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Episode 40: Getting Started with Industry 4.0 & AI

Bryan Powrozek
Jan 26, 2024


In this episode of The Sound of Automation podcast, we sit down with Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly and Wipfli Digital Director Mo Abuali. Bryan, Tom and Mo discuss the latest Industry 4.0 trends and technologies for small to midsized manufacturers. They also chat about some of the challenges associated with Industry 4.0 adoption, and how to overcome these obstacles. Listen in for some tips on getting started with Industry 4.0 and AI. 


Tom Kelly 00:00

All software driven mindset needs to be embraced by small manufacturers. Everything is going software first, including manufacturing. And that means things like artificial intelligence. They really have to pay attention to how that is changing, how they go about making things. 

Intro/Outro Narrator 00:22

Welcome to the Sound of Automation brought to you by Wipfli, a top 20 advisory and accounting firm. 

Bryan Powrozek 00:41

Hello and welcome to the Sound of Automation. I'm Bryan Powrozek with Wipfli and joining me today for the first time, Tom and Mo, pretty exciting. This is the first time I've had two guests on. So we're charting some new territory for the Sound of Automation podcast. But joining me today is Tom Kelly from Automation Alley and Mo from Wipfli, one of my colleagues. Mo, I won't butcher your last name. I'll let you introduce yourself properly in a minute here. But the topic for today's podcast is Industry 4 .0 for small to mid -sized manufacturers. And Industry 4 .0, as we all know, one of those topics, if I talk to 100 people, I'm going to get 100 different answers as to what that actually means. And so hopefully through today's podcast, we can provide a little clarity, especially for those small to mid -sized manufacturers who are looking at this saying, hey, how do I tackle this and bring this into my business? But before we get into that, really quick, Tom, you want to give you a quick introduction of yourself and a little bit of background about Automation Alley? 

Tom Kelly 01:47

Sure, Bryan, thanks for having me. This is going to be a fun conversation. So I'm the CEO and Executive Director of Automation Alley. We are a nonprofit based in Michigan. We focus exclusively on helping manufacturers with this digital transformation. Some call it industry 4 .0, which I know we're going to talk about that and perhaps that definition. We represent about 2 ,600 small manufacturers in the state of Michigan. And we also represent large manufacturers throughout the United States, because we are the US center for advanced manufacturing in partnership with the World Economic Forum. So we're one of 16 centers around the world focused on industry 4 .0, the only center in the World Economic Forum network that is focused on advanced manufacturing. So we are the hub for all of the conversation with the biggest companies in the world related to manufacturing. And then we also have a third division called Project Diamond, which is our additive manufacturing initiative for small manufacturers to stitch them together on an additive manufacturing network so they can share different additive resources to go to market with their customers. So a lot to digest there, but know that pretty much we're into everything when it comes to digital transformation. 

Bryan Powrozek 03:10

Excellent. And now Mo, you want to give us a little bit of your background? 

Mo Abuali 03:14

Thank you, Bryan. And it's great to be here with Tom. We were together a few weeks back doing a roundtable at Automation Alley on Industry 4 .0, which we'll probably talk about. But I'm a digital strategist. So I'm a director of digital strategy at Wipfli. I'm a colleague of Bryan, and I've been in the manufacturing space for over 23 years. So my goal for the manufacturing retail and distribution for Wipfli is really how to assist our 7 ,000 plus small and medium sized manufacturers and distributors to transition into Industry 4 .0 and to really achieve the business case that they're striving to achieve, whether it's in manufacturing, whether it's in supply chain. So it's a pleasure to be here to talk about Industry 4 .0 and to help small and medium manufacturers to realize it. 

Bryan Powrozek 04:02

Thanks, Mo and that's probably why you and Tom got on so well because Tom I know that's one of your one of your missions is to get the 10 to 12 ,000 small to mid -sized Michigan manufacturers Up to industry 4 .0. So some kindred spirits there. 

Tom Kelly 04:17

We had a great time Mo and I we really did it was awesome. It was great very informative. 

Bryan Powrozek 04:21

So let's kind of start at the beginning of that, because as I said, when Mo and I initially sat down and kind of put the outline together for this, there's so many different ways we can take this, right? There's automation, there's machine learning, there's AI, there's just so many different avenues to go down. And really, since you both have that passion for helping the small to mid -sized manufacturers move into this, into industry 4 .0 and digital transformation, let's start there. So what are some of the recent industry 4 .0 trends? And Tom, I'll start with you and then Mo, you can add on. What are some of the trends that you've seen in technologies that are probably the most impactful for the small to mid -sized manufacturer versus general motors or a Boeing or something like that? 

Tom Kelly 05:12

Yeah. Well, you know, what's easy from our perspective, Bryan, is they're the same, whether you're big or small, the way we see the world. And that is, I'll give you three trends that are happening that smalls need to really pay attention to. And then, you know, Mo can add to that, his perspective. It's really this whole software driven mindset that needs to be embraced by small manufacturers. Everything is going software first, including manufacturing. And that means things like artificial intelligence. They really have to pay attention to how that is changing, how they go about making things. So that's one trend, very huge trend, but it is a trend that they need to pay attention to. The second is additive manufacturing. So it used to be in manufacturing, hasn't changed in 100 years from when Henry Ford created the assembly line, and all the processes fast forward to today. And we still manage manufacturing pretty much the same way. Machines have gotten smarter and faster and more effective, but we still manufacturing is still the same. Well, there's this new thing called additive manufacturing, where you have to start even from the design stage of the part, you have to design for additive manufacturing. And the two are so different that manufacturers today that understand design for manufacturability don't understand design for additive manufacturing. And that is a huge trend that is existential risk to small manufacturers. And then the third is just collaborative robotics. Manufacturers that are small, I don't know how many times they've told me, yeah, we looked at robots, and you know, they're like, what are you from the 90s? I mean, things have changed, robots are cheap, you don't have to program them at all, they program themselves. The world has changed so dramatically in AI, in additive, in robotics, and manufacturers that are small need to understand that they need to be playing in all those spaces. And I'll stop there, there's some others, but I'm sure Mo has some great thoughts too. 

Mo Abuali 07:28

I mean, I love the trends that Tom mentioned, the AI additive and the collaborative robots are definitely big trends for small and medium -sized manufacturers. I want to take a different spin to the question and zoom in on the AI piece a little bit more. I mean, we are always urging manufacturers to start with the why, right? Why do you want to transition to industry 4 .0? And a lot of the use cases that Tom mentioned and more are really related to uptime improvements in manufacturing. Quality improvements, scrap reduction in manufacturing, labor efficiency improvements, especially with the workforce trends, throughput improvements, making more parts, making more good parts, and more and more energy and sustainability improvements to reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse emissions. So we're seeing a foundation of data and analytics. The DNA of manufacturing is how to become a data -driven organization and to use some of the software and automation tools that Tom and Automation Alley are trending. It's really important to create that foundation of capture real -time data and metrics from the shop floor, understand how to mine that data and convert that data into actions to be more predictive regarding uptime and quality and energy. So the vision of how to use data and analytics and some of the tools that Tom mentioned to drive toward a near -zero downtime, near -zero carbon emission, near -zero safety record, right? So that's the kind of trends that we're doing, and it really sits on the foundation of data and analytics. 

Bryan Powrozek 09:07

Well, and I think to kind of build on what both you and Tom says, you know, I, Tom mentioned, you know, robotics and getting comfortable with that and moving, you know, you've got whether you're talking about additive manufacturing, or even just managing, you know, a manufacturing process that now has some of this machine monitoring and all that stuff built into it. It's a mindset shift for the business owners, right? And in your, your comments there, Mo, you know, you start talking about, well, well, I'm a manufacturer, right? I don't have a data analyst on staff. I'm not that's not somebody I'm used to hiring. So, so there's some pretty substantial paradigm shifts that that business owners have to embrace, you know, those the small to midsize business owners, if they're to make this happen. So what are what are some of the barriers and challenges in Mo, I'll let you have first crack at this one. But what are some of the barriers and challenges that you see getting in the way of these manufacturers as they're trying to move into some of these new areas? 

Mo Abuali 10:09

Yeah. I mean, simply speaking, we're back to basics, right? You need a foundation of people, process, and technology, and the strategy to execute around those elements. So upskilling the people, re-skilling the people, and I'm sure Tom can talk more about some of the workforce challenges that manufacturers are facing. From a process perspective, you can go and implement an AI predictive maintenance solution if you don't have a good maintenance process in your organization. So how can I create better processes? From a technology perspective, manufacturers are dealing with older IT systems, vintage machines on the shop floor from the 50s and the 40s. So there is difficulties of adoption from the shop floor layer to the top floor layer. So I'm sure Tom can expand around this, but people process technology are pillars and they also pose barriers to adoption. 

Tom Kelly 11:01

Yeah you know Bryan and Mo I agree with everything Mo said. You know one of the one of the roles that Automation Alley plays is to be that antagonist. In other words Wipfli can't go into a customer and say you're doing it wrong. They have to meet where the customer is and then help them improve right but Automation Alley one of the things I say (and I'm not very popular for saying this), if you are the CEO of a manufacturer or the owner of a manufacturing firm you have to challenge yourself and say am I up for what's coming? Am I willing to embrace technology? Am I willing to embrace this new world? Because a lot of CEOs have come up through manufacturing and have twenty thirty forty years of experience that is irrelevant to where the world is going and it's a very difficult thing for a CEO to get their head around, say maybe I'm not qualified to be the CEO. That's a very scary thing but you can be qualified to see, "Dang it I need to go back to basics, I need to figure out what is this technological trends that I need to focus on and how do I use my people and my consultants to educate me on what is this AI trend, what is this additive manufacturing trend, what is all this data and how do I use it in a way that it's not just putting wrist watches, putting smart watches on horses, right? You know it's it's...when the car came along. We joke at Automation Alley that Henry Ford said, well you know if I asked anybody they'd say I just want faster horses. And sometimes I think when we get in the data world people are saying, well I'm going to put a smart watch on a horse and measure everything about the horse, you see? But you got to throw the horse out, it's the car now! Right? So this whole change is so overwhelming that they think the data they're collecting is relevant when you have to ask but why am I collecting the data, what am I going to do with it, and how do I position myself to use the data to leapfrog my competitors? And that's what Mo is saying and I think that's where you as a CEO have to say, I need some external help here because I need to be able to understand from others that are in the know like a Wipfli how I should be setting up my organization as a learning organization. 

Mo Abuali 13:27

And I love what Tom is saying and my two cents. We are seeing a lot of small and medium sized manufacturers take a technology first approach to industry 4 .0, but we are really recommending a business case first approach to industry 4 .0. Start with why. And to Tom's point, you got to get educated, take a course on industry 4 .0 and AI. We offer these types of courses and Automation Alley does as well. Do an assessment, roadmap your journey so you can really understand a kind of a phased approach to realize some of these things. So take a business case first approach, get educated and build a roadmap for your journey. 

Tom Kelly 14:07

You know, Mo, that's a really good point because one of the stats that I shared at our roundtable that we did two weeks ago was from Alex Partners, one of the big M &A consulting firms that's out there, they do a big convening, and they surveyed their Fortune 500 CEOs. And they said 92% of those CEOs this year came back and said AI is going to change our business model. Think about that. 92% of CEOs said AI is going to change their business model. It's not, when you change the business model, you change everything about the company. You have to go back and reevaluate everything. And if 92% of CEOs are saying this is going to happen, you have to get ready for some very impactful change and have to navigate that. 

Bryan Powrozek 14:56

I'm going to go back to a comment you made and I really found it impactful. So you've mentioned the CEO finding themselves, hey, I'm kind of obsolete at this point, right? I didn't go that far. Well, yeah. But I think it's really- You're a fighting man, I see. And saying, hey, what is my role in this organization? And it's that, and when I think about the clients that I work with, you got into this business, you started it because you knew more about your widget than anybody else. And that's the value you provide to the organization. I have no doubt, I have a lot of very intelligent clients who could go and read the tax code from top to bottom and figure it out. They could understand a lot of these technologies, but why? Lean on the expertise of others. You think about just some of the technological advancements, ways for navigation, right? You've got people crowdsourcing traffic conditions and things going on. You've got chat GPT, right? Where it's drawing from all these different inputs. You didn't have to build that yourself. You're relying on the work and the knowledge of others. So reevaluate your business and say, hey, we're out here to be the best widget manufacturer in the world. Now I'm going to find the person that can help me get there and implement these technologies. So I don't need to learn them. I just need to know how I want to use them and find someone that can help me. 

Tom Kelly 16:26

Yeah, and it really gets back to how does that CEO help the organization become a learning organization? Because the world is changing so fast that it's not about setting up processes and managing processes, it's about how do I live in a world of constant change? And how do I teach up my employees to be constant learners and to have resiliency and that we're going to be shifting all the time now going forward? This is the great lesson of this generation that we need to internalize that this, it is not where I can go in and if I'm an expert in this manufacturing process, I can figure out how to build a business around that, which is what you just said, Bryan. It's how do I live in a world where my business process is going to constantly be changing? My business model is going to constantly be changing. This is a totally different role for a CEO. And the ones that get it are the ones that are able to make these shifts over time. And we're seeing that. 

Mo Abuali 17:37

Right, and I think we're to both your points, we're seeing manufacturers establish a partner ecosystem, right, like you're not in this alone. There is associations like Automation Alley, attend the learnings and the roundtables. There are certain vendors and systems that you've been working with, talk to them, right, and understand their technology roadmaps and how they can help you. There are certain consulting firms like Wipfli who can help you in a variety of areas. There are certain academic institutions like Kettering GMI and Michigan and Arbor, you know, they're doing these things and they have students who are digital natives and very interested to become part of manufacturing. So, you know, don't do it alone, establish a partner ecosystem that makes sense and use that ecosystem to your advantage to build that roadmap, get educated, and start executing your transition, right? 

Bryan Powrozek 18:30

Excellent. So let's shift gears for a second then and kind of put our devil's advocate hat. Industry 4 .0 has a ton of potential. There's a lot of opportunity out there. But in seeing companies implement these technologies, working with companies implementing them, what are some of the downsides you've seen? And I'll just open up whoever wants to take a crack at it first, but what are some of the downsides you've seen of some of these technologies? 

Tom Kelly 18:57

Well, you want to take that? I'll jump in after you?

Mo Abuali 18:59

Yeah, I mean, a few downsides, and I'll maybe tackle one industry 4 .0 tech, you know, that's becoming a big buzzword in some cases, AI, artificial intelligence, right? So speaking very high level, whether you're doing industrial AI and machine learning, or whether you're considering generative AI with different types of models. But, you know, first and foremost, there are challenges from the IT and the OT perspective. So the information technology, the systems that may be antiquated in place, as well as operational technologies on the shop floor, you know, the way the machines are working, the vintage of the machines and the processes on the floor. But more importantly, it's also posing an ethical conversation as well as a security conversation. So how can we ensure our data is secure, the decisions are secure, you know, these models and AI solutions are running on data, you know, garbage in garbage out. So when you feed them your enterprise data, how do you make sure that data can be accessed by anybody else? And also how do you make sure that the results are ethical with a high level of prediction so you can use and act on those results? And I know, you know, Tom, correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a big push on cybersecurity and ethical AI, and I'm sure you can talk about that. 

Tom Kelly 20:17

Well, yeah, sure. And we can talk about our whole program with Oakland University and the former governor of the state of Michigan, Rick Snyder, as a company, SenSai, now that we're partnered with to go down that whole cybersecurity path. But to echo on your point of this whole, you know, one of the downsides, I think the biggest downside is what we call pilot purgatory, where we want to experiment with industry for our technologies, but then we don't know what to do to roll it out completely and really sort of drink the Kool -Aid and make it all happen. So we do these pilots, they work really well, and then we never implement the pilot. So that, you know, I have lots of examples of companies that like, well, that works. Like, well, then why isn't it? Why aren't you, you know, putting this in all your plans or putting this throughout the entire plan and teaching your people how to use this technology? Like, well, I just, I feel the risk is too much to actually, you know, go all down this path. And this is something we need to overcome. And we need to teach manufacturers how to behave like VCs, how to behave like Silicon Valley, where Silicon Valley takes option like bets on projects that can really be home runs. And if the option doesn't pay out, they didn't risk a lot of money. So they just took small bets on different technologies and say, hey, if the bet works, then I'll give them a little more money. Maybe we can get to the next stage. Manufacturers are always looking for all in ROI. They're looking for, hey, what's my return on investment for this project? If I roll it out to the entire organization and the hurdle is usually really high because you got to spend a lot of money to do that. What I'm saying is that the downside is because that's such a big risk, you end up doing nothing. I'm saying take it down and just do something small. What I joke about is if you're a small manufacturer, go buy a $30 Samsung little IOT device that measures current or vibration or heat and throw it on a machine and make sure that data goes right to your phone at home on a weekend and just start watching the damn machine and see what do I learn from that? And it costs you 30 bucks, right? And then people will be like, oh, but what happens if someone steals my data? Who cares? It's a vibration analysis. What is the big deal? So we need to get out of our own way and say we really can move a lot faster with a lot less money. If we just slow down and just do something small. 

Mo Abuali 23:01

I think we like to say, you know, think big, start small, but also don't be afraid to fail small, right? To Tom's point, you know, buy a sensor, test it out on a machine, and if it fails, great. There's a lot of lessons learned that would allow you to get out of that pilot purgatory mode. But we are definitely seeing more small and medium -sized manufacturers' trial solutions, but they don't get to the scale factor. And the scale factor is really where the holy grail lies in industry 4 .0. Thank you very much.

Tom Kelly 23:32

I think sometimes, Mo, they're afraid to get to scale because they recognize it'll change who they are, and that scares them too. Like all of a sudden, I'm different than what I was, and now I'm in uncharted territory, and I guess I feel like the sands is shifting under my feet. I think there's just fear. People can be very fearful of change. 

Mo Abuali 23:55

And I think the good news here is 20 years ago, a vibration sensor was 1 ,000 bucks. 20 years later today, it's 100 bucks, 50 bucks. And it's wireless and it can send data in a very secure encrypted way to the cloud. And you can access it in a very secure encrypted way using a phone. So this proliferation of cloud and cheaper sensors and tech availability and cost affordability is really a positive point for manufacturers to really think about getting started if they haven't started already. 

Tom Kelly 24:29

and no IT help needed. Otherwise, you just buy it and you put it in. And it's like putting a ring doorbell system in at home. You're like, oh, it's easy. I just did it myself. I used to need an alarm company to show up and do everything. And then all of a sudden, IoT became cheap and simple and anybody could do it. The same thing is happening in manufacturing, not only on the consumer side. In fact, it's driven by the consumer side because the manufacturing companies that are in the technology, they say, well, we got to make it as simple as if it was on the consumer side. 

Bryan Powrozek 25:01

So if I'm paraphrasing what I'm hearing from both of you, I mean, the best first step is to do something, anything. If you want to get better shape, start eating better or start exercise. But do one step that's going to get you moving in the right direction. And I think because you've been involved in some of this, so I'm curious to get your thoughts on it. If I'm a manufacturer, I'm sure they're sitting there saying, hey, but there's got to be one avenue that's maybe going to have the most impact on my business. Do you have any advice for manufacturers out there? If they're serious about this, they're listening to this podcast, they're like, you know what? I've read about this, I've talked about it, I'm finally going to do something. I just want to figure out something that's going to be a value. Like how does a manufacturer go about kind of evaluating that? And maybe it's what we've been talking about, right? Phone a friend, call somebody that knows this and get some help, right? 

Mo Abuali 26:01

Yeah. And again, I think it always starts with bringing the people together in a room, right? A multidisciplinary team. So we understand what are the challenges and opportunities from the production person, the quality person, the maintenance person, the inventory, warehouse, ERP person, right? These are four big pillars to run a manufacturing company. But there may also be other opportunities, right? Not back office, front office, but maybe sales and marketing are looking for a customer relationship management improvement, right? So the whole digital thread of selling, designing, manufacturing, aftermarket service, right? There is opportunities across that whole thread. But a lot of research shows that the biggest bang for the buck initially is usually in the pacemaker, in manufacturing, on the shop floor. You can achieve bigger results quickly. And I can tell you a very short story. A manufacturer in Monroe, Michigan has 20 injection molding machines. And they put the team in the room. And they understand that as an automotive tier two supplier, there is a lot of pressures coming from the top, right? They have to make parts quickly, meet supply chain demand. They're getting a lot of orders. It's a 24 -5 operation, three shifts. And sometimes they're working overtime. So uptime is really key for them, making quality parts within 24 -5. So they don't have to operate overtime. So we implemented a very simple machine monitoring solution. They were able to select the most critical assets out of the 20 molding machines. They selected five assets, which is kind of the heart pace factory in their factory. And they connected the hardware units very affordable. It took them half a day, connected five machines. And then to Tom's point, the data securely started going to the cloud. And within a day, they were up and running, looking at true uptime. They realized that there is setup and change over issues on certain machines, which are impacting production. They were able to take action to reduce change over. So data drove metrics, drove change, change management. And today they were able to improve the OEE significantly. So start with the business case, bring the right people in the room, build the journey, and then start small, pilot and scale. 

Tom Kelly 28:20

Awesome, you know, I'd love to piggyback on that because see that's where Wipfli and Automation Alley play a complementary role. So Wipfli's in saying, hey, I need to help you solve these problems today for the issues that you have because I need to meet you where you are where you're running the business how you're generating cash. But we also would say you should strike a team that says while  I'm fixing these problems with efficiency and effectiveness on my plant floor I need a team that says How this team is tasked with putting us out of business with additive, right? Because one of the goals of additive is to put injection molders out of business, right? They want to because the tooling costs are so down high You have to have enough volume to do the tooling to get the runs going and then the tooling itself becomes really expensive So this injection molding company could be saying I know eventually I don't know if it's five years from now or 10 years or 20 years from now but eventually I will be in the 3d printing business because I will 3d print my injection molded output not have it go through these machines and so they need to be doing both. That's the option like that where you say look I don't have to spend a lot of money, all I need is a team that gets together for lunch every other week and talks about, what is additive going to do? What's the latest hp machine? Multifusion machine? How close is it to being able to threaten our business today? Do we have to look in our rearview mirror? Or do we have another two years on this? And so that's where we need to work together to say, while you're while you're running the business digitally as best you can traditionally you still need to also be thinking of the existential risks that this new technology AI and robotics and additive could do to your business. So I think there's a great compliment there 

Mo Abuali 30:17

And I love what Tom is saying because we are seeing more manufacturers establish that digital core competency team within their company. And they're even creating like an internal Academy and an LMS like a learning management system, Wikipedia within their company. And they're starting to share, you know, doing lunch and learns about additive AI and so on. So absolutely, you know, start that team and get educated and look at technologies like additive, which may help your business or may compete with your business. Yeah. 

Tom Kelly 30:48

And we don't care what the answer is. We just want them to have an answer. If they say, I don't know, that's the worst answer. 

Mo Abuali 30:55


Bryan Powrozek 30:56

And I love what you said there, Tom. And that's, I think, a great piece for manufacturers to kind of put into their strategic prying process. How can we put ourselves out of business, like the current version of ourselves? And then that may spur the next version, because I can't even count the number of conversations I've had with business owners that are like, oh, the switch to EVs is going to put us out of business. It's like, OK, well, what are you going to do about that? What are you going to do about it? You already know it's coming. So or this change to fuel standards or lightweight materials or whatever it's going to be is going to put us out of business. OK, now you've got a starting point for where you need to go. So no, that's fantastic. So hopefully my hope is through the course of this podcast, some manufacturers out there listening and saying, you know what, now's the time to act. You guys, you've motivated me. You maybe want to do something. And if someone wanted to reach the both of you in town, I'll let you go first. What's the best way for someone to get in touch with you? 

Tom Kelly 31:55

Well, of course, they can get in touch with me directly. And that's KellyT@AutomationAlley.com, K -E -L -L -Y -T @AutomationAlley.com. But if they want to just get into our ecosystem, if you're a manufacturer, admission to the Automation Alley ecosystem is free. Just go to AutomationAlley.com and sign up. And we'll welcome you in because, you know, our partners like Wipfli are creating tons of knowledge. And we want to share that knowledge freely with our community. And so does Wipfli. Like, look, we got this knowledge. We want an informed customer to be our customer, right? First, we have to educate them on why we need to act. So Automation Alley has an everybody under the tent policy. And so the easiest thing for your listeners to do is if you are not a member of Automation Alley, there should be no objection. There is no fee for you to join. We want you to come in under the tent. We want you to talk to your neighbors and fellow manufacturers, and we want to build this community. And, you know, when I started down this I 40 path in 2016, we had 350 manufacturers, pretty good. Today we have 2 ,600. So obviously it's working. That people want to be under a tent and this change is driving enough uncertainty that they want to share with their friends and competitors even about where the world is going. 

Mo Abuali 33:26

We're honored to be one of the foundation members of Automation Alley. And it's been a great journey. I mean, if you want to connect with me first and foremost, consider seeing us at one of the Automation Alley roundtables. I'm personally attending the AI roundtable in March. We just completed an industry 4 .0 roundtable. Again, you can reach us both on LinkedIn. Look for us. And you can reach my email Mo.Abuali@Wipfli.com. Also, check us out at digital.Wipfli.com. Sign up for our newsletter. But I think the best place to be is usually in person at a like -minded event. And I really urge you to consider seeing us at an Automation Alley event in March or the Integrate Event. When is that happening, Tom? Integrate. 

Tom Kelly 34:15

That is October 9th, 2024 is the summit. But the summit, you have to come to a roundtable before that to get invited to the summit. So I encourage everyone, let us know if you want to attend a roundtable and we'll be happy to see if we can accommodate you. Again, we have 2 ,500 members, 30 people roundtables, do the math, not trying to be exclusionary, but if you want to come, let us know right away. We'll all sell out. 

Bryan Powrozek 34:44

Oh, that's great. Well, hey, I appreciate both of you joining today because that made my job easier, less I had to talk. And so I got to find a way to come up with an AI version of myself to run these things and then it'll be all taken care of. So thank you both very much for the time and the insightful conversation. Thank you. 

Intro/Outro Narrator 35:03

Thank you for tuning in. Don't forget to like us, subscribe, and share on social. To learn more about Wipfli, visit us at Wipfli.com. That's W -I -P -F -L -I dot com. Perspective changes everything. 



Bryan Powrozek
CPA, CGMA, CGMA, Senior Manager

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