2016 PPAI Technology Summit: PromoStandards Taking Center Stage at Essent-Sponsored Conference


PromoStandards has worked mostly behind the scenes for the last two years to create electronic standards that allow distributors, decorators, and suppliers to communicate more efficiently with one another.

At the Essent-sponsored PPAI Technology Summit, the group of technology-minded promotional products professionals will take center stage.

The Technology Summit will feature live demonstrations of PromoStandards creations like an Inventory Availability Web Service that gives distributors real-time, hassle-free visibility to supplier inventory, as well as an Order Status Web Service.

The demonstrators will connect a distributor to a PromoStandards web service in 50 minutes or less to demonstrate the ease-of-use of the services, said Jon Norris, a primary organizer of the Technology Summit and a founder of PromoStandards.

"Promostandards is the real deal. I just left Philly at an event sponsored by Essent where [technology built on PromoStandards specifications] delivered the product data, pricing and decoration configuration as well as the Well-Formed Order. The largest suppliers and largest distributors in the industry will be transacting product data and Well-Formed Orders by the end of the year," said Mr. Norris, who is also the PPAI Technology Committee Chairman and the Vice President of Operations for supplier Starline.

Mr. Norris revealed those and other details about the 2016 PPAI Technology Summit, which will be held August 17-18 in San Francisco. He answered the following questions from Essent, which is a member of PromoStandards and also the Platinum Sponsor of the Technology Summit for the third consecutive year.

The PPAI Technology Summit was a sellout in 2015 with attendance up more than 50%. What’s driving the popularity and growth of this relatively new conference?

Every year this event becomes better with content and networking opportunities. Most large organizations along the supply chain are represented at this event. However, this event still appeals to the smaller suppliers and distributors in the industry who are looking to learn about emerging technology in the industry as well as best practices for how to effectively run and manage their technology in the promotional products industry.

How is this year’s Technology Summit going to top the first two?

The location in San Fransisco is a tech hub of North America. We plan on pulling many relevant tech speakers from the area, and have them deliver content relative to the promotional products industry such as recruiting and managing tech talent, project management and much more.

Word is starting to spread about PromoStandards™ Web Services and there are two sessions devoted to it at the Summit – one for distributors and one for suppliers. What should everyone know about PromoStandards and what will they learn about PromoStandards at the Summit?

Promostandards is the real deal. I just left Philly at an event sponsored by Essent where [technology built on PromoStandards specifications] delivered the product data, pricing and decoration configuration as well as the Well-Formed Order. The largest suppliers and largest distributors in the industry will be transacting product data and Well-Formed Orders by the end of the year.

At the Tech Summit, we will have live demos and hands on coding sessions to show the ease of use and power of promostandards. We will start to finish consume a PromoStandards endpoint and plug it into a distributor's system in under 50 minutes.

Essent joined PromoStandards because we’re on a long-standing mission to eliminate supply chain friction. You were one of the driving forces to get PromoStandards started. What were you seeing in the industry that motivated you to get PromoStandards going?

The archaic ways that we transact data and orders in this industry is not long-term sustainable. [At the PPAI Expo] in Las Vegas a few years back we finally assembled a group of industry tech leaders. We pledged to solve these problems. The foundation is in place. The right people are working on the project and organizations are collaborating. I have every bit of confidence that we will be transacting orders by the end of the year.

The Technology Summit and North American Leadership Conference were held together for the first time in 2015, which will continue in 2016. Why hold them together, how did it work out last year, and why is it important to bring leadership and technology together?

It is importatant that industry leaders are exposed to, and they see the value of technology in this industry. We have structured the first day of the Tech Summit to appeal to these C-level positions. It also gives technology leaders in organizations a chance to experience and collaborate with other leaders in the industry.

What’s going to generate the most buzz at the Technology Summit this year? What will people be talking about once they get back home?

PromoStandards.

The Technology Summit is built by a non-profit organization and volunteers, and it’s no small feat. Who deserves shout-outs for all the work they put in? (We’ll start by giving you a shout-out.)

Dale Denham, Geiger; Irwin Goldstein, Halo; Catherine Graham, CommonSku

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