How connected and sustainable products are the future of manufacturing

In this episode of the EY Microsoft Tech Directions podcast, Jerry Gootee, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing Leader, and David Breaugh, Microsoft Americas Business Lead for Manufacturing Industries, discuss the benefits of connected products.

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Podcast host Susannah Streeter welcomes Jerry Gootee, EY’s Global Advanced Manufacturing Leader and David Breaugh, Microsoft Americas Business Lead for Manufacturing Industries. Together they discuss the transformative nature of connected products and share examples of how businesses are harnessing data to create new growth opportunities while meeting increased customer demands and expectations.

We are all owners of an increasing list of connected products – from smart watches and fitness trackers to vacuum cleaners and even cars. This explosion in product connectivity has been mirrored in the world of manufacturing, with machines and industrial processes connected to the internet, generating performance-related data and the ability to monitor, operate and upgrade devices remotely. 

This industrial product connectivity brings huge benefits, including continuous software and performance updates and predictive maintenance, which have the potential to drastically reduce or even eliminate downtime.

Product connectivity also makes it possible to continuously monitor and address product efficiency levels, reducing waste and thereby making a critical contribution to sustainability efforts. 

Before an organization can maximize its return on investment, however, it is essential that leadership understands both the opportunities and challenges faced by the shop floor. It is also critical that organizations have the appropriate cybersecurity in place to safeguard intellectual property and critical business systems.

Key takeaways:  

  • Great product design now involves creating a continually mediated service, made possible by internet connectivity, rather than a one-off product purchase.
  • Connectivity also enables traceability – the ability to track a product during manufacture and throughout its lifecycle, to prove it is made, used and disposed of in a sustainable way.
  • Connectivity makes new, more insightful measures of success possible, for example, “power by the hour” and “hours of uptime,” which help organizations understand and recalibrate product efficiency and increase sustainability.
  • Manufacturers can also benefit from rich insights, showing how consumers use their products on a day-to-day basis, enabling them to better align product output with consumer needs.

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. 

David Breaugh

Americas Regional Business Lead - Manufacturing, Microsoft


Episode 6


36m 47s