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Innovation is replacing the best practices of today with those of tomorrow.

Manufacturers are facing unprecedented challenges and are innovating to meet the needs of their customers, channel partners, and employees.  These are some of their stories, new best practices, challenges, and questions they have for you.  We invite you to join in the conversation and share your successes, challenges, lessons learned, and questions with our community.  

How Our Community is Responding

Scroll through for highlights from all community episodes:  

Tom McKee, CIO & VP | Kennametal

  • VPN upgrades empower professional workers with remote access through laptops
  • Microsoft Teams is key for collaborating with employees and customers for video chats and project management
  • HoloLens is a powerful tool for training factory workers remotely and customer service
  • Where do you think investment is going into the future with connective, remote technology? Do you think it will slow down or ramp up after work resumes?

Wendy Malone, VP Business Transformation Operations | SPX Flow

  • Reach out to customers to see what ways are best to communicate with them
  • Maximize virtual communication through apps and regular meetings
  • What is the new normal for customer communications after things return to normal? Will there be more virtual communication and less face time?
  • For employees, will working from home and flexible schedules make sense going forward?

James Phillips, President Business Applications | Microsoft

  • Give employees the time off they need to take care of families
  • Remote Assist by Microsoft can use IoS or Android devices and augmented reality for customer service, collaboration, or support
  • What areas are most critical, in working conditions or economically, moving forward?

Chris Cornett, Director, Aftermarket | ALOI Materials Handling & Automation

  • Find new ways to expand service. We launched a 24/7 service line, so customers could reach out at any time for assistance and get a field service rep dispatched.
  • What platforms and methods are you using for virtual training?

Ben Vollmer, Global Dynamics 365 Field Service Director | Microsoft 

  • Remote Assist, HoloLens, and virtual reality can take away issues that come with social distancing.
  • Use contingent staff to reduce staff exposure.
  • What will you take from this pandemic and apply it to your business going forward?

Jason Flynn, Director | Martin Marietta

  • Communication is more important than ever – with clients and employees – to provide service and collaboration.
  • There is an opportunity for leadership to lead with compassion authority.
  • How are supply chain strategies and total cost modeling going to change?

Betsy Ralsten, Program Manager | Ingersoll Rand / Gardner Denver

  • Maximize communication tools internally to disseminate information about projects, customers, and coworkers – whether message boards or video conferencing.
  • What makes it harder for you to work from home as opposed to being in the office? 

Justin Schaefer, Schaefer Advisors

  • Move from physical inspections of products to virtual, whether through HoloLens or FaceTime. 
  • Connect with people on a personal level, check in on them, and make meetings less transactional. 
  • What are the things your organization is looking to change moving forward, and how will it impact your business?

Gary Nelson, Industry Executive Advisor | SAP

  • Utilize your tools. SAP used the Ariba Network to find 500 hospital beds for a customer in 30 minutes. 
  • What would you have done differently a year ago to be prepared for a major disruption in business?  

 Nick Amorese, Global CRM Manager | Kodak Alaris

  • Maintain partner and employee recognition
  • How are your teams staying connected and engaged with one another?

Carlonda Reilly, VP and CTO | Kennametal

  • Prioritize employee health & safety, more frequent communication not just on projects but on a personal level, and continuing to serve customers.  
  • Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Stream are both powerful tools for project management and communication.  
  • As we move out of the crisis, what is the new normal, and what protocols will you put in place for a safe work environment?  

Pat Morocco, President | Bartell Machinery Systems

  • Realign supply chains to continue to meet customer needs.
  • Remember to have some fun while working remotely.
  • How does this pandemic change the way you do business going forward?

Patrick Maroney, Best Practices Advisor, High Tech Industry | SAP

  • We used Qualtrics to survey our SAP employees on their successes and challenges in working from home
    SAP is now providing Qualtrics for free to customers
  • How are companies preparing for the future to emerge from the pandemic as a stronger company?


Liz Duggan, Vice President | SMITH

  • The need and acceleration around digital, and the shifts manufacturers are taking to change the buyer and seller relationships, has been critical.
  • Companies are shifting to agility and acceleration. Manufacturers are looking for ways to drive to best interaction model and result. 
  • How will business speed up or adapt initiatives they have underway? 

Andrew Creathorn, President & CEO | ALOI Materials Handling & Automation

  • Aloi developed a clip for medical masks to make them more comfortable for medical workers. 
  • Our team is 3D printing the medical masks inhouse and distributing into the community.
  • Some manufacturers are further along the adoption curve with automation; if you haven’t started, when will you automate? 
  • If you are far into adopting automation, when will you integrate IoT, especially in the context of social distancing? 

Mikkel Børlum Petersen | GRUNDFOS 

  • GRUNDFOS is using virtual reality for recruitment, sending VR headsets to candidates around the world.   
  • The company responded by designing and manufacturing over 100,000 protective shields for medical professionals.  

Bjarke Fenger | Schneider Electric

  • The pandemic is reinforcing the power of remote monitoring, and proving its value.  
  • There is an accelerated adoption of cloud services. 

Share Your Story!

Are you interested in sharing your story about how you are responding to better engage with customers, partners, and employees?  Reach out below & we'll be in touch to schedule a conversation to learn about your experiences.



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