2018 Top ArticlesProviding its members with the latest industry news and most relevant information regarding emerging trends and technologies is a priority of great significance for AEM.

The association’s twice-weekly Industry Advisor newsletter is AEM’s primary vehicle for sharing insights and happenings on a wealth of topics that are important to the equipment manufacturing industry. In addition, the Advisor regularly delivers feature-length articles focused on issues important to the construction, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

So as 2018 comes to a close, and AEM, its staff and its members look ahead to 2019, here are some of the most-read Advisor articles of this year:

  • 5 Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2018 –The long-term direction of the equipment manufacturing industry is being shaped and driven by a number of disruptive and cutting-edge trends. As a result, it’s incredibly important for key stakeholders in the industry to learn what they are, how they will evolve with time, and how they are poised to affect manufacturers’ operations both now and in the coming years.
  • 5 Reasons IoT Projects Fail – According to Richard Kelly, a partner at international consulting firm McKinsey & Co., the road to an IoT future is littered with the wrecks of organizational projects and initiatives that sputtered out along the way. Thankfully, lessons can be learned from these failures.
  • Industrial Sector Outlook Strong for 2018, But What About 2019? – It’s been a banner year for the industrial sector, but will manufacturing continue to help carry the U.S. economy and drive solid growth beyond 2018? The short answer is yes. However, according to economist Eli Lustgarten of ESL Consulting, while the near-term outlook for both manufacturing and the overall economy is strong, there is growing concern about the future.
  • 3 Trends Agriculture Equipment Manufacturers Should Be Ready For – Equipment purchasing decisions will be driven more by the bottom line than by brand loyalty, tractors and harvesters will look more like computers, and data will drive productivity more than ever before. These are just a few of the realities that equipment manufacturers will have to contend with over the next 25 years, according to an AEM research report written by the Context Network.
  • 5 Ways Equipment Manufacturers Can Stay Ahead of Technology Disruption – So as to assist AEM members in better understanding where the dangers and opportunities are on the horizon, the association partnered with the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company to conduct a comprehensive survey of heavy equipment end users. In a report compiling the customer insights, some of McKinsey’s top minds laid out five steps that manufacturers can take today in order to position themselves to thrive in tomorrow’s technological environment.

2018's Top AEM Thinking Forward Podcasts

Expanding on the scope of its efforts to keep members apprised of potentially disruptive trends in the construction and agriculture equipment industry, AEM launched the Thinking Forward podcast in 2018. Exploring a different cutting-edge topic every month, the Thinking Forward podcast is available for listeners and subscribers on many of the most popular podcasting apps, including iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn and others.

With more than a dozen episodes now available, here are some of the top ones of the year:

  • Ep. 10 - How A.I. is Changing the Way Manufacturers Innovate, with Autodesk's Bryce Heventhal – A cutting-edge trend known as Generative Design is already producing some eyebrow-raising results for the companies that have experimented with it. In this episode, learn how it works from Autodesk's Bryce Heventhal, hear case studies including the one-of-a-kind collaboration with Lightning Motorcycles, and engage in a discussion with engineering experts from AEM member companies that stand to benefit from the technology.
  • Ep. 06 - Makerspaces & Incubators: Plugging Manufacturers Into Tech Talent, with Bill Fienup and Jeff Garascia – Innovative technology talent is tough to come by for manufacturers looking to make their equipment "smarter." But the business incubator and makerspace mHub in Chicago is turning the talent model upside down. In this episode, learn how this unique partnership works from mHub co-founder Bill Fienup and Marmon Chief Innovation Officer Jeff Garascia. Meet mHub members Henry Africano and Katya Iwanik, and hear from AEM members Scott Radtke of the United Group and Noah Oken-Berg from Pop Art.
  • Ep. 09 - Still Standing: Vermeer's Diverse Workforce Culture Weathers the Storm, with Mary Andringa & Nicole Hallada – Renowned for its creative approach to workforce development, Vermeer Corporation was tested like never before when its manufacturing campus in Pella, Iowa was struck by a tornado on July 19. In the weeks since this near-disaster, the employees of this company have rallied around the concept of #VermeerStrong, picked up the pieces and begun the process of rebuilding. In this episode, former Vermeer President Mary Andringa discusses the recovery effort, Vermeer's workforce culture, and her rise as one of the first women to exert herself as a top leader in the industry.

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