Taking a Spec-First Approach at the Industry’s First Specification Management Summit

Since founding Specright, Matthew Wright always believed that it’s essential to bring together industry leaders, thinkers, and innovators to solve the problem of specification data once and for all.

Posted on 
November 16, 2021
Matthew Wright
Founder & CEO, Specright

Since founding Specright, I’ve always believed that it’s essential to bring together industry leaders, thinkers, and innovators to solve the problem of specification data once and for all. I wanted the best and the brightest to help us define Specification Management as a new category of software and in 2018 we had our first conference to do just that. In the early days, we called this meeting “User Group.”

The annual event was a great way for us to bring together – you guessed it – “users”, to get feedback on our platform and understand industry trends. Our team always walked away with new product ideas based on real problems our customers were facing. For three years, we held this meeting in Austin, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee and most recently New Orleans, Louisiana.

What’s so special about these meetings is that each one captured the maturity of the company and category at the time - it’s so apparent in the name of each year's meeting.

We started with “Turning Point” in 2018. We were in the process of defining Specification Management, focused on developing a solution to the data problem that has plagued anyone and everyone in the business of making things for years. We were at a turning point: it was time to turn the idea into a company.I

n 2019, we had “Inflection Point.” We closed our Series A funding and were rapidly expanding our portfolio of incredible customers (all of which are still working with us today). We found product market fit and were rapidly scaling to serve not only packaging professionals but also product development, quality, and procurement teams with a spec-first approach.

And that brings me to the last User Group we had - “Tipping Point.”

Tipping Point was a big moment for us. Our guest list grew from users and employees to include industry influencers, analysts, strategic partners, big name companies, and more. We were ready to become a company that changed the world by helping companies take control of their supply chain data once and for all.But of course, 2020 was full of surprises. In 2021, I made the difficult decision to not transition User Group to a remote conference during COVID-19, because the in-person engagement is what made it special. It also forced me to reflect on how the event had evolved – and where it should go from here. Each year this event, and this community, has grown bigger and stronger. But the fact of the matter is - we ran out of “points.”

Our annual event is no longer a benchmark of where we’re at as a company. It’s the industry’s first and leading conference on Specification Management as a category.Over the last few years, we’ve been on an incredible journey here at Specright and have hit many significant milestones - from reaching over 700,000 products on the Specright platform, to recognition by industry analysts, like Gartner, and a recent $30M Series B funding round.

And what’s made this journey special is that we’re not in it alone.

We have an amazing ecosystem of technology, consulting, research, and academia partners who have been with us every step of the way. So the concept of User Group started to seem outdated – after all, I wanted all of these partners to join us in driving Specification Management forward.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the first-annual Specification Management Summit.

The Specification Management Summit will build upon what made User Group special — customers sharing the value of all they’ve achieved with a spec-first approach, our product roadmap and sneak peeks at future functionality. But it will also include new content, in partnership with the broader community, around how Specification Management can drive the industry forward.

It will include thought leadership around trends such as sustainability and EPR, supply chain digitization, developing the workforce of the future, and much more.

And while we’re always looking to the future, we never forget our roots. So we’ll be returning to Austin, Texas, the location of our first User Group in 2018. In a way, it feels like we’ve come full circle – and it wouldn’t be possible without you.The Specification Management Summit is for you – the visionaries that exist in every company – who reject the status quo of managing data in documents and PDFs and have the courage to take a digital, spec-first approach to making things. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s the future. We look forward to seeing you in Austin, Texas at the brand new Thompson Hotel downtown for what will be an unforgettable first event. Attend the 2022 Specification Management Summit

This was originally posted on LinkedIn.


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.

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