Q&A with Thomas Cutler, President & CEO of TR Cutler, Inc.

Media 7 | July 1, 2021

Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc., the largest manufacturing communication firm worldwide with four dozen industry experts and thought leaders on staff. Cutler is celebrating the 23-year anniversary of the Manufacturing Media Consortium, a group of editors, journalists, freelancers, economists, addressing the industrial sector. Cutler and his team work to track the industrial sector trends which includes manufacturing, distribution, supply chain, robotics, technology, Industry 4.0, IIoT, and much more. Cutler has launched two new areas of concentration: the power of Gen Z on the industrial sector, and the dynamic impact of the African continent as a growing force in manufacturing.

Cutler has personally authored more than 8,000 articles for a wide range of leading manufacturing periodicals, industrial publications, and business journals. He was recently named the Most Influential Supply Chain Journalist by AI Global Media. Cutler is the most published freelance industrial journalist worldwide, and nearly 5000 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at @ThomasRCutler.

Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist. 



MEDIA 7: Can you please take us through your professional journey? What inspired you to take up this career path?
THOMAS CUTLER:
Having served the manufacturing and industrial sectors as part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program in both Arizona and Florida, it became clear there was no concrete resource to reach the media covering the industrial sector.  Out of necessity, the Manufacturing Media Consortium was created. Now 8000+ members and 23 years later we are known worldwide.


M7: TR Cutler has recently been named as the most influential supply chain journalist. What were some of the biggest challenges you had to face to get here?
TC:
Supply Chain is not a catchphrase, it reflects the dynamic challenges companies face daily and are mercurial at best.  Fluidity, flexibility, and paying close attention to trends require copious reading, conversations, interviews, and understanding the challenges of companies. Removing bias and listening are the top challenges in reporting.


Supply Chain is not a catchphrase, it reflects the dynamic challenges companies face daily and are mercurial at best. Removing bias and listening are the top challenges in reporting.


M7: According to you, what are the best ways for manufacturers to offer a unique value proposition in a post COVID-19 world?
TC:
COVID-19 has not altered how manufacturers must articulate a unique value proposition. The basic rule must be listening to the VoC (Voice of the Customer). Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist. Perception is reality. The customers’ perception of value is all that matters. Continuous process improvement by definition is ongoing. A static value proposition is hackneyed in no time.


M7: Could you please tell us more about the Gen Z Manufacturing Division at TR Cutler Inc.?
TC:
Gen Z was established because most manufacturers are run by Baby Boomers or Millennials. They don’t understand the layers of communication Gen Zer’s require via telephone. They expect to be hired by telephone, trained by telephone, acknowledged by telephone. They use Instagram and TikTok, not Facebook and YouTube. They are dynamic and expect the companies for which they work to respect them, acknowledge them, reward them. They expect manufacturers to be both tolerant and inclusive.  They are keenly aware of their power as decision-influencers, many with millions of followers. Failing to recognize their modality of communication, videos preferred, and short attention span (less than 2 minutes max) means manufacturers will fail to reach this audience of potential employees and future customers. At TR Cutler, Inc. we celebrate diversity and welcome the Gen Z perspective.


Read everything. Knowledge is accessible…it must be sought. We work with editors, clients, associations, podcast hosts, and more to track and spot trends daily.


M7: What are the different methods you use at TC Cutler Inc. to monitor changing industry trends?
TC:
Read everything. Knowledge is accessible…it must be sought.  We work with editors, clients, associations, podcast hosts, and more to track and spot trends daily. The ability for agility and asking questions brings trends like our new Africa division and Gen Z division to the front of the conversation.


M7: How do you see push marketing emerging in the immediate future?
TC:
The days of organic readership or viewership are gone. Less than 2% of material consumed is part of bookmarked or subscribed content. It is searched on Google and pushed to target prospects. The velocity of push marketing must be targeted, focused, and solve for an authentic challenge. Otherwise, it is deleted with alacrity.

ABOUT TR CUTLER, INC.

TR Cutler, Inc. is the largest global manufacturing and marketing firm worldwide. Founded 23 years ago by Thomas R. Cutler, the company has become the authoritative resource in the industrial sector including manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and supply chains. Cutler founded the 8000+ member Manufacturing Media Consortium and works with editors, journalists, thought leaders, economists, and trendsetters.