A few months ago, when I was approached by Specright to Chair the first Specification Management Summit, I was shocked. “Why me?” “What does it mean to even be a Chair?” “What is the commitment?”These were just a few of the questions that ran through my head as I weighed whether I would say “yes” or not. My background is in Packaging, not public speaking and certainly not in emceeing events. But after some gentle nudging by the Specright team, I somewhat hesitantly agreed.
For those who know me, I’m not a big “me” person. My family always gets on me about not celebrating my accomplishments, so I figured this could be a good opportunity for me to showcase my experience, share some insights, and obviously learn from others.
Teaming up with Specright
I’ve worked with the Specright team for years, at two different organizations. At KIND Snacks, I led the implementation of Specright and now at OFI , where I serve as the Global Head & Vice President, Packaging Center of Expertise, we’re in the process of implementing the Specification Management platform. Implementing an enterprise software solution comes with challenges, but I’ve always been impressed with the Specright team’s customer engagement. You really do feel like you’re part of the team. Whenever you're charged with being a changemaker at your company, the path is usually not a clear one. Specirght events are always top notch and I knew they would be pulling out all the stops for the first Specification Management Summit. I was not disappointed.As Event Chair, I was responsible for not only sharing my story, but also introducing many of the other speakers and noting key takeaways from the event. I truly did not know what to expect and I didn’t know how “intense” it would be. The agenda was packed full of speakers from across industries, like Food and Beverage, Consumer Packaged Goods, Industrials, and more.
Networking with Industry Leaders
I got to meet so many industry professionals, thought leaders, and Specright users. Having in-person, one on one, conversations was so meaningful. Seeing how others are transforming their organizations by implementing specification management solutions has been helpful for me to take back to my team and better understand how we can leverage the tools to improve processes, engage with suppliers, and more. I’ve even connected with a few attendees post-Summit and know our conversations and knowledge sharing will continue.
Sustainability, Product Announcements, and Spec Squad Presentations
Some of my greater takeaways from the Summit included John Blake’s presentation on making sustainability a reality vs. a goal. Sustainability initiatives are impacting my company, as well as I know many other organizations. Knowing how and where to start when it comes to managing your data is so key. At one point, John, a Analyst with Gartner, emphasized how Packaging team’s now have a “seat at the table” for organizations trying to transform their businesses, and ultimately change the world. It was encouraging and eye-opening to hear.As always, the Specright Product Development team delivered with live demos of new features. I was especially excited to hear about Specright Network, which will enable companies like mine to share and collaborate on specifications with suppliers across our supply chain. The more we can all collaborate the better.And, have you heard about Spec Squad? How has it taken us so long to figure out we can digitize data more easily, without having to strap internal resources for months on end. I’m thoroughly looking forward to learning more about this new service. As I mentioned, I was shocked to be asked to Chair this event. It was truly a humbling experience but something I enjoyed. I’m excited to see how the Specification Management Summit grows and enhances in years to come, and I know the Specright Team will continue to look for ways to engage with customers, like me, so we can all push our companies toward a “spec-first” approach to data management. To learn more about the Specification Management Summit and watch presentations, click here.