with Joe and the team at Gorilla 76 as they are making a significant impact on industry and their solutions could be the next move that sets you apart in the market.Guest: Joe Sullivan - Thinker & Founder @ Gorilla 76 Joe's Recourses:Gorilla 76 Industrial Marketing Learning CenterThe Manufacturing Executive PodcastIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
As the industrial world evolves more and more attention is centering around data.  These days the plant floor has access to more data than ever before.  But it's not enough to simply have data - you have to use that to make better business decisions.  Enter the world of industrial analytics!  In this episode Matt Hussey unpacks ways in which those in the industrial sector are acting to make more informed decisions and ultimately improve their processes.  He covers items such as:The four basic quadrants of industrial analyticsUse cases that bring theory to applicationHow predictive analytics has migrated from hand held routes to diagnostic systemsDemystifying "Prescriptive" analytics - it's easier than you think!Sifting through the "fluff" to get to the heart of what mattersHeadwinds and ways to avoid themCompany culture and the impact (good/bad) with this methodologyThis was full of insight and tips that you can apply right now in your facility to start taking advantage of the data at your fingertips.  For support and to continue the conversation reach out to the EECO team as we would love to learn about your goals with industrial analytics and can help with resources to support your journey.Enjoy, lean in and keep asking why! Guest: Matt Hussey - Industrial Digital Sales Manager at EatonIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Entrepreneurship, video and ministry - this hero episode covers it all!  Jeff Long is absolutely crushing it at True Focus Media and he stopped in to share his story and encourage others to pursue their passions.  As a fresh graduate from a Bible College Jeff quickly learned that his calling would be in digital marketing and he has never looked back.  He is a natural problem solver and shares how stair-stepping an entrepreneurial journey helps you grow as your confidence and abilities do.  He shattered the mold that you cannot purse careers outside of your "degree" field and recognizes that ultimately businesses are looking for people that have passion and that can add value.  As a life long learner Jeff is intentional about investing in learning new skills as if we are not constantly challenging ourselves we are never moving forward.  We talk about mentors a lot on EECO Asks Why and while Jeff finds value there he leans hard into mastermind groups and speaks to the value they can bring for those wanting to connect with others and to be challenged in their careers.  He shares about an amazing 360 degree video project of a manufacturing site and how his love of helping manufacturing with marketing drives him everyday!  We talk about life outside of True Focus Media and Jeff shares about his amazing family and things they enjoy to do together.  The lightning round was a blast and we bet you'll never guess what his favorite music is...Christmas!!  Sit back and be ready for an inspirational story from our hero Jeff Long!   Guest: Jeff Long - Owner of True Focus MediaTrue Focus Media:WebsiteLinkedInIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
Get ready for serious truth as Mike Weinberg shares his insight on how to simply sales for industry.  Mike is a consultant, sales coach, speaker and author on a mission to simplify sales. His specialties are New Business Development and Sales Management, and his passion is helping companies and salespeople win more new sales!   Forbes named Mike a Top Sales Influencer and other publications list him as the #1 Sales Expert to follow on Twitter. Mike has spoken and consulted on five continents and is the author of three Amazon #1 Bestsellers. In this episode he peels off several layers of the onion when it comes to sales and provides great insight to help both sales professionals and sales management in the pursuit of their personal best.  Some of the areas unpacked are:Why "Sales" gets a bad rapHow many overcomplicate the sales processImportance of realizing that "Sales Follows Strategy"Power of storiesIs the art of asking questions dead?What is active listeningIs CRM a dirty word!Irony - COMPensation and COMPlacency start with the same 4 lettersBlurring the lines between selling and managingValue of coaches and mentorsThis is just a taste of what Mike unpacks and this is one you will want to be ready to take notes with as there are so many areas covered where you can take action today.  As industry continues to evolve it is extremely important to remain grounded on how to best serve others.  With the right mindset, training and attitude sales can be an extremely fulfilling career.  We thank Mike for sharing so much wisdom and we hope this helps others grow their skills and confidence to master the critical art of sales in industry! Guest: Mike Weinberg - Consultant, Coach, Speaker, and AuthorResources:Mike Weinberg's WebsiteNew Sales. SimplifiedSales Management. Simplified Sales Truth Industry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagramHost: Chris GraingerExecutive Producer: Adam SheetsPodcast Editor: Andi Thrower
The skills gap is a real issue in industry and there is a great opportunity to improve by encouraging and supporting women to join this sector.  To help explore this idea we brought in a power house panel of ladies to listen and learn from.  Mayuri Dahibhate, Alexus Hancock and Meaghan Ziemba are all EECO Asks Why Heroes and they brought a ton of wisdom and insight into what they see first hand and what should be considered in the future.  They unpack many areas including:Why this topic matters to them!What can women do right now to make an impact in industry!Some of the biggest moves forward that are moving the needle!Advice for the next generation of ladies that will help them see the many different opportunities that exist and ways to start their journey!So much more!The reality is that to improve the skills gap in industry will be a collective effort of both men and women working together.  This is a powerful conversation that will serve industry leaders, advocates and the next generation as we strive to make an impact on the critical issue of skills gap in industry! Lean in, support others and keep asking why! Guests:Mayuri Dahibhate - Manufacturing Software Engineer at P&GAlexus Hancock - Plant Support Engineer at Dominion EnergyMeaghan Ziemba - Creator and host of Mavens of Manufacturing Host - Chris GraingerExecutive Producer - Adam SheetsPodcast Editor - Andi ThrowerIndustry War Story Submission: Send us a DM!FacebookInstagram 
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