Manufacturing industry podcasts are emerging as a practical way to stay up to date, because you can listen on the fly: on your commute, while driving, when on a break, on your run, or even on the shop floor (if allowed). This is particularly useful in manufacturing, where a lot of the work consists of running around, standing up and being away from your desk (many workers don’t even have desks). At Tulip, where we are supporting the next generation of frontline operations, sharing knowledge and experience right when you need it, in a simple and accessible way, is a high priority. We currently have two podcasts of our own, Augmented, featuring industrial thought leaders, and Behind the Ops, talking to engineers and operators, which we have not included in this ranking (although we think they are great, too, but others can judge). If you have suggestions for podcasts that deserve a place among top manufacturing podcasts, please let us know.

Here are our picks for the 10 essential manufacturing podcasts for 2021:

1. Industrial Talk

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By Scott MacKenzie

Industrial Talk, by Scott MacKenzie, is a podcast conceived as part news resource of “what’s happening in the industrial workplace”, part industrial marketing community building tool offering advertising and placement on the Industrial Talk website and Newsletter and providing promotional assets.

We like Industrial Talk because it's a highly personal take on manufacturing industry marketing and networking from a credible source, himself having climbed the ladder from lathing contractor to industrial marketer and educator. For our interview with Scott, see Making Industry Sexy, which is episode 28 of the Augmented podcast (Oct 6, 2021).

2. In Machines We Trust

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By Jennifer Strong (MIT Technology Review)

In Machines We Trust, hosted by MIT Technology Review Editorial Director Jennifer Strong, “thoughtfully examines the far-reaching impact of artificial intelligence on our daily lives” and also calls itself “a podcast about the automation of everything”, and “the human voices behind the machines we use every day”.

We like In Machines We Trust for its high editorial quality, story-driven production, eclectic choice of guests, often with input from multiple people in each episode, and for the way it touches upon the role machines play in industry and society.

3. Gemba Academy Podcast

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By Ron Pereira (Gemba Academy)

The Gemba Academy Podcast by Ron Pereira, the co-founder of Gemba Academy, the training provider, who has personally trained and mentored thousands of individuals across the world in both the lean and six sigma methodologies. The podcast is focused on Lean thinking, Toyota Kata, leadership, and productivity.

We like it for its dedication to continuous improvement in individuals and organizations using industry best practices. This long-standing interview-podcast has a tremendous amount of content available given that it runs back to 2015.

4. The Manufacturing Millennial

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By Jake Hall (Business Development Manager, Feyen Zylstra)

The Manufacturing Millennial is a video podcast by Jake Hall, a content creator who has a passion for showing future generations how technology in the new world.

We like The Manufacturing Millennial video podcast because of Jake’s contagious enthusiasm for a topic so important to industry around the world: engaging the next generation talent in manufacturing. How he turns the worry about the aging workforce into an enthusiastic embrace of opportunities is inspiring. Surprisingly, it is on LinkedIn that the podcast has found its main audience. For our interview with Jake, see Manufacturing Millennials, episode 53 of the Augmented podcast.

5. Making Chips

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By Jason Zenger, Jim Carr, and Nick Goellner

Making Chips is a weekly podcast aimed to equip and inspire manufacturing leaders to succeed in the challenging world of manufacturing. Run by leaders who work on the factory floor every day, the podcast’s mission is to “equip and inspire the metalworking nation” and has over the years become a “virtual community of manufacturing peers”.

The show, running since 2014, with over 300 episodes and over 650,000 downloads, now has three generations of manufacturing leaders “sharing their struggles of running the family businesses.

We like Making Chips because it gives voice to owners of manufacturing businesses, from C-levels of famous companies down to small and medium-sized companies, and spans the important metalworking, machining, fabrication, tooling, and machine tool industries in the US.

6. Manufacturing Happy Hour

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By Chris Luecke

Manufacturing Happy Hour by Chris Luecke, “helps manufacturers tell their story to their ideal customer” and has built a LinkedIn community of 496 members who engage in everything from virtual happy hours to live events. On the podcast, “we get real about the latest trends and technologies impacting modern manufacturers” and “dissect real-life applications”. Luecke, a mechanical engineer and former Boy Scouts of America leader who calls himself a “media maverick”, has a sales background from Rockwell Automation and currently works at a company they own, Fiix Software, from his base in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

We like Manufacturing Happy Hour for its consistent work of featuring up and coming manufacturing leaders, reaching Millennials and Gen Z in Silicon Valley and beyond with a video-forward focus although the show features an inordinate amount of beer drinking which may not send the best signal to the younger generations even though it’s clearly on brand with the “happy hour” concept.

7. The Manufacturing Executive

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By Joe Sullivan (Gorilla 76)

The Manufacturing Executive is a “growth strategy podcast for manufacturing leaders”, with conversations with “compassionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles”, hosted by St Louis, Missouri-based Joe Sullivan, founder of Gorilla 76, the industrial marketing agency.

We like The Manufacturing Executive for its consistent focus on helping mid sized B2B manufacturers identify, attract, engage and drive sales opportunities, using contemporary media outreach strategies including podcasting and social media marketing. Our interview with Joe is upcoming on Augmented podcast in 2022, so stay tuned.

8. Operations with Sean Lane

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By Sean Lane (Drift)

Operations with Sean Lane who is a Senior Director, Field Operations at the conversational marketing platform Drift, a Boston-based unicorn startup, tackles “ the world of operations, which “isn’t always glamorous, but it’s the work that can make or break a company”, “goes under the hood of how hyper-growth companies operate” aiming to leave you with “operational tactics you need to scale growth and drive results at your company”.

We like Operations with Sean Lane because even though it's not specific to the manufacturing industry (in fact, so far, he interviews mostly software companies), the argument he is driving is that operations is similar to the product function in that you can (and must) complement a good company with excellent operations. This resonates with Tulip, the frontline operations platform, where we are building tools to increase the degrees of freedom in the operations function by allowing each operations manager to create industrial apps for their own business unit without waiting for global alignment, yet still maintaining operational control.

9. Conquering Chaos: A show for Manufacturing Leaders

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By Josh Santo (Parsable)

Conquering Chaos, hosted by product marketer Josh Santo at connected worker platform Parsable is the show that “connects you to real manufacturing leaders who are defining the future of manufacturing today”.

We like Conquering Chaos because the podcast gathers a bunch of interesting guests discussing issues that are top of mind for real leaders in the industry (like the labor shortage) and the actions they are taking to improve their organization.

10. Advanced Manufacturing Now by SME Media

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By Bruce Morey (SME)

Advanced Manufacturing Now by SME Media with host Bruce Morey, Senior Technical Editor for Manufacturing Engineering Magazine,“the podcast for manufacturing professionals” where you can “hear about the latest technology, equipment, processes and factors impacting manufacturing from industry leaders and experts”, is a podcast supported by SME, the nonprofit association of manufacturing professionals. SME Media is also the publisher of Manufacturing Engineering Magazine and SMART Manufacturing Magazine. Some episodes are sponsored by various manufacturers.

We like Advanced Manufacturing Now because it features leaders in a wide variety of small and medium-sized firms that are at the core of American manufacturing.

For more manufacturing-related podcast content, check out our very own Augmented podcast!