The 60-Second Interview is an ongoing FoodProductionDaily series, in which we meet with top food and beverage industry leaders to hammer out important issues; here, we catch up with Katie Moore of GE Intelligent Platforms to discuss technology that advances food operation safety and efficiency.
Advanced technology is an increasingly important part of every food firm—but if it doesn’t serve the needs of the company, it’s dead in the water. Moore, global industry manager for food and beverage at GE Intelligent Platforms explains her work in developing tools that specifically address common challenges and contribute to operational efficiency.
What do you do?
I help connect food and beverage manufacturers with cutting edge hardware and software solutions. These range from single point integrations to complete end-to-end manufacturing execution systems.
Tell us about your current role; what are your responsibilities, and what does a typical day look like for you?
My responsibilities include leading the development of global marketing strategies for the food and beverage vertical market and helping manufacturers create strategies to overcome their most challenging operational issues. From a day-to-day perspective, I work with our global sales teams calling on customers to understand their specific challenges and developing marketing materials and sales enablement tools.
I also work with food and beverage industry organizations, associations, as well as industry analysts to better understand the latest trends affecting manufacturers.
How did you get into the industry?
Prior to joining GE, I was a plant manager at Bimbo Bakeries, USA formerly operating under the Fresh Bakery Division of the Sara Lee Corporation. After joining Sara Lee in 2008, I was directly responsible for the plant P/L and operational functions from raw materials to shipping and distribution with regard to people, safety, food safety and operational excellence; I led a team through SQF Level 3 Certification as well as execution of LEAN manufacturing systems.
Prior to the Sara Lee Corporation, I worked in the Brewing Department at Anheuser–Busch, Inc. in the Williamsburg, Virginia Brewery; there, I held positions of increasing responsibilities, leading teams of production and maintenance employees to produce and deliver finished beer to the packaging department. During my tenure there, I was also the Technical Training Manager where I enhanced training programs and standard operating procedures for the brewing department.
I earned a BS degree in chemical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri.
What do you like most about your job?
I absolutely love working with different customers and walking into plants to learn how different consumer products are made.
What's the hardest thing about your job?
Relentless prioritization. There are hundreds of industry events annually across the globe, thousands of plants to visit, numerous white papers, brochures, videos and other content to be developed, so I focus on what is going to have the most long-term impact for our customers, even though it might not be the most obvious choice or action to take.
What are some of the high-priority concerns in your role?
In general, staying close to customers is critical. I like to say I need to stay grounded in my "plant management roots" and continually ask myself, "would I buy this?"
Tell us about an interesting project you worked on in your current role? What makes it worth talking about?
With the changing regulatory environment and the dynamic needs of our customers, we developed a core team to focus on food safety and built Proficy Food Safety. This software provides out-of-the-box functionality that delivers food safety assurance leveraging our foundational technology.
What advice would you give to people interested in a job in your field?
Two things: First, you have to be passionate about solving challenges in manufacturing with software technology. And second, people that are successful in my area of focus truly believe assuring food safety means doing no harm to our friends, families and the people we care about.
If you could have a 'do-over' in your career, what would that be?
No 'do-overs.' All the mistakes I’ve made over the years (and I've made several), I have learned from.