Peter Parks, vice president, product management, at Provade
Company address: 770 N. Jefferson St., Suite 230, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Industry: Human capital management
Number of employees: 30
Family: I have been married for 16 years and have four children: Two boys and two girls.
What compelled you last year to move Provade’s headquarters from Silicon Valley to Milwaukee?
“Several factors led us to relocate our headquarters. We already employed a significant number of people who resided in the Milwaukee area, enough to justify opening an office here. We also kept cost considerations in mind. Midwestern employees have a longer average tenure than Californians, so it made sense to do our hiring here. It also didn’t hurt that I’m a Milwaukee native!”
What software solutions do you provide businesses?
“Provade provides Vendor Management Systems (VMS) that enable companies to maximize proficiency and savings in the procurement of contingent workforces. It also allows companies to leverage business intelligence to effectively manage their human capital around the world.”
What’s new at your company?
“Provade has recently had several large wins, including being chosen by a Fortune 25 company to run a program that operates in over 60 countries. Aside from these contracts, the advancement of mobility in our VMS solution and our focus on business intelligence and analytics features top the list of new developments. We’re also working some new applications to address current industry issues and trends to meet customer needs.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“Provade has been slowly increasing our investment in both people and technology over the past two years. We expect that trend to continue throughout 2013 into the future.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Our biggest challenge is our ongoing need to balance Provade’s roadmap and vision with the time-sensitive needs of our clients.”
How do you drive innovation in your company to keep pace with the competition?
“Keeping pace with the competition is not an option. We must always stay ahead of them. We constantly have our eye on the competition, not only to see what they are doing, but to stay mindful of what they are not doing and find opportunities to grow. We continually ask ourselves what else we can do to drive value for our current customers and attract new ones.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“I hate to say it because it is so cliché, but it’s true: Don’t overcomplicate things.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“Know your worth and demand just reward. My mother taught me this very early on in my career, and it has become a guiding principle for me, not just personally but professionally as well.”
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“My former employer, Manpower, is now one of Provade’s biggest clients, so some of the people who used to be on my team are now my customers. It’s been an interesting role reversal, but it has also been a blessing. We know each other intimately and work just as well together now as we did back in the day.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“When I am not on the road, I like to spend as much time as possible with my family. We like to take family bike rides, which somehow always end at hibachi restaurants. I am also an avid reader. While I currently read a lot of nonfiction and business-related books that pertain to my profession, my goal is to start reading more fiction. I really enjoy it.”