Like many companies, Parker is focused on attracting and developing talented individuals who contribute value to the company over time. What's different about Parker is the landscape of differentiated motion and control technologies that are often combined to cross train leaders and leverage systems capabilities.
At Parker, the culture exemplified by our team members is the resounding reason for the company's overall growth. This inclusive approach also extends to the companies who are acquired to expand and improve Parker's offering. All of these factors attracted Fluid Connectors Group President Andrew Ross to Parker in 1998.
"I wanted to join a company I could retire from – I wasn't interested in jumping around. I've always believed that if you focus on the work that's in front of you, opportunities will present themselves. The opportunity for exposure to a variety of businesses within Parker was very exciting."
After just two years with Parker's Seal Group (now the Engineered Materials Group), Ross would get the opportunity to not only grow professionally, but assist Parker's growth by supporting several acquisitions in rapid succession.
In 2000, Parker had a long-term goal of 10 percent growth per year. To do this, acquisitions became paramount for expansion. That year saw unprecedented growth through the purchase of international manufacturer Commercial Intertech. The merger allowed Parker to market a complete range of advanced motion and control technologies to a number of industries. As Commercial Intertech was merged into the Hydraulics Group, Parker also acquired Gummi Metall Scheufele & Gienger in Germany.
While these two acquisitions were major accomplishments, Parker wasn't done. Whatman's Industrial Filtration became an asset for the Filtration Group in May 2000. Soon after, the Seal Group took its largest financial leap by completing a purchase that would alter the course of its business with the acquisition of Wynn's International.
"The purchase of Wynn's was a turning point for Parker. The acquisition significantly increased our market share and material science capabilities, positioning us for substantial growth in the automotive and heavy duty diesel markets."
Wynn's allowed Parker to offer aerospace, marine and mobile customers more complete assemblies, nearly doubling the size of the Seal Group.
"Wynn's had acquired three companies in the previous 18 months, making it a very challenging integration – especially in light of the 2001 recession. It was an unbelievable crucible for learning and revealing our team's character. We stuck together and learned a lot.
"We went from seventh or eighth in market share, to number two, and ultimately turned it into a highly profitable business for Parker."
The challenge and overall success of the Wynn's acquisition helped to position Ross to lead the Seal Group as its President, then most recently to expand his leadership skills by becoming the President of the Fluid Connectors Group. With each step from his beginnings at the company 18 years before, Parker has encouraged Ross's growth in support of the company's evolution.
"Parker offer's an incredible array of technologies. We engineer and produce products that operate from the ocean floor to space and even in the smart phones most people use every day. We pursue excellence in everything we do. We work as a team to honor those who have come before us and those that will someday lead us by doing everything we can to leave Parker better and stronger than we found it."
This post is the sixth in a series of leadership interviews to commemorate Parker's centennial anniversary. To learn more about Parker's history, visit www.parker.com/centennial.