Oak Barrel:Cloud Based Specifications Management

Rory Granros’s deep expertise, for more than two decades, in designing and developing innovative PLM, ERP, and decision support solutions in the process industry led to the formation of Oak Barrel Software. It was a natural progression for Granros to create a new class of value-added process industry solutions, which achieve substantial process cycle time reduction without replacing or re-implementing the existing ERP or PLM.

Product SpecSafe securely distributes new and updated product specifications in a multitude of formats

“We are delivering the next generation of hybrid cloud or private cloud solutions that play a critical role to optimize the value and life of our customers’ PLM by filling gaps in every PLM or customized ERP solution,” says Rory Granros, President, Oak Barrel Software.

At the outset, each of the customers has a different set of requirements. Since raw material makes up a huge percentage of the food product, it is essential to get regulatory information on whether the product is GMO, organic, sustainable or fair trade from the suppliers. With multiple touch points for the supplier, the eventual influx of information creates a data explosion that makes versioning difficult. The amount of data entry compounds the problem. “Our customers are starting to collaborate with their suppliers to automate the creation of most of their required customer information,” says Granros.

Oak Barrel’s material specification management solution, Material SpecSafe can manage all the inbound information about the purchased materials. It is a portal allowing suppliers to login, enabling seamless and secure transmission of proprietary data and documents to customers via material specification templates. Since much of information and many of documents are used in several stages of the lifecycle, eliminating multiple instances in shared folder is critical to meeting BRC/SQF mandates. Once the data and documents are approved and published, expiration, and review dates are actively managed and risk of out of date information is eliminated. Once the data is published, the ‘search-ability’ is enhanced for documents and other types of files, where data is rendered in more difficult-to-search formats.

For operations, co-packers and contract manufacturing, Operational SpecSafe creates Recipes, S&OPs, Operational and Compliance Specifications from PLM data.
Rory Granros, CEO & President
For Sales, Marketing and Customers, Product SpecSafe enables collaboration for Request, Development, Sales, Pricing, Presentations, and Commercialization processes and dynamical publishing of product, and customer specification content for technical datasheets, data pools and websites.

Oak Barrel’s expertise in providing solutions to the food and beverage has enabled clients to utilize best practices to reduce cycle time. “We have designed applications that can evolve without any customization or coding. Our solutions are aware of industry needs, in terms of parameters, documents, and configuration wherein the day’s industry information on food and beverage is made available,” says Granros.

In a successful implementation highlight, a major food company utilizing a PLM solution, was using excel sheets to gather information; however, without the ability to validate the data. With Oak Barrel’s solutions, the client was able to send questionnaires to the supplier tailored to the user, product type, and the market requirements. The benefits for the suppliers were in 30 percent time reduction in creating specifications, elimination of data entry steps, and accuracy of information.

There was a significant reduction in the workforce required to operate the process as well. Today, product content is morphing to include social marketing, loyalty programs, mobile apps, and most importantly, instant access to the customer for each level of supply chain. In tune with the process enhancements, companies will need to capture more information for the customer by way of videos, voice, and other mediums. According to Granros the information be published and consumed through personalized digital channels to maximize value and tightening of strategic relationships from customer though production and production partners to suppliers to advance the buying, producing, and selling processes.

Oak Barrel Software

Westborough, MA

Rory Granros, CEO & President

Provider of innovative manufacturing and product lifecycle solutions.