Portfolio

Scroll, click and read a bit about the work I’ve done. Writings and related work are arranged in general categories of writing formats, with links that lead to the writings. Some are standalone pieces; others are part of multi-part packages and initiatives, as highlighted on my About/contact page. Too busy to peruse? Call or text (773) NOW-OKAY.


Trend/issue-based features:

I have a long history of writing about IT and automation and their convergence under the umbrella of digital transformation. That’s a topic covered by SmartIndustry in print and online. Feature stories in 2019 have covered new research from SAS, Deloitte, Intel and IDC on the significant advantages leaders of global firms are having by applying AI with their IoT networks in what researchers have dubbed AIoT, the Artificial Intelligence of Things. I’ve also covered edge computing developments for which Intel shared some Twitter and LinkedIn love (as shown at bottom of this blog post). I also covered a new vision for connected field service that could bring new growth to a manufacturing economy plagued by product commoditization and a looming global downturn.

Other stories covered adoption of the industrial internet of things, as well as technologies that allow a new generation of asset lifecycle modeling strategies to bring new strategies to massive industrial facilities from the time they’re imagined through their present and future updates. Shorter pieces have touched on advanced 3D automotive R&D, robots in consumer packaging and lots more. As organizations have become connected, so has the need to reimagine how outsourcing will change the nature of products, which led me to also cover management strategies in pieces including this expert panel discussion.

Outsourcing, in turn, is built on strong supply chain partnerships, which I’ve covered as the Editor of Contract Packaging magazine and later, providing educational writings on “Standardizing Customization” across outsourcing partners’ systems for software firm Nulogy Corp.: See Part One and Part Two in which we advise CPGs on a way to standardize data flows for efficiency and dollar gains. Down in the trenches, I have also helped members of a FieldComm group, a very large automation consortium spread the word on game-changing wireless connectivity solutions for age-old engineering and operational problems.


Blog articles:

Some blog articles have simpler goals, and are more tightly focused on a smaller but no-less-useful goal. This post on carton board grade for a packaging with specific  customer educational needs. Another brief post with tight focus helped Nulogy gain news relevance with an item showing Walmart suppliers why there’s no need to ‘freak out’ despite a key pundit pundit telling them it was “time to panic!”

Sometimes, however, a topic is considerably more complex, and articles posted to a company blog are longer and provide more depth, as was the case in the aforementioned feature-length piece on “standardizing customization,” and an implementation update featuring L’Oréal (see below section on “Success stories”).

One of my favorite accomplishments came by partnering with Peerless Media’s Supply Chain 24/7 to create a landing page and enticing blog article, “The Supply Chain Link Both Walmart & Amazon Are Both Missing.” Why is this a favorite of mine? Because it was a pleasure to work with Clive Purchase, 24/7’s Director of Online Operations, and because I gained access to metrics, rare for a writer-editor not acting as a content marketer. Metrics, per Mr. Purchase: The post, linked to an also-new Nulogy landing page, earned an impressive 140 white-paper downloads in the first 10 days.

I’ve got some interest in the music industry, as well, and blogged about the May 2018 analysis of Gibson’s bankruptcy filing from a broad and somewhat personal perspective. Restructuring and soul-searching happens in every industry, and firms with artisanal roots, such as Gibson, are struggling to balance their iconic legacy and core competency with investor pressure to expand in ways that in this case have created an existential identity crisis.


Success stories:

Experience has been a good teacher for overcoming the greatest problem writers and editors face in bringing success stories (a.k.a. case studies) to the industry. For example, when a major CPG backed-out of a story on its cloud-based supply chain collaboration with an outsourced vendor, I found workarounds that earned my revised version editorial placements in Food Logistics and Food Engineering magazines’ digital and print channels.

When some success metrics are available but the source is still sensitive to over-disclosure, I found ways to green-light stories by positioning stories in a larger, business context. For instance, “Lessons from L’Oréal: Growing through Agility, Visibility, and Collaboration” leveraged success metrics gleaned from a presentation to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. And while I was unable to do any new interviewing for “Mass Customization for a Ready-to-Eat CPG Giant,” I was grateful to get some help from related press coverage and SEC filings. There is always a way to add value and enhance audience engagement.

When I was Editor of Contract Packaging magazine, I wrote “Steeped in service, poised for growth” showcasing Damron, a minority-owned tea supplier to McDonald’s. The fast feeder wouldn’t go on-record, but again, I found other sources, including public disclosures from the McDonald’s diversity program, to fill-in the gaps.

Not all companies are as secretive. The startup Back to the Roots, wanted to be known for its innovation, and I was able to spread word about how the company first sold its home mushroom “farm” to Whole Foods, with help from suppliers. This was produced at an annual Pack Expo convention, and used as a centerpiece in one of several post-show lead-gen email newsletters.)


Reports & White Papers:

I’ve written white papers and reports to help market Siemens, GE, Honeywell and many other companies. Examples include reports on 3D/VR visualization and a favorite old chestnut on industrial cybersecurity that MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service — James Bond’s boss! — used it as a behind-the-firewall educational resource.


E-books:

I’ve provided writing and management for e-books ranging from brief aggregations of repurposed articles to projects with more than 100 pages featuring all-original content from multiple sources, with pieces then repurposed for marketing uses. There can be many “moving parts” to these projects, and I’ve managed most if them. One example: PMMI Media’s Packaging World Playbooks, represented by the company’s Food Safety Playbook.


Additional work has included writing opinion/analysis columns, news (editorial and marketing client-side) and other forms of writing. Related services have included management of newsletters, e-copy optimization, web content management (from articles to graphic galleries) and media rep work. In general, I provide resources for clients who need to deliver good content for smart people.

Please feel free to contact me for details.  —Bob.