From idea to quote to design, technology provider Specifi is styling itself as the only end-to-end 3D software platform in the foodservice industry. FEJ caught up with the very familiar face appointed to run the operation to find how it is bidding to shake up the industry.
There is a statement on Specifi’s website that says the restaurant design industry is craving tools to bring innovative food spaces and commercial kitchens to reality. “Nearly every tool on the market is a nightmare to use, impossible to learn and expensive to implement — and worst of all, they all fail to focus on the end-user. At Specifi, we’re doing something different.”
It is a bold proclamation but one that perfectly encapsulates a business that has ambitions to transform the industry by delivering an intuitive, high performing digital platform that allows designers, suppliers and manufacturers to streamline their processes when it comes to planning and creating commercial kitchens.
The story began 18 months ago when Wolters-Althoff Investments, a private equity and venture capital fund in the US, snapped up the global MasterChef software and services businesses of Render Image in Italy and changed its legal name to Specifi. In April this year it then purchased Schematic, a UK supplier of BIM software, content creation and repository services.
The most recent development in the journey so far has been the appointment of Stuart Campbell as VP of international sales. He is a man who knows the industry inside-out having most recently served at equipment exporter Fire & Ice, and before that Nayati and CaterQuotes.
My goal is to take the company from where it is now to hopefully £1m within 18 months to two years”
“The role covers everywhere from UK and Europe to Asia and the Middle East and these are the main areas that we are going to concentrate on,” explains Campbell. “We have generally got product in all of these areas, but not necessarily a lot of traction in all of them. My goal is to take the company from where it is now to hopefully £1m within 18 months to two years. I believe it is achievable because of all the different areas we are working in.”
Campbell will report directly into Chicago, where Specifi has its headquarters, but he is likely to be spending a fair bit of time in Italy, too. Through the MasterChef acquisition, the company has a large presence in Venice where software production takes place and technical support is based.
Specific sees itself as a one-stop resource for kitchen designers and can already lay claim to hosting integrations with more than 250 manufacturers. Campbell has been meeting with manufacturers to outline its service, which ranges from producing documentation in multiple languages, currencies and measurements to creating building blocks for 3D software design. Its solutions encompass bid and tender workflow, restaurant design, price list management, service and management, and symbol creation.
“We have got four key components at Specifi,” says Campbell. “Specifi Publish, Specifi Design, Specifi Quote and Specifi Service, and they all link. From the drawing all the way through to their accounting system, it is a seamless operation.”
The company is currently working on introducing ‘Specifi Live’, which will take its offering to the cloud and provide clients with real-time access from any location, as well as facilitate the transfer of large files and assist with work involving multiple tenders. “It is hopefully going to go live in beta form in January,” says Campbell.
2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for a company that intends to be at the epicentre of the kitchen creation process.
Specifi: Key solution areas
– Bid and tender workflow
– Restaurant design
– Price list management
– Service and management
– Symbol creation