Each month, Tony Uphoff, visionary CEO of Thomasnet.com, joins Cloud Wars Live for a recurring segment. “Uphoff on Industry” will explore the innovations, upheavals, and breakthroughs reshaping the the world of manufacturing and industrial markets. Join Tony and me as we discuss disruptive new trends in the digital-industrial world. These include how we design, source and manufacture products. And also the new ways in which industrial companies are getting up to speed on marketing, sales and customer experience.
In this episode: Tony says that we’re on the precipice of a major market transition, with industry 4.0 and digital transformation. Throughout our conversation, he illustrates just how transformative things are getting through three lenses. First, how roles from the CEO on down are changing in terms of what’s expected from the people who hold them. Second, the redefinition of manufacturing, where the traditional sense of the term is fusing with cutting-edge technology. And finally, the new emphasis on Customer Success and what it means for a company to truly prioritize it.
Tony’s chief technology officer raised the idea that Thomas should develop a business unit called “Thomas Industrial Data,” to sell datasets into the buy-side financial institutions. Tony says that when the CTO brought that up, he said, “please call me in a month.” But he was right, because the CTO was able to see that much quicker than anybody else in the company.
Next, we talk about a couple examples of groundbreaking technologies and how they’re playing out in the market. For example: if you look at the valuation of a tech company, it’s much, much higher than a manufacturing company. We talk about how Tesla is demonstrating this exact trend in the auto industry. Tony and I also spend a minute on SunBot, a company that captures 90% of the sun’s rays. It emulates how a sunflower moves, and it’s creating a whole new solar technology.
First prefacing by saying that he lives in a glass house, too, Tony says that companies need to be clear about what customer success really means. It can be easy to wildly overpromise on something, and you don’t know exactly what the goal is. And on the other end of the spectrum, pursuing Customer Success can also just be a license to upsell. We talk about what the true meaning is.
Finally, we close by talking about how China assembled a 40,000 square-foot hospital in 10 days to assist people with the Coronavirus. They used prefabricated materials, an example of the magic of more modern manufacturing technology.
Tony’s podcast is on all the major platforms as well as https://ThomasNet.com. You can also subscribe to Thomas’ daily email newsletter at at https://www.thomasnet.com/insights/.
You can also stream this episode in audio-only format:
'Think about it, in 10 days they built a hospital outside of Wuhan with prefabricated materials… That's the magic of some of this newer and more modern manufacturing technology coming online.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'Chief technical roles are now having to take a broader business point of view… Understanding how to automate the factory floor is not enough unless you also understand how the ERP system fits into your supply chain.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet 'It's always exciting, because there are moments of opportunity and moments of crazy change in markets that are going through these redefining moments.' #CloudWars Click To Tweet
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Cloud Wars Live Digital All-Stars
Tony Uphoff is one of our regularDigital All-Stars. The All-Stars are experts who will appear in regular video podcasts focused on the critical themes shaping (and re-shaping!) the business world in the digital age of 2020. Our intention is to provide regular chunks of timely ideas, insights and conversations on high-priority subjects from industry veterans with diverse backgrounds.