This is going to be the biggest PACK EXPO ever! There will be, a record breaking, 50,000 attendees and over 2,500 exhibitors spread out over 1.2 million square feet. There’s a lot to see.
Most people are attending PACK EXPO because they want to see the latest processing and packaging machinery in action, and find out what technology their competitors may be using. But, if you look at where processing and packaging are headed the trend you should be paying attention to is software.
Five years ago Marc Andreessen penned his famous “Why Software Is Eating the World” essay in The Wall Street Journal. Andreessen has been proven correct; Uber and Airbnb caught many local taxi companies and hotel chains completely off guard. Today, software is eating much of the value chain of industries that are widely viewed as primarily existing in the physical world. Ultimately, there is no blueprint for how processing and packaging professionals should make this transition, but keeping an eye on the software exhibitors at PACK EXPO is a good place to start.
After huddling with industry experts and adding our input, here are Specright’s picks for the 10 must see software exhibitors at PACK EXPO this year, plus an honorable mention. Here’s the write-up of our 11 favorites.
- TOPS – Package design, palletization, cargo load planning and optimization
Upper North Building – N-4615
TOPS is an acronym for Total Optimization Packaging Software. TOPS provides awesome software solutions for package design, palletization, cargo load planning and optimization.
- Nulogy – Contract packaging software
Upper North Building – N-5484
Nulogy’s software automates packaging, product labeling, assembly and kitting operations for leading Third-Party Logistic Providers, Contract Packagers, Contract Manufacturers, Corrugators, and Brands around the world. They are using technology to automate processes, improve responsiveness, and increase competitiveness for their clients.
- Specright – Specification data management
Lower Lakeside Center – E-9632
Specright is a web-based platform that helps companies take control of their packaging specification data. Until recently, packaging specs were still being managed with a jumble of Excel, email, fax, and paper-based systems. That made it extremely tough to spot overspending or snags in supply chains. In short, Specright is an operating system for packaging.
- Poka – Social industrial network
Lower Lakeside Center – E-10644
Poka delivers smart tools for the smart factory. Poka is a multi-platform application (web, mobile, tablet) designed to assemble all data and procedures related to your business. With the help of photos and videos, Poka allows for the easy access and use of this information in real time.
- BLUE – Brand and packaging artwork management
West Building – W-1039
BLUE’s software delivers global graphics process management for brands. Manage it. Analyze it. Optimize it. With BLUE you gain speed, efficiency, accuracy, and ROI.
- Esko – Integrated solutions for packaging, printing, and publishing
West Building – W-435
Upper North Building – N-6238
Esko provides packaging design, creation, and management software and hardware solutions. Esko products and services drive profitability in the packaging and printing supply chain by reducing time-to-market and raising productivity.
- ProShip – Logistics software and product solutions
Lower Lakeside Center – E-9805
ProShip provides logistics software and product solutions, including enterprise-wide, multi-carrier shipping and manifesting software, automated packing solutions and intelligent parcel lockers.
- SYSPRO – ERP software for manufacturing and distribution companies
West Building – W-1011
Upper Lakeside Center – E-7664
SYSPRO Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is used by manufacturers and distributors to enhance operational efficiencies, streamline supply chains and achieve competitive advantages. SYSPRO ERP software is a single, integrated enterprise solution with differentiable functionality for selected industries, including the makers and distributors of promotional products.
- Lighthouse Systems – Manufacturing execution system (MES) software
Upper Lakeside Center – E-8239
Lighthouse Systems develops Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software that delivers real-time manufacturing operations management. MES is configurable software that helps manufacturing companies achieve measurable improvements in efficiency, output, compliance, quality, and customer satisfaction.
- FlexSim – Simulation software
Upper Lakeside Center – E-7028
FlexSim simulation software makes it easy to analyze and optimize any system in any industry. FlexSim is used to model filling, packaging, labeling, palletizing and other manufacturing, material handling, and supply chain flow processes.
Fishbowl – Manufacturing and warehouse management solution for QuickBooksWest Building – W-1017
Fishbowl offers manufacturing and warehouse management software solutions for QuickBooks® users. Whether you are manufacturing, distributing, selling, servicing, or just managing goods, Fishbowl can automate the day-to-day processes with ease.
Trey Swann is a startup Swiss Army Knife, specializing in sales and growth. Prior to Specright he was a part of the Connectifier team that was acquired by LinkedIn in Feb ’16, and he co-founded TrueVault (YC W14). Trey is an alumnus of both UCLA and Y Combinator.