Episode 86

Millennial Perspectives on Manufacturing: Bridging the Generational Gap

In this insightful episode of the Leadership In Manufacturing Podcast, Sannah Vinding is joined by Eric Gleason, Distribution Sales Manager at ebm-papst, for an engaging discussion on the evolving landscape of manufacturing. With a rich background in sales and a finger on the pulse of technological advancements like AI and robotics, Eric shares his enthusiastic vision for the industry’s future and its burgeoning opportunities. They delve into the digital revolution’s impact on manufacturing, the necessity to adapt to a data-driven environment, and the nuances of competing in an Amazon-influenced market.

The conversation goes deep into the generational shifts within the workforce, the art of attracting and retaining talent in a rapidly changing field, and the vital role of cross-functional skills, particularly in sales roles.

Eric and Sannah tackle the challenges of navigating global supply chain logistics post-COVID-19, and the importance of mentorship and networking for career progression. They also cover practical aspects such as organization, prioritization, managing communication overload, and the changing dynamics of job tenure and expectations.

Listeners will gain a wealth of knowledge from Eric’s experience and wisdom, including his advice to his younger self, the value of patience, and the financial pressures shaping the career landscape for millennials. Join us in this enriching episode as we explore strategies for leadership and growth in the constantly evolving world of manufacturing.


Sannah Vinding


Eric Gleason



Key takeaways

Embracing Diversity and Technology in Manufacturing:

Embrace Generational Diversity and Technological Advancement by learning from each generation’s strengths and adopting digital advancements like AI and robotics in manufacturing.

Number 2

Adaptability and Continuous Learning in Industry:

Recognize The Importance of Adaptability and Continuous Learning, staying updated on industry trends through reliable sources like LinkedIn, and valuing mentorship for career development in the technical realm of manufacturing.

Number 3 - key takeaway mind the innovation leadership podcast

Customer Value and Relationship Evolution:

Focus on Value Addition and the Evolving Nature of Customer Relationships by understanding changing customer buying habits, building strong relationships by listening to their needs, and being open to diverse opportunities for career growth through effective communication.

“The electronics industry, particularly with AI, robotics, and Industry 4.0, is just booming, and it’s incredible to see how technology is revolutionizing the way we do things in manufacturing and beyond.”

Eric Gleason

Distribution Sales Manager- Eastern Region, ebm-papst Inc.

“Adaptable leaders thrive in the manufacturing industry by seeing disruptions like digitalization, AI, and robotics as opportunities, not obstacles.”

Sannah Vinding

Leadership & B2B Marketing Strategist, Technical Engineering Expert

Show Notes:

In episode 86 of the Leadership in Manufacturing Podcast, host Sannah Vinding and guest Eric Gleason, a seasoned sales manager with ebm-papst, delve into a wide range of topics relevant to the manufacturing industry. They explore the importance of adapting to generational differences within the workforce and the critical role of mentorship in career advancement. Sannah emphasizes the necessity of remaining agile in the face of technological disruptions such as digitalization, AI, and robotics.

Eric shares his insights on the challenges of macroeconomic fluctuations and supply chain management, especially in the context of overstocking parts. He stays up-to-date on industry trends through resources like LinkedIn, where both he and Sannah appreciate the platform’s professional networking and informational value.

The discussion moves to AI’s potential in streamlining processes, while also noting the necessity for effective team utilization of such technologies. They address the manufacturing industry’s competition with giants like Amazon, the shift in customer buying processes, and the issues in attracting and retaining talent.

The impact of COVID-19 on global supply chain logistics is highlighted, along with the enduring difficulties of long-established business processes. Eric speaks on the need for a sense of purpose, value addition, and sustaining team motivation.

The episode also covers Eric’s vast experience in sales, his passion for the evolving electronics industry, and the increased diversity and expanded opportunities within it. Eric advises those entering the field to be honest, transparent, and to forge relationships with mentors and customers for sustained progress.

As the conversation continues, they focus on the significance of asking customers about themselves rather than rushing sales and the essential nature of gaining cross-functional skills in leadership roles. Eric reflects on his own journey, emphasizing the importance of patience, the financial strains on millennials, and the changing landscape of career tenure and expectations.

Lastly, Sannah and Eric share their strategies for staying organized amidst the deluge of communication across multiple platforms and the shift in communication preferences from phone calls to texts and messaging apps. They note the post-pandemic changes in work practices, including the rise of virtual meetings and remote work.

Remember to subscribe, like, and share our content. Connect with us on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to unlock your leadership potential in the manufacturing industry.

“You’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to engage in face-to-face conversations with people. That’s how opportunities unfold, and that’s how you learn and grow in this field.”

Eric Gleason

Distribution Sales Manager- Eastern Region, ebm-papst Inc.

Eric Gleason

Eric Gleason

Eric Gleason

Distribution Sales Manager- Eastern Region, ebm-papst Inc.

Eric Gleason is a Distribution Sales Manager in the Eastern Region at ebm-papst Inc. He holds a position with extensive sales experience in the fast-paced Technology industry, where he excels as a relationship manager and solutions provider.

Eric is known for his excellent communication skills and his ability to cultivate and maintain profitable, long-term relationships with clients and industry professionals.

With a background in regional distribution management and field account representation, he has displayed a consistent track record of success in strategically growing account bases and providing top-class support to customers. Eric’s career highlights also include significant accomplishments in inside sales and his active role in various employee-run groups aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction.

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