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SPS Commerce positioning retail supply-chain software for global presence

SPS Commerce, a retail supply-chain software company that occupies six floors in downtown Minneapolis’ Accenture Tower, has added about 200 employees since 2012. “And the rate of hiring is not slowing down,” says Peter Zaballos, VP of marketing and product. SPS Commerce has more than 800 employees as of this month. The company just added a new floor to its downtown headquarters, with an option for additional space in the building.
“We’re positioning to become a world-class, global supply-chain business” in the tech space, he adds. “That’s making us a magnet for talent in the Twin Cities region and around the world.”
Most of SPS’ employees work at its Minneapolis headquarters. The firm also has a big presence in New Jersey, as well as international operations centers in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Sydney, Melbourne, London and Kiev. Each office will grow “organically” even as SPS adds employees in Minneapolis, says Zaballos.
SPS Commerce’s ambition got big boost last month, winning MHTA’s prestigious Tekne Award for best software platform in the “established company” category. SPS was one of 12 Tekne winners this year, out of more than 100 entrants. According to an SPS release, the company won plaudits for “embracing innovation and the changes that today’s retailers are facing, while giving global organizations access to an established online trading community.”
“The Tekne win really communicates to the local and national tech communities that SPS is on the forefront of the ongoing reinvention of retail,” says Zaballos. “We’re on the move.”
SPS Commerce is also raising its profile in the booming Twin Cities tech community. The company’s CEO and CTO earned Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s prestigious Titans of Technology Award in September. And the company routinely hosts events for programmers and business professionals at its offices.
“We enjoy sharing our success with other members of the local technology community,” says Zaballos. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Zaballos and other SPS executives are thrilled with the Twin Cities tech community’s progress. Zaballos came to SPS less than three years ago, after extended stints in major coastal tech hubs: Silicon Valley, Boston, Seattle. He’d never set foot in the Twin Cities. But he was “stunned by the breadth, vibrancy and depth” of the industry.
“The quality of the people here is amazing,” he says. Local professionals are also “aware of the game they’re playing”—a game, Zaballos argues, largely controlled by elites in the Bay Area and New York. “To compete on a global basis, you need to play in that league,” which the Twin Cities does very well, he says. Finding competent, talented workers is easy here.
SPS Commerce helps retail clients manage and expand digital sales channels, providing analytics, inventory management and seamless interfacing with suppliers and other software platforms.
“Things that seem easy to do when you’re shopping online are actually super complicated for retailers,” says Zaballos. A dramatic increase in mobile device use complicates matters further. “Mobile shoppers are especially high maintenance,” he says.
More than 55,000 retailers and suppliers now use SPS’ solutions. But most local residents have still never heard of SPS Commerce, despite current revenues of nearly $130 million.
When Zaballos took his current job, the company had no marketing department to speak of. “Our sales team was and is really good at getting suppliers into our network,” he says. “We got to around $100 million in revenues and tens of thousands of users before anyone [outside the retail industry] had heard of us.”
SPS kept its low profile despite an IPO back in 2010. It’s listed on the NASDAQ, under the ticker symbol SPSC. “Being public is a big advantage for us,” says Zaballos. “Prospective clients and employees can look at our annual reports and financial disclosures and know that we’re a fundamentally sound, growing business.”
One item of note in SPS’ public filings: The company currently has $170 million in cash on hand, an impressive sum for a firm of its size. That cash pile will support SPS’ aggressive hiring and expansion drives—and possibly spur more exciting investments in the future.
And the company is finally investing in publicity for itself. “We’re thrilled to be telling our story,” says Zaballos. “We want talented Twin Cities professionals who share our values to see a future with us.”
Current SPS Commerce Job Listings in Minneapolis
  1. Account Executive
  2. Business Analyst
  3. Marketing Acquisition Manager
  4. Software Engineer
  5. Supply Chain Strategist
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