The inaugural 2023 PromoStandards Tech Summit was the largest event in the promotional products industry. This sold-out event featured two days of education tracts focusing on industry-relevant technology and PromoStandards integrations. More than 150 participants representing 75 companies attended, thereby connecting technology and business leaders across the supply chain.
Here’s an overview of the speakers and the topics they discussed!
Monday, February 20, 2023
Eric Alessi, Chair of PromoStandards and President & CEO at Essent Corporation, welcomed attendees and set the stage for what to expect!
Generating Value from Data: Building a Data Science Practice
Then Dr. Tom Stablein, Director of the Global Master of Science in Business Analytics & Information Systems Program at the USF Muma College of Business, took the stage as the keynote speaker. His topic, Generating Value from Data: Building a Data Science Practice, defined data science and went over modeling, identifying business needs, designing a roadmap, and more.
Executing Digital Transformation
Michael Conway, Managing Director of Digital Transformation at Aspirant, spoke about Executing Digital Transformation. This session educated professionals on how to align customer experiences to strategic business goals.
Digital Transformation on the Factory Floor
Catherine Graham, Co-Founder and CEO at commonsku, was the leader of the panel discussion on Digital Transformation on the Factory Floor. Other panelists were Donough Deutsch, VP of IT Systems and Operations at alphabroder, Philip Gergen, Senior VP of Technology at Koozie Group, and Jon Norris, COO at Starline Inc.
This discussion investigated the impact of digital transformation on factory floors and warehouses across the promotional products landscape.
“The Tech Summit is a place to get together, learn, and rekindle old friendships and make new ones. It’s an opportunity to keep the momentum going for overall technology adoption,” said Graham.
Participants then engaged in roundtable discussions, with Rebekah Ellis, Information Technology Analyst at SanMar, as the session leader. Topics varied from promotional product-specific to technology in general. People met others with the same interests or who were trying to solve the same problems.
There were four breakout sessions.
- One was on PromoStandards Case Studies by Amy Rabideau, VP of Product at Facilisgroup. She highlighted promotional production companies benefitting from PromoStandards integrations in their businesses.
- Another was on ERP Journeys: Selecting, Implementing, and Connecting by Jon Norris, COO at Starline Inc. This talk covered the digital transformation journey of navigating an ERP implementation and how that integrates with supply chain APIs.
- Up next was the topic PromoStandards Best Practices by Ajay Kaul, Application Support Manager at SanMar. He dove into the best practices for PromoStandards adoption and implementation.
- Lastly was Technology Supporting a Hybrid Workforce by panel leader David Jackson, VP of Information Technology at Spector & Co. This session covered the tools and best practices for supporting a hybrid workforce in the promotional products industry.
My Worst Day in Tech
Jon Norris then had an open-mic discussion on My Worst Day in Tech. Audience members chimed in on a lighthearted recanting of tech transformation horror stories. After all, not every day in technology is glamorous.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Philip Gergen kicked off day two of the Tech Summit!
Network Security: Cyber Incident in Progress
Mike Pfeiffer, VP of Technology at American Solutions for Business, was up next. He showed attendees what it’s like to experience a cyberattack. They walked through the timeline, what protective measures are effective, and how proper response strategies are deployed.
Exclusive Launch of PromoStandards Order Management Service
Day two featured a detailed launch and walkthrough of PromoStandards’ latest standard! Eric Shonebarger, President at Hit Promotional Products, Inc., showed live demos of the industry-altering Order Management Service, the nonprofit’s most significant release in three years.
“The Tech Summit is the best opportunity to engage a community of forward-thinking technology professionals who are driving digital transformation in the promotional products industry,” said Shonebarger.
Identifying and Solving Industry Pain Points
Eric Alessi, President & CEO at Essent Corporation, was the leader of the panel discussion on Identifying and Solving Industry Pain Points. Other panelists were Daniel Hodges, Senior VP of Engineering at OrderMyGear, Mike Pfeiffer, and Eric Shonebarger.
This panel explored the pain points of the industry from order processing, supply chain, and technology standpoints, helping to develop the roadmap for PromoStandards and our community.
An awards ceremony during the event recognized Hack-A-Thon winners and individual achievements within the industry. Proforma CTO Brian Carothers was named Distributor Person of the Year, ZOOMcatalog Co-founder Bryony Zasman was named Service Provider Person of the Year, and Hit Promotional Products, Inc. CIO Raj Mukherjee was named Supplier Person of the Year.
Join PromoStandards Today!
“Everyone should join the PromoStandards community, where industry technology is developed and advanced,” said Alessi. “The world is being digitally transformed before our eyes, and PromoStandards is the vehicle for being part of that transformation.”
Are you ready to join the PromoStandards community and make a difference? To become a member, sign up today!