Can a company exude strength without the typical signs frequently associated with it? In a competitive global market where being loud and abrupt is often paralleled with power, Parker has shown an unwavering resilience for 100 years to humbly change the world with its motion and control technologies.
Often known as a "good company to work for," Parker is actually much more than that. In fact, our technology is in practically everything that surrounds daily life. From the plane that flies, the car stopping at a red light and the backhoe loader digging a trench, to the switch that turns on a light, Parker's unassuming technology is powerfully present.
This fact is one that is never overlooked by Instrumentation Group President William "Skip" Bowman, who started his career with Parker in 1983.
"It always amazes me what our technology touches. Somewhere in the chain, we provide products and technology that allow the lights to come on. As a company, we are always looking to how our innovations can help society—that's extremely important to us. We're focusing on those innovations that are important to the longevity of our planet; to adapt our products and the technologies that we use in those products to make automobiles, trucks and planes more energy efficient."
Parker's technology first became integral to the power of innovation throughout North America in the mid-1900s. After starting as the Parker Appliance Company in 1917, founder Art Parker moved swiftly from harnessing compressed air for a more efficient and safe braking system for automobiles, to providing technology for the burgeoning business of aviation. As global commerce became commonplace in the mid-1980s, Parker's customers were making worldwide moves—and Parker traveled with them.
"We were being challenged to grow on a global basis. We serviced our customers in the U.S., and then all of a sudden our customers started going global. We were having to ship products to different parts of the globe, and we had to figure out how to reach out and take care of them.
"While the convenience of the Internet would not become mainstream until almost a decade later, Parker was willing to follow its customers to make certain their needs were met. We've always opened our hands and our pocketbooks to help."
Parker is continuing this outreach today through its ongoing investment in the future of motion and control technologies.
"From those that impact our customers, touch our manufacturing processes and keep our employees safe, Parker remains focused on investing in key technologies. This also helps us improve the quality of our products."
Two key areas that house Parker's humble strength include power generation and clean water through the application of its high quality, critical flow and ultra high purity components.
"It's not just for the masses—it's for these small communities that don't have access to power. Our customers and the products that we produce go into providing clean living conditions and power; things that we take for granted.
"I think our inquisitive nature as a company is becoming even more apparent as we look toward the next 100 years."
This post is the fifteenth in a series of leadership interviews to commemorate Parker's centennial anniversary. To learn more about Parker's history, visit www.parker.com/centennial.
Fostering Innovation for 100 Years
Acquiring Technology and Talent
A History of Challenges for Opportunity
Inspiring Unique Career Paths
Distributing Parker’s Innovative Spirit in Latin America
Leveraging Global IT Solutions
Listening to Anticipate Customer Needs
Spotting Parker's Unlimited Opportunities
Leveraging Company Expertise Across Industries
Growing Leaders and Profits
A Legacy Fueled by Fostering Talent
Making Safety Our Top Priority
Decentralization with Global Unity
Entrepreneurial Spirit Fuels Parker's Family
Nurturing a Competitive and Compassionate Culture