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From Marine Corps to Industry 4.0: Zach Pena's insights on building resilient supply chains

Modern Industrialist Podcast

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The episode:

In this episode of the Modern Industrialist podcast, hosts Jason Hehman and Patrick Turley speak to Zach Peña from Empirix Partners to explore the pivotal role of strategic sourcing and procurement in the era of Industry 4.0. They delve into the challenges and strategies for building resilient supply chains, particularly in mission-critical infrastructure like data centers. With Zach's extensive background, including his experience in the Marine Corps and at companies like NTT and Microsoft, the conversation offers deep insights into optimizing procurement processes, ensuring supply chain resilience, and the importance of technology in industrial innovation. We conclude with reflections on the broader implications of these discussions for the future of industrial automation, AI, and smart manufacturing, highlighting the critical nature of embracing technology for sustainable growth in the industrial sector.

Podcast Host: Jason Hehman, Industry 4.0 Vertical Lead and Client Partner at TXI

Co-host: Patrick Turley, Head of Engineering at TXI

Guest: Zach Peña, Senior Director of Supply Chain at Empirix Partners

The podcast:

Presented by TXI, The Modern Industrialist Podcast is for technology-focused manufacturing and logistics leaders looking to gain a competitive edge with Industry 4.0 transformation. Join our host Jason Hehman as he brings together experts from companies blazing the path for the IIoT revolution. Topics range from advice to success stories, use cases, solutions, and more.

The expert:

Jason is the Vertical Lead for Industry 4.0 at TXI. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, he has certified brand strategist credentials and a proven track record of helping clients solve complex business problems through technology.

In Jason's current role, he works closely with clients in the industrial sector to help them leverage IoT to achieve growth and unlock new value. He applies expertise in product innovation, digital transformation, and smart manufacturing to guide them through every process step, from ideation to execution. He is passionate about understanding consumer behavior and using that insight to impact business strategy, as well as creating products that enhance user experience and satisfaction.

Podcast Host: Jason Hehman, Industry 4.0 Vertical Lead at TXI

Co-host: Patrick Turley, Head of Engineering at TXI

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Summary and themes explored in this episode:


  • A brief introduction to the Modern Industrialist podcast and the focus on Industry 4.0.

  • Highlight of the episode's discussion on the critical role of strategic sourcing and procurement with Zachary Peña.

Host and Guest Introduction

  • Introduction to Jason Hehman, the industry 4.0 vertical lead at TXI.

  • Detailed profile of guest Zachary Peña, managing partner at Empirix Partners, detailing his background in strategic sourcing, his military service, and his educational journey in supply chain management.

The Importance of Mission-Critical Infrastructure

  • Exploration of mission-critical infrastructure's role in industrial automation and resilience.

  • Discussion on the various sectors impacted by strategic sourcing, including data centers, renewable energy, and urban farming.

Zachary Peña’s Insights on Strategic Sourcing

  • Zachary's extensive experience with NTT, Microsoft, and Insight Sourcing Group.

  • The transition from military service to a career in supply chain and procurement.

  • Strategies for overcoming challenges in mission-critical procurement programs.

Challenges in Supply Chain Management

  • Detailed examination of supply chain management complexities, including geopolitical factors and the importance of resilience.

  • Zachary’s perspective on developing robust procurement programs in the face of global challenges.

Embracing Technology in Industry 4.0

  • The role of AI and smart manufacturing in transforming the industrial sector.

  • Examples of technological innovations fostering efficiency and resilience in supply chains.

Key Takeaways from the Episode

  • Reflections on the conversation with Zachary Peña and the lessons for industry professionals.

  • The significance of strategic sourcing and procurement in driving industrial innovation.

Future of Industry 4.0

  • Predictions for the future of industrial automation and the evolving landscape of Industry 4.0.

  • The critical role of embracing technology for sustainable growth and resilience in the industrial sector.

Recommendations for Industry Professionals

  • Suggestions on how industry leaders can apply insights from the podcast to strategic planning and innovation in their operations.

  • The importance of staying informed on the latest trends and technologies in Industry 4.0.


  • Recap of the episode’s highlights and the importance of strategic sourcing and technology in Industry 4.0.

  • Encouragement for listeners to engage with future content for ongoing insights into industrial automation and innovation.

Published by Jason Hehman , Patrick Turley in podcasts

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