Episode 4

Maintenance Challenges Manufacturers Face Before Digitization 

Chris Luecke, Regional SaaS Sales & Marketing Leader at Fiix Software

July 26, 2022

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Digitization Mavericks is a podcast taking a closer look at the paperless transformation in manufacturing, construction, and beyond. Our host, Chris Krnezich interviews industry leaders to discuss the challenges that persist across the frontline, and how organizations are using new technology to improve efficiency for common workflows like abnormality reporting, BBSOs, 5S, inspection scheduling, and more.

In this episode, we are joined by Chris Luecke, Host of the Manufacturing Happy Hour Podcast and a manufacturing veteran with more than 15 years of experience with companies like Anheuser-Busch, Rockwell Automation, and Fixx Software. He’s someone with a keen understanding of preventative and autonomous maintenance, along with the particular challenges that maintenance managers and teams face. So, we talk about the importance of people and processes when it comes to implementing new technology, why you should be building a culture of proactivity, and many more of the challenges facing manufacturing executives today.

If you enjoy this episode, check out the Manufacturing Happy Hour podcast on Apple or Spotify for more great content from Chris.

For more episodes and resources join our Digitization Mavericks group on LinkedIn.

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Transcription is automatically generated. 

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (00:00):
I think that's a challenge. And there, there are a lot of good reasons people have those challenges today, right? Like a lot of people are running without all the maintenance staff they need right now. So they're struggling to keep up. They're trying to fill headcount. There are a lot of legitimate distractions out there, but I think going back, Hey, what's the worst nightmare is realizing you need to be proactive, but not having the time to be more proactive.

Announcer (00:21):
Welcome to the digitization Mavericks podcast. Here we take a closer look at digital transformation and automation and manufacturing with the stakeholders who are working hard to make it happen. Our host Chris ick interviews, industry leaders, to discuss the challenges that persist across the frontline and how organizations are using new technology to improve efficiency for common workflows, like abnormality reporting. Bsos five S inspection scheduling and more, the status quo is no longer acceptable in manufacturing. So this is a podcast for the digitization Mavericks, the employees who care deeply about their company and wanna elevate the quality of their work environment.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (00:57):
Welcome to another episode of digitization Mavericks. It's your host, Chris. And today I'm joined by another Chris, Chris Luecke. He's the regional sales and marketing leader at Fiix software. Thanks for making time to join us today. Chris,

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (01:13):
Chris, I'm excited to be here as well.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (01:16):
Awesome. Well, let's wind it back for a second. So listeners out there get to know you a little better. How long have you been working in manufacturing and what prompted your career path in maintenance software?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (01:27):
Yeah, so I'm, I'm in the manufacturing space for just past a decade. Now a lot of that was spent working with Rockwell automation and now I've switched over to the industrial SAS software as a service world. And you know, it's, it really, I think it mixes a couple things, right. You know, one to, to be very transparent, you know, Fiix is part of the broader Rockwell automation portfolio right now. So I had some experience there. I knew what they were up to, but also, you know, I spent five and a half years in the bay area. Right. And that whole time I was kind of on the front end of it. You know, you look at a lot of these robotics companies that are coming out of the bay area. Now it's gone from being this very, like, let's say software, Google, Facebook centric world. And now there's a lot of manufacturing innovation coming out of there again. So it kind of blended a couple different worlds, right? I'd always seen that SAS world. I was already familiar with the industrial world. So kind of a perfect fit in that capacity.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (02:23):
Well, that's awesome. You also host a podcast called manufacturing happy hour. That's something that I started to copy, cuz I've got a beer here beside me. Can you tell our listeners what that podcast is all about and why you felt compelled to record industry conversations to start?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (02:41):
Sure. Well, in honor of the beverage you're having, I mean, first and foremost, I was excited to grab a drink with some of the biggest thinkers and leaders in the industry so that, you know, that's the fun element of it. But you know, the reality was, to give you a bit of background on my career. When I was in sales at Rockwell Automation, I made a move from Houston, Texas, where I was calling on a more senior market individuals that had been at their company for 20 to 30 years decision makers, you know, later in their career, moved to the bay area and everyone has their visions of what the bay area is like in terms of the workforce out there. And there's a lot of truth to that, right? I was calling on decision makers that were 20 to 30 years old.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (03:20):
Right. You know, and I fell into that category. So I needed a medium that reached those individuals. And the reality is I'm a millennial. I listen to podcasts, I watch YouTube videos. That's how I get my information. It's not always through a, a one-on-one in person meeting. So I realized I needed a way to reach that group. I, I had had some history in the beer industry as well prior to Rockwell. I worked for Anheiser Bush and you know, I love a good beverage. I'm a craft beer efficianado. And, and funny enough I would give craft beer tours in San Francisco while I was there. So long story short, it leveraged some of my strengths, but it was also a necessity, right. I needed new way to reach a younger market and manufacturing happy hour as a video series. And then later as a podcast continues to be a way to reach that audience.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (04:08):
Well, that sounds like a perfect blend and like a perfect fit for you there. So that's awesome to see that come to fruition and be as successful as it is. Switching gears, how did you first get introduced to the idea of digital transformation, a term which has become so popular today as a result of SOPs and automation?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (04:26):
Yeah. So good question. Right. And I probably got introduced to digital transformation the same way many people did as an overused buzzword right out of the gate. Right. You know, you'd hear it. Digital transformation, digital transformation. Well, what does that mean? Right. And you know, it was through my work with Rockwell automation, of course, a company that you could say specializes in helping manufacturers digitally transform or enable the connected enterprise. Right. So that was where I got introduced to it. But maybe I'll share, I started thinking about digital transformation a little differently over the years. Right? Cause there, there are, I think there are multiple ways to do a digital transformation. Or certainly there are different scales of a digital transformation, right? Could be something as a full company, digital transformation, new ERP bringing together MES systems. You know, if you have a bunch of different facilities, a bunch of different plants that have been out there for a long time and they've created their own systems well it's about bringing that all together, right.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (05:23):
That's a true transformation when you're creating tools that can really, at the end of the day, transform the way your enterprise operates, but being in the SaaS world now, particularly in industrial maintenance, I also realize, hey, everyone's gotta start somewhere for digital transformation. Right. And it could be as simple as digitizing one department, in this case, your maintenance department, which I know we're gonna talk about here a little bit more. So that's kind of how I think of it. Right. You know, companies hear the term digital transformation. If you want to go beyond the buzzword, you gotta realize, Hey, there can be a massive transformation, but even if not that it's all gotta come in in steps. So you could do small transformations as well.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (06:03):
You got it. So taking it from an overarching buzzword, like you say into more siloed approach so that you can actually see practical changes come from it. And I love that. Speaking more on the maintenance side, do you think it's still a relatively new term for most maintenance managers when you introduce that concept?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (06:21):
You know, maybe it depends on how it's introduced. Right. I think if you said, Hey, we're gonna digitally transform your maintenance department. I think some people might be like, okay, well what does that mean? Right. But you know, the reality is I think one of the most obvious ways to digitally transform a maintenance department is to bring in a CMMS system. Right. And that's a very familiar term for maintenance folks. I mean, it's been around for a while, right. CMMS is literally an acronym for computerized maintenance management system. Right. You know, and now a lot of these systems operate in the cloud. So maybe, maybe the acronym needs updating along the way. But yeah, I think, I don't think it's a foreign concept at this point. I think more people are aware of it. I, I think maybe where there's some awareness is some people just aren't aware as to how accessible it can be, for example. Right. Like it doesn't take much, you know, these tools being cloud based, they're pretty agile. Right. They're easy to implement. You could be a, a one man shop. And you could create, start leveraging a, a tool like that to be more proactive with maintenance.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (07:23):
Yeah. So in terms of your experience, where would you say like we are in terms of a widespread adoption, are we at like 50%, a hundred percent, 60%? How many of these companies in the industry currently have a digitized system in their maintenance area?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (07:38):
Yeah. I mean the, the available market is still massive, right? If you look at the available market of people that need a maintenance system like that, something like 80% still have a ways to go, but it also depends on the scale. Right. We're talking about a lot of small mom and pops small to medium size business. If you were to go out and talk to the, you know, the crafts, the Coca-Colas, all these big names, you were to go to talk to them, you know, their, their adoption. They they've certainly gone down that path already. Right. But in the broad spectrum of manufacturing, there's still a lot of people that haven't gotten to that point yet.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (08:10):
Yeah. And that's one of the things that we see commonly to is like job shops and smaller companies like that think, oh, these are for the big guys. That's not a tool for us. Where would you, what would you say to somebody like that?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (08:21):
Sure. I mean, I would probably start by asking, 'em just say saying, Hey, how do you manage your maintenance today? Right. Or, you know, how proactive are you are versus how reactive are you? Because it's really not, it's not a matter of how big you are. It's about, let's say the culture you have around maintenance and the culture you have around your company in general. Right. You know, I think we, everyone enjoys working at working somewhere where you're more proactive. You're not reacting to stressful situations all the time. Right. I think that's where it really starts. So I would just simply, I, I I'd get a feel for, Hey, you know, how do you manage maintenance today? Cuz then I can probably tell 'em it's like, Hey, you know, this could be a fit or Hey, maybe this isn't the issue you're having today. Right?

Chris Krnezich - Weever (09:04):
Yep. And then introducing it in like a baby step or would you have the jump two feet at the beginning?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (09:09):
Yeah. I think there's the reality is manufacturers are going through a digital maintenance journey. And I think the easiest way to describe it is, Hey, a lot of people live at that reactive maintenance level, right? You're you know, when something breaks, you go Fiix it. Right. The step above that is the other thing maintenance folks are doing. And that's preventative maintenance, right. Things that are based on usage or time, Hey, change this filter every month, every quarter, Hey, you know, do maintenance on this motor, every X number of rotations, right? People are at that stage as well. Where I think people can continue to go further down the spectrum. And I'd say we're still, maybe in the early adopter phase is like condition based maintenance and predictive maintenance. I mean, I think the dream for a maintenance team is you're able to catch issues before they become issues.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (09:59):
You're able to leverage alarms, data, sensor data to say, Hey, the temperature of this tank is getting outta spec. You probably want to go perform this maintenance task on there before you lose this batch. Or Hey, this conveyor is running a little fast. You probably wanna go do some maintenance on that before it runs hot and breaks down. So that's where I, where people are, I'd say a lot of people are in their transformative part of this journey. Right. You know, you're probably leveraging some, some tool. I don't think anyone's purely reactive, right enough. You know, if a, if a place is in business, they're probably doing something preventative to keep, keep the shop running in a, in a somewhat proactive fashion. But I think it's leveraging that data. And again, digital transformation, right? Not all of this stuff was connected before, but now when you have sensor data coming into controllers and then communicating to a CMMS system, it starts opening up other doors. So you can be more proactive.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (10:51):
Yeah. You got it. And I guess the next step there is getting a warning that you have to change this bearing at your next planned maintenance downtime session. Otherwise you're gonna lead to an unplanned downtime session. That's a huge benefit for manufacturers. And I think something that everyone's trying to strive towards getting there.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (11:07):

Chris Krnezich - Weever (11:08):
So, yeah. So with that, a lot of times people can experience downtime cuz they don't have efficient practices built into their workflows. Can you describe some situations in maintenance that typically result in a reactive process instead of a pro proactive process?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (11:22):
Yeah. I think the easiest thing to the easiest way to answer that we've been talking a lot about the tools that are available, the technology that's there, but let's take a step back, right? If you don't have the right culture, the right people and some of the right processes, you can have the best tool. And, and none of this is like earth shattering information. Right. You can have the best tool in the world, but if you don't have the right attitude towards it or the right skills towards it, I Al I like to say it's a, it's a digital paperweight. Right. You need to have that first and foremost. So, you know, and again, this doesn't have to be a maintenance tool right out of the gate. Right. I mean, I think the first thing is you gotta start writing down, Hey, what are my maintenance tasks that need to be done? And Hey, what are the ones that are missing and how can I be more proactive about scheduling those? Right. Like take that approach. And then once you have that, put that into a tool, right. Cause if you haven't done that before having a tool, Hey, that tool's gonna flop at the end of the day.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (12:16):
You got it. I feel like a lot of like the CMMS and OEE programs out there focus on machine input. So data from sensors, data, from a PLC data from the line, for example, how do you blend in getting information from the most valuable asset? Like you mentioned to build dot culture, which is the people.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (12:34):
Yeah. So how do you, how do you get that? Like how do you get the people engaged? Is that kind of the question around this,

Chris Krnezich - Weever (12:40):
How to get them engaged and how to really get valuable information and inputs from them? Like you get a valuable input from a sensor saying, Hey, this is trending high. We should do something about it. How do you engage the people to input that type of data as well?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (12:53):
Yeah, that, that's a good question, right? Because we're talking about pulling information from the machines, but Hey, like you said, you know, a person can be out there on the shop floor and realize uhoh, this is an anomaly, right. I think that's where it comes down to. If you have a, you know, first of all, you gotta have that team that wants to, you know, help the situation as a whole. Right. They gotta be looking for those things. You gotta have that culture in place. Once you're there, you gotta have a tool that makes it easy. Right. There are a lot of very cumbersome tools out there that take a, quite a bit of training to figure out how to use. I think in this digital age, an easy way to think about it is it's like, Hey, make it as easy as it is to like use your smartphone, have a smartphone app where you can bring it up, you can enter that issue and get it assigned to the right person. Right. And that's what a modern, let's say digital maintenance platform does. Right? So one, once you get that culture in place, and if you want to get inputs from the people that are part of this, you gotta give them an easy tool to do that.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (13:51):
Yeah. And enabling them with the proper hardware infrastructure to do that as well. That's the second part of there that we haven't really touched on today. So with that what are like an ops, what's an obstacle or even better like worse nightmare for a maintenance manager out there who hasn't digitized their workflows at this point.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (14:09):
Yeah. I think I mean the worst nightmare for them, it's like, their job is hard and you could say maybe their job's miserable, right. If you haven't digitized and you're in this reactive state, you probably don't have the same job fulfillment as someone that's, let's say automated that process of figuring out what maintenance tasks are most important, what needs to get done. And you're running around with a, you know, like a chicken with your head cut off a little bit, trying to respond to whatever breaks that day. I think that's the challenge, right? And I think where, you know, maintenance managers, maintenance leaders can get stuck is just finding the time to be a little proactive. Right? You gotta do those things. We, you know, this is a self-help best practice in general. Hey, carve out that time. Whether it's 30 minutes, one hour to start thinking ahead to being proactive, because when you're in a situation where you are running around reacting to things nonstop, it can be hard to think.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (14:59):
It's like, yes, I know these digital tools are out there, but I don't have time to do that today. Right. So I think that's a challenge. And there, there are a lot of good reasons people have those challenges today, right? Like a lot of people are running without all the maintenance staff they need right now. So they're struggling to keep up. They're trying to fill headcount. There are a lot of legitimate distractions out there, but I think going back, Hey, what's the worst nightmare is realizing you need to be proactive, but not having the time to be more proactive.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (15:26):
Yeah. And that's from my experience super common in industry today. I I'm sure you've seen the same as well. So yeah. So then with that you mentioned just now like filling up headcount and how the workforce is dwindling and manufacturing. I'm not sure if that's specific for maintenance and what you mentioned there or in production in general. But it's been a popular topic as well on your podcast. How have you seen digital tools play a role in solving these knowledge transfer problems?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (15:54):
Yeah. Yeah. Good, good question. Right. And it's, it's not, it's not even just within the walls of manufacturing, right? You go to a restaurant these days and they're understaffed. Like there is a workforce shortage in general right now, but it absolutely impacts manufacturing. So we'll focus on manufacturing there. You know, I, I think the, the easiest thing to say in this regard, it's we, we talk about automation and some people have this misperception that Hey, automation takes away jobs, right? And automation is not gonna be taking away jobs until like, we're not even close to filling all the open jobs that are there yet. This is like millions of jobs away before that becomes a concern. So where I would say that is, Hey, what a, what a digital maintenance platform can do. Let's say you're a maintenance team of five people and you only have four on the team.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (16:42):
You can probably get more out of those four people today. And you can't fill that last head count. If you have a tool that allows you to be proactive, right. If you're spending all your time on reactive tasks, chances are those four people are tied up and you desperately need that other resources. But if those four people are spread across proactive tasks and they're logging how much time it takes and they know how long that takes, heck, they're probably able to get more work done than say a team of five people if they have the right tools and discipline.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (17:11):
Yeah. So let's go through that example a bit deeper. You're on a team right now. You're the maintenance manager and you have a team of four doing the job that a team of five is supposed to. Do. You recognize that there's a problem there? What do you do to actually implement a solution like this? Cuz typically that onset of implement that solution takes up time as well. How do you squeeze that in? Or how do you recommend to properly roll that out to get true adoption and make sure that that system works it's works and how it's supposed to?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (17:38):
Yeah. I mean, fir first of all, I'm gonna look for a platform that's, you know, fairly easy to implement, right? I'm gonna look for the one that's more intuitive. And the nice thing is in, in the world of industrial software companies have realized a tremendous differentiator is being the platform. That's not cumbersome, that's easy to use. And we're modeling that after all these other apps and interfaces that we like. So I, what if, if I'm a maintenance manager and, and I'm looking for ways, Hey, how can I roll something out new with my team? First of all, back to the first point I made earlier, right? You wanna make sure the team's disciplined enough for it to begin with, right? You've got the discipline, Hey, maybe you're using a spreadsheet today to track those proactive tasks. Right. Then the next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna look for a tool that's quick to roll out. That's easy to roll out and easy to learn. So that way my team can continue to focus on what they do best, which is maintenance rather than learning this new tool. That's going to be hard for them to learn. And you know, you know, God forbid like one of the per people leaves or quits, Hey, we know that's an issue right now too. I want something that the next new person that joins the team can pick up easily as well.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (18:46):
Yeah. Another thing that you brought up there, that's important to me. And what I've seen is really popular lately is if in that situation where you're understaffed with the skilled laborers and the maintenance team, how do you get your regular production members engaged in those maintenance, maintenance tasks to bring those issues up before they become problems? Have you seen like autonomous maintenance rollout or have higher adoption lately, or I, I don't wanna say offloading those tasks, but getting them engaged to really help with those maintenance tasks so that your skilled operators can focus on the skilled tasks that they need to do.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (19:19):
Yeah. I think you know, I'm gonna sound like a broken record here. Soon. It goes back to culture, right? At the end of the day with the, with the CMMS platforms that I've seen, particularly with Fiix, which I'm most familiar with, right? Like anyone can enter that type of work order, right. To say, Hey, I'm noticing an issue out line one, line two, wherever it is. So you wanna create that culture of proactivity, that culture of doing the right thing where it's, Hey, maybe it's a, an operator online one, right. Maybe they're not the maintenance person, but they can still see when there's an anomaly and something's wrong. Right. You want to be able to make sure you're leveraging the other people in your facility to be part of this solution as well.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (20:00):
Yep. So it's the visibility to get everybody involved and on the same page to really build that culture. Mm-Hmm

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (20:05):

Chris Krnezich - Weever (20:06):
Great. So then more manufacturers now we're starting to leverage digital content and manufacturing your podcast as an example, how do you think podcast social posts and videos will create more community in real life and across digital channels? Are you starting to see the effects of this content taking shape right now?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (20:24):
Yeah, I think, well, I think community's big, right? I think it became even bigger with, with the pandemic. Right? Cause all of a sudden we were, we were stuck at home. We couldn't go out and hang out in person. You know, I can, I can talk about specifically to the community aspect about digital content cuz maybe I'll, I'll speak generally. First manufacturers are starting to do a better job of leveraging all the cool things they're doing. Right? The reason the show, how it's made made was so popular is it's cool to see inside of a factory. So when we highlight robots, automation, all those processes in videos or things along those lines, any sort of digital media, even putting it on TikTok these days, that's the next frontier, you know, it gets people more excited and just more aware about the manufacturing industry. I think a very important thing you brought up is the community aspect though, because manufacturing happy hour, I'll, I'll speak from my experience.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (21:13):
It's a podcast that's listened to over by over a thousand manufacturing leaders every week. But I think the real magic is bringing in those core listeners into a community, whether it's on LinkedIn, whether it's through zoom calls, whatever it is so that that group of people can start interacting with one another and helping one another and looking out for new opportunities for one another. So that's where the, the real strength is. And I think digital content is step one, but if you're able to start building a community around your content, around your brand, that's where companies can unlock a superpower. I would say where all of a sudden they don't just have customers. They have fans of their brand. And that's where I think the power of community within content comes from

Chris Krnezich - Weever (21:58):
Yeah. A hundred percent. And even then that community that's online community translates into an in person, community, as we were able to see with you guys at automate. And I think that was awesome. How you guys are able to recap there together

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (22:09):
And that's where it gets the most fun. Right. You know, we, if, if we were ha you know, having, having a conversation like this over beers, right at, at the automated event, we were able to throw a live event while we were there. It's like, Hey, after the show wraps up, let's go grab a drink at the brewery down the street. Right. And I was able to see people from different points in my career, come to that event, make connections. And, and that's what it's all about. Right? It's, it's, it's awesome to drive new business drive engagement, but it's where you're able to, you know, watch people make a genuine connection. I mean, that's at least what, what drives this for me?

Chris Krnezich - Weever (22:43):
Yeah, exactly. So let's go back into the manufacturing world when you, if you're a manufacturing manager or a maintenance manager and you've identified a need for automation and technology, cuz your current solutions or your current processes, aren't cutting it. What are the next steps you'd recommend for searching Otis solution as a leader in maintenance software?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (23:03):
Yeah. Yeah. So for maintenance software leaders in general, I'll, I'll maybe start a little more general in that, right? I mean, here's the reality. You're gonna do a lot of online research right out of the gate. Right? You're gonna go on, you're gonna look at demos. We used to live in a world, right where the sales guy had to come out with a physical demo and show you and leave a bunch of catalogs behind that is not the world we live in right now. If I'm a maintenance leader, I'm gonna go online and I'm gonna look at the options that are out there, right. As you know, as someone with Fiix, I hope Fiix makes that list. Right. We've got a nice website where you can, you can find the stuff pretty easily. Look at, look at a demo and things like that. But Hey, that's the reality of it.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (23:38):
I don't think you need to even coach someone to say, Hey, are you gonna look online? First of course, you're gonna look online and, and videos first, you know, I always say back to your community comment, right? Talk to your peers, figure out what's going on there. You know, and, and then as you build that short list, that's probably at the point where you're gonna start to reach out and talk to an expert that can fill in some of those remaining gaps. Right. But I think if I'm looking at that, that's how I would search for a solution. Right. But I, I want to go back to one of the other points I made. It's like, Hey, at the end of the day, a CMMS platform like Fiix it's a tool. Right. But make sure you've got the right processes and, and the right people with the right attitude to start using it. If you're gonna put it in place, right. It doesn't take a, you a tool like that to start doing preventative maintenance task, you gotta have those in place. And then when you implement a tool like that, that's where you can unlock a lot of power because you already had the right behaviors.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (24:32):
Yeah. 100%. It's having the right tool and the right spot. I always use the analogy. You can put a nail in with the back end of a screwdriver, but, and it'll work, but it's not the prettiest or best way to do it. So I think you're a spot on with that.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (24:45):

Chris Krnezich - Weever (24:47):
So with that what excites you most about working in manufacturing today?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (24:52):
It's it's funny you bring that up, right? I, I, I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin now, but I moved to the bay area in 2015, you know, I feel like any millennial, you wanted to go live in like, you know, a New York, a bay area, whatever it was. Right. And I was out there and probably when I got out there, I was like, oh man, it would be, it would be cool to be in tech. Right. You know, you look at, look at all your friends that are working at Facebook and Google, but I mean there's cooler problems to solve in manufacturing right now. Like you look at all the new technology that's there. How many solutions in manufacturing are software based right now you look at a lot of robotics companies. They're not reinventing a robot arm. They're making it easier for a robot to say, Hey, I'm almost as, as close to the beer as I need to be. I see the beer is right here. Let me go in and reach it and grab that beer now. Right? Like that's where, you know, robots are becoming smarter in that regard where we're building in machine learning and capabilities like that. So to, to put it simply, I think it's that overlap of manufacturing and tech where right now the manufacturing world is where people are solving some of the most important problems.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (26:00):
Yeah. And I think the growth there is growth potential. There is mass. If you hear a lot about reshoring, I'm sure you've heard, it's come up on your podcast a few times, the growth there is gonna be huge going forward. And I agree it's a really interesting space to be in where you actually solve real problems that you can communicate to other people. <Laugh>

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (26:16):

Chris Krnezich - Weever (26:17):
That's the biggest part about it. Are there any companies that you follow that set the bar high for digital transformation, maybe specifically for

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (26:27):
Digital transformation, for maintenance? You know, gosh, there, there are a lot of them out there. I, I, I, I would say those that have moved to condition based, you know, one of my favorites, we've talked about it on the podcast before Bob Murphy back, I think it's episode 1919 of manufacturing, happy hour. If any of your listeners wanna look it up 19, 19 or 20, something like that talked about the digital transformation that, that he let at Rockwell automation bring together all these plants. And I would say he reiterated a lot of the same things I said today. Right? It's like, Hey, it's people process and technology and people in process first technology next. So those, those are some of the names that, that come out there.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (27:07):
Awesome. Well, just before we wrap up, where can people find you and your podcast online?

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (27:13):
Yeah. So manufacturing, happy or just search for manufacturing happy hour. You'll see it pop up on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, wherever you listen to your podcasts. I would say that's where, where manufacturing leaders can find manufacturing happy hour and certainly connect with me on LinkedIn as well. I'm fairly active there. You'll you'll see me there on a daily basis.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (27:35):
Awesome. Well, looking forward to, what'll make sure that we can share it so all of our listeners can find you as well. And that's pretty much it for us to wrap up for today. Thanks for your time, Chris. And thanks to all the listeners who turn tuned in. We'll see you again next week on digitization Mavericks.

Chris Luecke - Fiix Software (27:50):
Thanks so much, Chris,

Announcer (27:52):
The digitization Mavericks podcast is powered by Weever, a platform that automates every critical process. So you and your employees can focus on delivering value. Use digital data, capture, workflow management and realtime reporting tools to dramatically improve operational efficiency and employee engagement. Visit to see why so many of the world's manufactured leaders like Kellogg's in Unilever. Use Weever to optimize standard operating procedures.

Chris Krnezich - Weever (28:16):
Hey, this is your host, Chris. Again, I have two quick asks for all my listeners to help the show grow. If you got value from this episode, please subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify and leave a review, letting us know why, if you are interested in appearing on the show or making a guest suggestion, please email podcast, We'd love to hear from you. Thanks and see you next time.


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