December 12, 2018

ETQ - Quality & Compliance Software Leader Relocates to Burlington for Rapid Expansion

ETQ is a leading provider of quality, EHS, and compliance management software. Founded in 1992, ETQ works with more than 500 global companies across multiple industries. The company recently moved its headquarters to Burlington, Massachusetts to help support their continued growt.

Last week, ETQ also announced its hiring of four new executives, including former PTC executive Rob Gremley, who is now ETQ’s CEO. We had a chance to connect with Gremley to learn more about the company and growth plans.

Do you think ETQ has your next career opportunity? Click here for all of ETQ’s job openings.

What brought you to ETQ?

Rob Gremley
Rob Gremley, CEO of ETQ

I was eager for the opportunity to help take a company with a great reputation in its industry and tremendous customer loyalty to the next level in corporate performance. ETQ is a pioneer in the quality management software industry – a market that analysts predict will hit nearly $14 billion by 2025 – and we have a huge opportunity to help companies use software to optimize the business processes that drive quality, health, safety, and overall compliance.

We are in the process of building a high-performance product development team and deeper marketing, sales and support organizations here in Burlington to enable customers to build a culture of quality. In doing so, they can create measurable competitive advantage from design to production to delivery to service.

Can you please share the details on your background and your accomplishments at PTC?

When I joined PTC as an application engineer in 1989, the iPhone was still 18 years away, virtual reality was only seen in sci-fi movies, and the Internet of Things wasn’t…a thing!  At PTC, I lead the professional services business, marketing, and research and development at various times. Ultimately, I headed up the firm’s IoT business unit where we created the market-leading IoT platform – a technology that drove the market around IoT solution development.

Over a long tenure at PTC, I was fortunate to be there for some transformational moments – from the “run to $1B” in CAD, to transforming the company around PLM, and finally the push into IoT and AR.  Each time, it was the powerful combination of clear product leadership, tremendous sales execution, and a focus on customer outcomes that drove success. Once you’ve got that in your DNA, it’s undeniable – so it’s great to be here at ETQ and applying those same tenets of success.

What’s the background story of ETQ and why did you decide to move the company’s headquarters to Burlington?

ETQ was founded in 1992 and we have offices in Arizona, Europe and the Middle East. In 2017, we were acquired by TCV, one of the largest growth equity investors in the country, and we are excited to have a like-minded investor who sees ETQ’s global market potential in the same way we do. In order to meet our market challenge, we felt we needed to be closer to the heart of the technology business on the East Coast, so we decided to relocate to the Boston area.

It was not an easy transition, especially for many of our long-time employees who couldn’t make the move to Burlington, Mass. from Farmingdale, New York, but it was the right decision for ETQ going forward. I’ve been in the technology field in Greater Boston my entire career and I have great faith in our technology ecosystem. We are excited to have put down roots here that will that will help nourish ETQ and its customers in its new incarnation.

Why do think that ETQ is poised for growth?

The “business of quality” is moving from being compliance-based to a real driver of performance and enterprise value.  While our customers are still concerned about the negative aspects of poor quality (like recalls or damaging their brand), they are increasingly focused on the positive benefits of delivering outstanding quality.  

Whether they are selling to other businesses or to consumers, in a hyper-competitive global market there’s no place for poor quality. So, the impact of quality on enterprise value is exploding – it drives the top line, the bottom line and the brand.  And the rub is that it’s getting harder by the day – the regulatory environment is super complex and dynamic, supply chains are deeper and increasingly more implicit in quality, and new technologies like IoT are presenting both new opportunities and challenges to keep up with competition.  

Underpinning all of this is a complex series of business processes that drive quality. We’re the company that helps sort that out, optimize those processes, and position quality as a big contributor to the top and bottom line.

Who are your customers? Any examples you can offer?

ETQ customers are some of the strongest brands in the world. Our customers run the gamut from well-known Fortune 500 organizations to medium-sized firms across a broad range of industries.  What they have in common is that they see quality and automated quality management as a key to building their brand reputation and providing a catalyst to competitive advantage. Our customers literally span the globe and we are proud to include customers such as Kimberley-Clark, Rheem, DuPont, FUJIFILM, Novo Nordisk, GE, Herman Miller and Phillips Medical Systems among our client roster.

When I hear a customer like FUJIFILM talk about what a “smashing success” ETQ has been for their quality program and how ETQ has been the only quality management system with the flexibility to easily scale with their business, it makes it clear to me just how critical a role we can play in helping our customers build a real business advantage through automated quality management.

What makes ETQ different in the world of fast-growing New England tech companies?

New England – and particularly Boston and surrounding suburbs – is awash with tech companies of all shapes and sizes.  From two-person startups in the Seaport to the big $1B+ stalwarts, we’re super lucky to be in this thriving tech economy in Boston.  And finding our footing here has been a blast. We’re new to Boston, but we’re not a new company at all – we’ve got over 500 customers around the world that have relied on us for years.  

But here we are in Burlington with a new headquarters, a new brand, new investors, and tons of new people. So, the culture ends up being this unique combination of the nervous energy of that two-person startup but with the solidity of a company with tremendous financial performance.  I think that’s pretty special and unique, and it’s a culture that we all love.

How many employees do you have and what can you share in terms of growth expectations?

ETQ currently employs 300 people worldwide.  We are hiring aggressively and look to boost that number significantly in 2019 to take advantage of the market opportunity and meet our growth targets.

What kind of positions are you hiring for right now?

We are hiring across the board, but we are especially interested in finding front- and back-end developers, field sales, inside sales, pre-sales engineers, and IT pros. We are aggressively re-focusing our marketing strength, too, and searching for demand generation, communications, marketing automation and digital marketing pros. We especially love folks with a SaaS background, as our SaaS sales volume is growing sharply now and will accelerate in 2019.

What can we expect in terms of the future outlook for ETQ?

Aside from helping customers around the world use quality as a business differentiator, ETQ is looking forward to making Boston home, becoming a respected business leader here, and growing our business and our people in a smart, aggressive and responsible way.

Keith Cline is the Founder of VentureFizz.  Follow him on Twitter: @kcline6.

Images courtesy of ETQ