2023: A Year of Acceleration

Posted on 
January 26, 2023
Matthew Wright
Founder & CEO, Specright
Gartner: Market Guide for Packaging & Product Specification Management

One thing this past couple of years has taught us is that even with big disruptions, our operations can adapt and thrive. We’ve learned to be more resilient and to not underestimate the impact our partners and suppliers have on our ability to continuously deliver. As we look ahead to 2023, we’re excited about the new developments and tech adoptions within our industry driven in response to recent turbulent years.

This is the year companies say goodbye to a digital double life

2023 is the year we will see more product engineers evolving from the old way of doing things in which they lived a  “digital double life.” In almost every aspect of our personal lives, technology plays an instrumental role – from consuming entertainment to grocery shopping and even connecting with friends and relatives. Yet, too often at work we’re expected to use antiquated, static data systems. The gap between our work and our personal lives is no longer sustainable, and the next generation workforce is demanding it. This year we will see accelerated adoption of data driven systems, in order for companies to remain competitive and attract the right talent to executive on business strategies and consumer expectations.

Consumers demand personalized experiences 

Speaking of consumer expectations… With so many product variations, brands who offer unique, exclusive and personalized experiences have an advantage. This year, retailers are taking note of these consumer preferences and will use it to their advantage by giving their own private label products a much-needed makeover.

Regulatory pressures push sustainability initiatives into high gear 

Consumer pressures, company-wide social responsibility goals and new regulations will push the focus on data-driven sustainability initiatives to be more aggressive. It’s not just about setting goals anymore, it’s about taking action.

Unfortunately, the 2022 State of Sustainability Report paints a dire picture, noting that “88% of respondents said it’s ‘challenging’ or ‘extremely challenging’ to report on sustainability.”  What is holding corporations back from meeting their goals is a lack of data. And it’s not just a reporting challenge. Brands also need reliable ways to test new ideas, like returnable packaging, to ensure sustainability is a focus from the start. 

If you need a jolt of inspiration, listen to our podcast interview with Chantal Emmanuel, CTO and Co-Founder of LimeLoop. LimeLoop is pioneering the future of returnable packaging.

“…We ran the numbers before we even launched, because we were like, if this does not make sense for the environment, then there’s no point in doing this…It’s about a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions using returnable packaging, even with that trip back to the retailer that it’s making each and every time.”

Changes in the regulatory environment, like Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) put pressure on organizations to incorporate new technologies as a way to solve complex reporting requirements. In 2021, the first packaging EPR laws were passed in the U.S. (with more than a dozen other laws pending), highlighting the importance of companies taking quick action. 

The complexity of ever-increasing, and unique, regulations, will only make data accuracy and visibility more essential to business growth and success. 

We’re all in this together. Welcome a growing network effect.

Specright was an early pioneer in network enablement. As far back as 2020 we had the ability to effectively pass detailed supply chain data between brands and their suppliers. The network really is the future of how companies operate. Linear, static workflows cannot sustain your business. We need to be able to adapt to multi-pronged information sharing, that will make all of our products better, and ultimately companies more successful. 

Operations turn to simplification to recession-proof their business

Transformation efforts will close the gap between a business’ goals and can be achieved, moving operations into a new state of clarity. With digitized data, brands can intelligently reconcile their packaging systems for maximum efficiency.

2023 is sure to be a transformative year for our industry. To read more industry predictions and recommendations, explore the Gartner Report, “Gartner: Market Guide for Packaging and Product Specification Management.


Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright is the founder & CEO of Specright, the first cloud-based platform for Specification Management. Specright has been recognized by Fast Company’s prestigious Most Innovative Companies list, named a Gartner Cool Vendor, and as one of the Top Places to Work by the OC Register and Built in LA. Wright is also a published author and his book, “The Evolution of Products and Packaging,”was named to the Amazon Hot New Release List for Industrial Relations Business and has a five star rating. 

Prior to founding Specright, Wright spent more than 25 years in the packaging industry, holding leadership positions at International Paper, Temple Inland, and rightPAQ — a packaging company he co-founded. He has also been involved in leading multiple M&A deals in the packaging industry, currently sits on the MSU School of Packaging and Industry Advisory Board and previously served on the Packaging Advisory Board at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo.

Get Started

With Specright’s Solution Suite, you can digitize, centralize, and link your specification data to drive efficiencies, intelligence, traceability, and collaboration within your organization and across your supply chain network.
Get Started