Want to stay in the know when it comes to the manufacturing world? A wealth of information is just a mobile device away. There are countless manufacturing blogs to subscribe to and, while it was difficult, we narrowed it down to five. If you’re less of a reader and prefer listening to a podcast while you hit the gym or commute to work, we’ve provided five of our favorite podcasts too.
Top 5 Manufacturing Blogs
The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, this site posts stories nearly every day, making it ideal for anyone who likes to start their day with a coffee and some industry news. Stories often focus on policies that could strengthen or damage American manufacturing, but it’s also a valuable resource for other current events affecting the industry. Of course, not every story will interest everyone, as topics range from “Section 232 Trade Action Continues to Fortify Steel Industries” to “Did You Know Kylie Jenner’s Makeup Line is Made in the USA?”
Powered by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, this blog is very well-organized. Not every manufacturer is interested in the same thing, so to that end the site categorizes content into 30 topics, including 3D Printing, Advanced Manufacturing, Continuous Improvement, Exporting, Finance, Marketing, Smart Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Sustainability, and Workplace Safety. Blogs are posted randomly (for example, there were no posts in January but there have already been five in March) but you can sign up for alerts so you’re not constantly checking back.
The mission of this blog is to “provide a community forum to discuss various facets of today’s global manufacturing transformation.” Topics include supply chain complexity, the pursuit of lower manufacturing costs, industry threats, and more. Despite being maintained by Dassault Systemes, the posts are never self-promotional; in fact, many are submitted by industry experts not associated with the company, and we counted over 50 total authors.
Most likely, you’ve visited this site before and may be familiar with the Shopfloor Blog. While it’s worth following (they post frequently on all sorts of topics), we really wanted to call your attention to NAM’s new “power of small” pages. Recognizing that 98.6% of manufacturing firms are small to medium-sized (SMMs) and that nearly 14,000 of their members are SMMs, the organization created these pages to highlight SMM profiles, provide SMM perspectives and small business shop talk videos, and more.
This California-based blog covers “the innovative industry’s tremendous growth benefits and the sector’s passionate workers.” Blog posts are often focused on informing manufacturers of upcoming California manufacturing events, or providing highlights following a successful Golden State event. This makes the site valuable for those always looking to get out and network with others in the industry.
Top 5 Manufacturing Podcasts
Hosted by Jason Zenger, owner of Zenger's metalworking company, and Jim Carr, owner of CARR Machine & Tool, the goal of this weekly, 45-minute podcast is to “elevate your manufacturing leadership, find solutions to your challenges, and increase your speeds and feeds.” These two bring a lot of fun to the proceedings, and many manufacturing leaders are singing its praises on the website. One manufacturing CEO calls it “relevant manufacturing media that is actually entertaining,” and we couldn’t agree more. Even better, the duo also has a video series and regularly posts articles of interest.
Now in its fifth broadcasting year, Manufacturing Talk Radio now has over 300 podcasts archived covering all aspect of the industry (some of their podcasts have been downloaded a whopping one million times). So, it’s safe to say these guys—hosts Lew Weiss and Tim Grady—know what they’re talking about. With so many podcasts, the site makes it easy to search by subject, guest name, or keyword to find broadcasts of interest. Otherwise, new episodes air every Tuesday at 10:00 am PST.
In this weekly, 60-minute podcast, Krisztina “Z” Holly goes behind the scenes to look at entrepreneurs (usually in manufacturing, but not always) who are trying to get their business off the ground. For those who’ve been there, are there, or plan to be soon, it provides great insight into the challenges, struggles, and successes. While “Z” hasn’t published a new podcast in a while, there is a wealth of archived recordings worth your time.
Ron Pereira of Gemba Academy, a leading trainer of lean and six sigma that’s worked with 3M, Bristol-Myer Squibb, FedEx, John Deere, and more, speaks weekly with other manufacturing thought-leaders about the challenges the industry faces and ways to solve them. You can subscribe to new podcasts, or dig into the archive in which you’ll find hundreds of recordings. How does Ron find the time to do these? That’s the best part: he keeps them each at around 20-minutes, great news for those of us with short attention spans!
We talk about 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, quite a bit. But, many SMMs still may not think it’s for them. The 3D Printing Podcast may just change your mind. This privately held, venture capital-backed company works in partnership with the 3D Printing Channel and was developed by a team of 3D printing executives that thought the technology needed a voice of its own. Tune in and see if it’s for you.
There you have it, our top 10 manufacturing blogs and podcasts to follow. By reading or listening to just a couple per week or even per month, you can be continuously learning and stay in-the-know. Plus, if you haven’t subscribed to our blog, we encourage you to do so today for great global and California-based content.