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Summit Staff Spotlight: Product Manager Rob Oakley

Introducing Rob Oakley. After joining Summit Innovations almost 10 years ago, Rob has recently been promoted to the role of Product Manager. A new role within Summit, Rob is responsible for managing Summit’s products throughout their life cycle, from development to market release and everything in between.

We sat down with Rob to find out about his time at Summit and his thoughts on the future of the QSR industry.

You’ve been with Summit for an impressive ten years. Tell us what’s kept you at the company for that long?

There are a few key reasons I’ve stayed with Summit for so long.

Working in development is always interesting, you get to constantly challenge yourself and your abilities, you are always learning new things. Summit provides that challenging, evolving environment.

Being able to work with good people who you can share with, and trust makes a big difference in a workplace. Working at Summit has felt like being part of a family, it’s hard to move away from that kind of bond.

Plus, I’m the type of person that once I start something I like to be there when its finished – for me a sense of completion is a great reward of a job well done. The process of developing a product through all the stages and supporting its release to market takes time. Summit has continually provided opportunities to create new and innovative products for the QSR market, which makes it hard to leave!

What are your top priorities as the new Summit Product Manager?

While I’m overseeing all Summit products, my immediate focuses are releasing two products to market, the updated inductive loop-based timing system and the new Summit vision detection system which uses machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to create a next generation drive-thru timing system.

What are some of the most rewarding projects you’ve worked on during your time at Summit?

I’d have to say most of the projects I’ve worked on have been rewarding in their own way whether through gaining new knowledge or seeing a satisfied customer use the product.
I am particularly fond of the SSBv2 and the new vision AI system. The vision AI system is cutting edge, can’t beat that for a learning experience and testing the boundaries of what’s possible.

What are some of the things you’re most excited about for the future of Summit Innovations?

Summit has established itself as a global leader in drive-thru tech. With the partnership of DTiQ, I can see that combined, we have the potential to create a company that is the go-to for products in the QSR industry as well as other industries, I am excited for the people who work at Summit and DTIQ, and to be part of journey.

In your opinion, what do you think is one of the most under-rated QSR tech products and why does it deserve more recognition?

In the QSR industry more than 70% of the revenue and the lowest proportion of costs comes from using the drive-thru. Therefore, it would have to be the drive-thru timer, bang for buck you can’t get a better tool for creating the efficiencies you need to make the most of the 70% revenue stream.

What are the biggest challenges you see facing QSRs in the coming years?

It would have to be one of the things that effects a lot of industries these days. The cost of labour. QSR industry is all about having lower costs and more convenience for our time when it comes to consuming food. With labour being more expensive and less people available in the labour market to work, it impacts both.

What are your thoughts on the future of QSR technology?

I think the future of the QSR industry relies on tools that automate processes and promote efficient use of time and money and I’m excited to contribute to it at Summit.