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Alchemy Engage Conference 2019: You May Get FOMO Reading This

By Intertek Alchemy   |   

For the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution industries, the 11th Annual Engage Conference was the place to be this September! Hundreds of safety, quality, operations, and human resource professionals all met in the live music capital of the world to learn the newest trends and best practices for driving employee engagement.

And Engage had it all… BIG announcements. Inspiring keynotes. Profound breakout sessions. And Texas-sized fun!


Engage attendees got the first look at our updated branding, which completes our transformation into the Intertek family. With a fresh new tagline, “Powering Your Workforce,” Alchemy now proudly wears yellow and black. Read all about in detail here and check it out on our website.

And with Intertek’s commitment for accelerated investments to further develop our products, we were also thrilled to debut our upcoming new product: Alchemy Playbook! Designed to meet the needs requested by clients, Playbook helps companies create and deliver job-specific training right on the production floor, and tracks the job skills of your entire workforce − in one seamless platform.

Alchemy Playbook will enable you to record video on any tablet or phone right in your facility to capture exactly how work is supposed to be done…and then turn it into a course! You will also be able to easily identify qualified workers for any job in your facility and make quick and informed decisions when re-allocating workers, which is quite handy in the face of unexpected absences. Whether you have 25 new hires who need onboarding, or need a replacement for a 30 year veteran who is retiring, Playbook can alleviate these challenges. It’s a game-changer.


Josh Sundquist and Joel Zeff revved up the crowd each morning with heartfelt, yet hilarious dialogs, often reminding us of the humanity that connects us all. Joel even managed to get a number of willing audience members to participate in some improv skits to help reinforce his message. One attendee noted that Josh and Joel were “outstanding…both brought a key message with humor.”




The Engage Conference brings a variety of speakers to Austin to share their expertise for engaging employees when building strong and compliant safety cultures.

On Wednesday, the breakout sessions focused on best practices based on the attendee’s job role, be it safety, quality, or human resources:

  • Safety professionals learned about creating proactive, award-winning safety and health protocols from Ocean Spray; heard about the new and eagerly awaited standard, ISO 45001, from experienced consultant Rick Gherke; and crisis response approaches to active threats from Strategos International.
  • Quality professionals learned how to teach employees how to act during an audit from veteran auditor Jeff Chilton; how to comply with the FDA’s new International Adulteration Rule from the Food Protection and Defense Institute; and how to use technology to mitigate supply chain risk from Alchemy’s VP of Food Safety Alliances.
  • Human Resource professionals listed to Chicken of the Sea share their best practices for creating a workforce culture that produces world-class performance; how to build a successful supervisor development program from Daily’s Premium Meats, and how to design a comprehensive retention program from the Dean of SugarCreek.


On Thursday, the tracks were focused on improving employee engagement by mastering the Alchemy solution, based on the attendee’s skillset.  

  • Those that were new to Alchemy got an overview of the key components for building a robust training program from The Gluten Free Bar; discussed best practices to ensure an engaging, effective, and efficient training program from Lamb Weston; and talked about how to prepare for their next audit with Alchemy’s recordkeeping and reporting from Campbell’s.
  • Folks that were more familiar with Alchemy, learned how to make training entertaining from Hearthside Foods; reviewed strategies for translating training material into multiple languages with Coach from Alchemy’s learning consultants; and discussed ways to add reinforce important training components from Palermo’s Pizza.
  • For advanced attendees, the sessions covered how to create a standardized training program for use across multiple sites from Tyson Foods; tips for advancing instructional design; and for those that could not contain their excitement about Playbook, an in-depth session on Alchemy’s newest solution.



Austin is now known as a culinary destination, so of course we had to invite attendees to the Austin Eats Food Tour – where everyone enjoyed sampling the city’s best restaurants, food trucks, bars, and breweries. We also brought back our Best Practice Mixer, a relaxing happy hour where attendees met, hobnobbed, and traded industry expertise. And it wouldn’t be a true Austin event if we didn’t have live music! Chandler and The Bings brought the winning combination of fun and nostalgia to The Venue on 6th Street, keeping everyone dancing hours after dinner.


It was a great week and we are already looking forward to the next Engage Conference! We hope to see you there!



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