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The Acceleration of Smart Manufacturing Adoption with Plex CTO Jerry Foster
Episode 9210th May 2022 • Manufacturing Happy Hour • Chris Luecke
00:00:00 00:44:42

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The future is digital, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. Jerry Foster, the CTO of Plex, is one of the select visionaries who jumped on the ‘digitization’ bandwagon quite early in the game. Plex is a company that paved the way for business enterprise software in the cloud through a smart manufacturing platform that connects people, systems, machines, and supply chains.

Jerry joins Manufacturing Happy Hour to share the company’s unconventional origin story and to break down some of the most interesting parts of their annual State of Smart Manufacturing report.

It’s an episode packed full of great insights as we dig into topics like the role of AI in manufacturing and tech paralysis. Tune in to hear more about implementing new technology, plus insights into the worlds of racquetball and Star Wars.

In this episode, find out:

  • What is smart manufacturing?
  • How Jerry got his start in smart manufacturing
  • What it was like to spearhead the first business enterprise software in the cloud
  • Jerry breaks down the smart manufacturing growth trajectory
  • How to form a successful integrated team
  • Jerry discusses useful technologies that were once dismissed as “hype”
  • How the role of blockchain fits into manufacturing
  • How AI has evolved over the years
  • What proactive leaders look like
  • How to find a balance between profitability and sustainability
  • How playing racquetball has influenced Jerry’s career
  • Jerry’s advice to manufacturing leaders looking to leverage smart manufacturing

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Tweetable Quotes:

  • “Artificial intelligence or machine learning are the only ways to really tame the beast that is data management — it's like getting 100,000 interns to analyze all that data almost for free.”
  • "In my opinion, it's the cloud and the convergence of that data and computing capabilities that have brought AI to the forefront.”
  • “If you've got action-oriented people, no one's thinking about implications, and with analysis-oriented, you'll have great spreadsheets, but no results, so you need both.”

Links & mentions:

  • Plex Systems, a smart manufacturing platform that connects people, systems, machines, and supply chains.
  • Plex’s State of Smart Manufacturing Report, an annual report sharing insights from over 300 manufacturing leaders on the challenges facing their business and how they address them using technology.

Make sure to visit for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.