From Kent in the U.K. to Raleigh, workflow management software mpro5 is expanding from Europe to North America with a Triangle-based executive team.
Mark Self, a Raleigh-based entrepreneur who has been involved in such ventures as ExLattice and as CEO of GrepBeat profile subject Vector Textiles, joined mpro5’s North America team as President and CEO in the spring of 2021. Self’s ascension to North America CEO was a perfect storm of knowing the Triangle market and re-connecting with mpro5’s parent company’s founder and Self’s former business collaborator Barrie Whip.
If you’re familiar with workforce management software in the U.K., you may know mpro5 by a different name, Crimson Tide. But for reasons that may be obvious if you know your college football, Self said that name was “a total non-starter” in the U.S. market—especially, we’re told, not in Auburn country. In U.S. markets, Crimson Tide opted to go by “mpro5”, the name of the workflow management software itself.
The mpro5 software takes information in the workplace and turns it into “actionable dynamic data” on a user-friendly dashboard. This data is translated into action items and metrics on mpro5’s mobile app that put workplace efficiency and compliance right in the palms of everyday workers. Take, for example, cleaning one grocery store’s freezer in a chain of 5,000 stores, a seemingly menial but important task that may go unaddressed for weeks if not for mpro5’s software.
“Because we present data in a way that illuminates how tasks need to be done and key performance indicators that aren’t being met, we send an alert to someone asking them to do that task, that individual that does the work is now empowered,” Self said. “If they like, they can take a picture and close the task out to present what they’ve done. Now, their performance indicators are back in line. We illuminate disparate data across the edge of an organization.”
Think of mpro5 as software that transforms data that would otherwise be tracked on sheets of paper or clipboards into digital, actionable items, saving time and trees in the process. The U.K. grocery giant Tesco is one of Crimson Tide’s customers, and the software has found successful use cases in 260,000 locations in the U.K. across multiple industries.
Smart building management is a growing use case for mpro5, which can connect to fixed Internet of Things (IoT) appliances like cameras or sensors to collect data into the dashboard. This is of special interest to property managers with multiple buildings, who may not be able to track the “health” of each location with vigilance while operating many buildings at once.
“We can show you data not just for one building, but for multiple buildings,” Self said. “We can answer questions like: What is the average temperature, and what floors are out of range of where you want to be? We can show how many times the door to the bathroom has been opened, how many times someone has gotten on the elevator. We can show you the health of all the facilities, and all kinds of the workflows within those buildings.”
While part of the decision for mpro5’s North America office to be based out of Raleigh was from Self’s own connections to the area, he said this couldn’t be a better time or place to bring mpro5 stateside.
Startup-level scrappiness with backing of bigger player
Being a branch of a company that is already established has its perks. Given the 50+ member U.K. support team that mpro5 North America has access to, Self isn’t exactly rushing to expand his team, though he’s expecting to grow the workforce in the coming year as they approach a series of possible sales. The company also benefits from startup-style scrappiness, like hiring a team of Cary Academy interns on an interim basis, said Debra Reuther, mpro5’s North America Marketing Manager.
“You get to function like a startup,” Reuther said. “You get to create your own rules, you get to create your own platform, you get to launch whatever ideas that you have within the small team. But at the same time, you have this amazing support system overseas. All of the challenges startups sometimes have, we don’t have to face because we’ve got the backers in the U.K. But at the same time, we get to function independently here and create our own thing as if we were a true startup. It’s the perfect combination.”
Aside from a rollover customer from Crimson Tide in Canada, mpro5 is “imminently” close to finalizing its first stateside client. Self won’t reveal that client just yet, but with a strong base in the Triangle, he has high hopes for mpro5’s future in North America.
With a growing housing market and local economy alongside the strong presence of far-reaching corporations (and the return of direct flights from RDU to London), the Triangle also provides a natural ecosystem for mpro5’s software. From seeking local talent like Reuther to partnering with local service providers like Hughes Pittman (accounting) and Smith Anderson (law), mpro5 is committed to consciously rooting its internal and external infrastructure in the Triangle, “for better or for worse.”
“I think it’s for better,” Self said.