Randy Fields, Chairman and CEO, Park City Group
A Series of Profiles of Thought Leaders Changing the Business Landscape: Randy Fields, Founder and CEO, Park City Group.
“I’ve never had a job. I’ve only worked in companies that I have founded. I believe entrepreneurship is simply a socially acceptable form of OCD.” So says Randy Fields founder, Chairman and CEO of Park City Group, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based, publicly traded firm that provides supply-chain software solutions for the food and drug services industries, but whose ultimate mission is to create a safer food and drug supplier ecosystem.
Park City Group (PCYG) positions itself as a Software-as-a-Service ("SaaS") provider that brings visibility to the consumer goods supply chain, delivering actionable information to ensure products are available when and where consumers demand them, helping retailers and suppliers to 'Sell More, Stock Less, and See Everything'. The company also assists all participants in the food and drug supply chains to comply with food and drug safety regulations through the Company's ReposiTrak subsidiary.
A self-described compulsive personality, Fields knows something about starting and successfully building companies. If the name sounds familiar, its because he’s one-half of the Fields name behind Mrs. Fields Cookies that he and his then wife (now divorced) Debbie founded. The entrepreneurial couple opened their first of many stores in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, selling homemade-style cookies which quickly grew in popularity. In 1982, they moved their headquarters to Park City, Utah and in the early 1990s, the company was sold to an investment firm.
“I'm a serial entrepreneurial. This is all I've ever done. The first one was Mrs. Fields. Then I founded a company called Captiva, and now this one,” says Randy Fields. Two things he learned from his Mrs. Fields days that carry through to his building Park City Group: Customers come first and product availability is second. His maniacal focus on product quality, customer service and ensuring that his product or service is available whenever or wherever the customer wants it has proven a winning formula for him.
“Mrs. Fields cookies, which if you’ve ever read the (Harvard Business Review) case study, was a high tech business. And the way we think about the world today and what we do in my current company came from the perspective that we had about technology in the world of Mrs. Fields. So the carry forward is substantial,” says Fields.
The way he saw it with Mrs. Fields, the value proposition was simple. The product had a two-hour shelf life. At the end of two hours, you had to throw it away. “You actually risked your job if you didn’t. What we meant was that the customer deserved the very best that could be done, and the right holding time was under two hours,” says Fields. That mandate required a system that in real time could collect all of the data that affect retail traffic patterns like weather, traffic problems or local sports events, for example, and hour by hour, create a forecast that would tell each store how many cookies to make.