Architecture & Design, Construction, and Manufacturing

Local event helps midsize manufacturers plan for Fourth Industrial Revolution

January 21, 2019
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Progressive AE PivotPoint Manufacturing Event.
David Shull, A.I.A., presents at the 2018 PivotPoint Manufacturing Event. Courtesy Progressive AE

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Are you prepared? A local event in Grand Rapids aims to help midsize manufacturers prepare for the coming changes by providing actionable takeaways that can be applied the same day. Called PivotPoint, the event will take place March 13 at the Goei Center in Grand Rapids.

“We created PivotPoint as a way to provide real value to manufacturers,” said David Shull, a principal with architecture and engineering firm Progressive AE and industrial practice leader. “So many events today discuss issues at such a high level they don’t give attendees clear next steps or actionable items they can actually apply to our businesses. We know manufacturers are busy and are looking for immediate value.”

PivotPoint breaks down the Fourth Industrial Revolution for midsize manufacturers

This year’s PivotPoint event is organized around the theme of “Capitalizing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).” Covering a range of topics — from the changing dynamics of talent attraction to planning for organizational growth — the event will highlight everyday pain points with real-life examples and preparation tips for the coming changes of 4IR. Rather than talk about high-level concepts, each presenter at PivotPoint will share real-life examples and actionable takeaways that can help improve organizational performance for attendees.

“PivotPoint is an incredible opportunity for manufacturers to come together and learn, ask questions, and talk through issues with peers and knowledgeable experts,” said Matt Williams, process engineering manager at ROL USA. “I appreciate the range of topics each year, quality of speakers and actionable takeaways.”

This year’s event will feature:

Steve Brenneman, CEO, ATC Trailers – “Too Small to be Big, too Big to be Small - A Personal Look at Guiding a Growing Business”

Andrew Galardi, vice president commercial banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch The Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Leasing a Facility. What’s Right for You?”

John Tucker, director of human resources and Michigan Manufacturing Association’s 2018 Talent Champion Award Winner, PTM Corporation – “Talent Requirements are Changing. What Can You do to Plan for the Future?”

David Shull, industrial practice leader, Progressive AE – “Masterplanning for Success in the Face of Uncertainty”

David Carlson, manufacturing and automotive practice leader, Marsh – “Understanding the Fourth Industrial Revolution: 10 Things You Never Knew”

Gordon Stannis, partner, TwistThink – “A Time to Innovate”

Understanding the Fourth Industrial Revolution

No one truly knows the impact the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have, but experts believe it will be far reaching and life-changing. It has the power to transform the way we live, work and interact with the world around us. Among others, the connection between the physical and digital world brought on by 4IR will affect manufacturers’ productivity, quality and needed skills within the labor force.

For large organizations with resources and manpower to spare, this change is less daunting. For midsize manufacturers, often family-owned and within their first and second generation of management, the idea of planning for unknown future changes is less meaningful and often pushed off. But the facts remain, and the way we work will change whether we’re ready or not.

Attending PivotPoint

Tickets to PivotPoint include access to all presentations, breakfast, lunch and a happy hour networking event. Tickets currently are on sale and can be purchased for $35 by visiting Progressive AE’s website at progressiveae.com or by calling (616) 361-1493.

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