“As many know, Augury has amped its ambitions in terms of its purpose. We are now out to apply the predictive power of artificial AI to transform the world so businesses, people, and our planet can all thrive,” says Brian Fitzgerald, Chief Revenue Officer at Augury.
“And as we seek to transform manufacturing through Production Health, we know we cannot do this alone. We need the voices, support, and contributions of a group who extend well beyond Augury’s borders.”
Power of Community
“We’re all part of multiple communities,” says Stephanie Hartsog, Senior Director for Global Community & Customer Marketing. “Think: our neighborhood, our kids’ schools, our places of worship, our alma mater, our local hiking group – this list just goes on and on. And with the introduction of platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, we can now connect with likeminded people we may not have otherwise connected with.”
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller
“We have things in common with the people in our communities,” says Steph. “We help and depend on each other. We inherently want the people in our community to be successful. And it’s this environment we are trying to replicate with The Endpoint.”
Why Online Communities Matter
In terms of online digital communities, these have already proven to empower consumers, according to Steph. “Communities have long become a foundation for B2C businesses. You have the Apples, the Etsys, the Airbnbs that all have huge vibrant customer-facing communities – and act as extensions of the service side of the business.”
“Harley-Davidson has a really fantastic and vibrant community. But these types of communities have been slower to arrive on the B2B scene but brands like Salesforce have helped set the stage for what is possible. In recent years, many tech companies have started to leverage the power of community and are seeing tremendous traction.”
Why now? Why Augury?
In 2021, Augury made the decision to invest heavily in building a community around transformation in manufacturing through Production Health. The goal was simple: to create places where manufacturing changemakers could come together to discuss challenges big and small – and be backed by any relevant resources and training.
“There is immense power when a group of people with similar
interests gets together to work toward the same goals.”
– Idowu Koyenikan
“At the core, it’s an easy way to stay more connected to our customers,” says Brian. “But in terms of ambition, it’s about rallying people together to positively transform an industry.”
Connecting In A Post-Digital World
“I’ve worked my whole career in marketing. And my true passion has always been connecting people,” says Steph. “So when customer marketing started to become a thing, I realized I could take my marketing experience and my passion for building relationships and marry these two into a career. It was a very personal trigger: holy cow, let’s do this. And it’s been amazing to watch this develop into an industry in and of itself.”
Samantha Isin is The Endpoint’s Community Manager and equally evangelical about the power of communities. “Career-wise, I have communities to thank for all my successes. Whenever I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, I’ve been able to reach out to a community and they’ve helped me figure out what I needed to do,” says Sam.
“In addition to a community being a group of people with passion for the same things, like a product or a religion, they’re wells of knowledge that go deep and wide and enable you to access hundreds of years of cumulative experience all in one place – almost like a niche search engine.”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
Superusers And The Future Of Training
“It’s safe to say Sam has been a superuser in multiple communities. She’s even won an industry award as a superuser,” laughs Steph. “And this is also what makes her a great community manager, since she knows both sides. It’s not always about providing information directly but also about helping formulate questions and suggesting where to look.”
“It’s not just about how to fix a glitch on your iPhone. It’s also about training – and even catalyzing one’s career as with Sam. It happens a lot that those looking for advice from a community become the expert based on what they learned from the community. It not only boosts their career, but they also give back to the community.”
“Sam also represents a younger generation that we’re also now seeing enter manufacturing: digital natives who are already used to reaching out to each other instead of just reaching for a manual. It opens up your options in terms of what fits you best when it comes to training.”
Listening To The Community: One For All, All For One
With manufacturing not yet largely attuned to the power of community, some particular challenges remain. “The communities we’re talking about are digital spaces. But factory reliability is a very hands-on arena – less laptops and more phones and iPads,” says Sam.
“They have busy jobs. So, you’ll get little response if you throw up some fun trivia. But if you post a twelve-paragraph deeply-technical article on cavitation and the community explodes. They love it. So that’s amazing: this balance between the nerdy and getting your hands dirty.”
“So, we need to broaden this idea of digital communities to take in more of the real-world. For instance, during beta testing with early members, we noticed many really liked talking face-to-face on Zoom. And if you think about it, this fits with factory work: if they’ve got a problem, you walk through the machine together. So, we need to work harder to bring in more of the physical human aspect,” says Sam.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb
“So it’s funny that in this development process, we discovered we needed to return to this more pre-digital sense of community,” says Steph. “At the end of the day, we need to build the community for what our members want and need. This is what they’re telling us, so here we go!”
Communities are Communities
“It’s amazing to make it happen: the factory team member in Missouri having a conversation with the factory team member in New Jersey. The chance they would have otherwise talked is very limited. But now we can facilitate this sharing of knowledge and making those connections,” says Steph.
“People are people and communities are made out of people. They want to help each other. They want to succeed. People want the other person to succeed. We’re just providing the setting to help make that happen.”
“The groundwork is laid for a community to grow, bloom and spread,” says Brian. “It’s where we can all contribute to transforming manufacturing – and making the planet a better place in the process.”