InfinityQS - Founding Team of the Year
Company: InfinityQS International, Inc., Fairfax, VA
Entry Submitted By: DPR Group, Inc.
Company Description: InfinityQS® International, Inc. is the global authority on data-driven manufacturing quality. The company’s Quality Intelligence solutions—Enact® and ProFicient™—deliver unparalleled visibility and strategic insight across the enterprise, from the shop floor to the boardroom, enabling manufacturers to re-imagine quality and transform it from a problem into a competitive advantage.
Nomination Category: Entrepreneur Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Founding Team of the Year - Business Products Industries
Nomination Title: Mike Lyle, president and CEO, and Chris Kearsley, executive vice president & CTO, InfinityQS
Tell the story about what this nominated founding team has achieved since January 1 2017 (up to 650 words). Describe the impact the team has had on your organization during that time. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.
InfinityQS, the global authority on data-driven manufacturing quality, was founded in 1989 by Michael Lyle and Chris Kearsley. Self-taught leaders in statistical process control and technology development, Lyle and Kearsley built a lasting partnership that forms a ”yin and yang” entrepreneurial dynamic and pushes each to his limit—with unmatched results.
From recognizing the need for a higher level of data collection and analysis in the 1980s to proactively addressing the global needs of customers today, Lyle and Kearsley have repeatedly predicted the future of manufacturing and stayed steps ahead of the industry. Under their direction, InfinityQS has grown to provide innovative technologies to manufacturers of all sizes, including 2,500 of the world’s industry leaders. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., InfinityQS also has offices in Seattle, London, and Beijing.
Recently, Lyle and Kearsley identified a shift in the manufacturing industry—shop floor technology and quality decisions are increasingly being elevated to the corporate level from individual plants. With solid revenue and a strong customer base, the two visionaries could have capitalized on the success of the company’s current, market-leading software and retired comfortably with other top executives. But that’s not who they are. Instead, Lyle and Kearsley believed they had more to offer manufacturers and began a journey to make their vision of enterprise-wide quality a reality that transformed quality from an expense to a profit center.
Without hesitation, the co-founders completely transformed InfinityQS’ corporate strategy to align with this new industry need—product, sales, marketing, and customer service. They doubled down on company efforts, invested millions in a new software-as-a-service product, and built the revolutionary Enact™ Quality Intelligence platform from the ground up.
The award-winning Enact solution is the only native-cloud system on the market to address a top-down corporate strategy for corporate decision-makers and plant-level influencers, as well as enhance user experience on the shop floor. With Enact, managers and quality professionals are equipped with superior visibility to easily compare data across the enterprise, effectively identify opportunities for continuous improvement, and gain a competitive advantage. The first-of-its kind solution was adopted early by several Fortune 1000 manufacturers.
To support Enact’s launch and educate manufacturers on the transformative potential of quality, InfinityQS’ marketing team created a new company brand. Messaging focused on customer pain points, instead of features and functions, and eliminated jargon to make the company more accessible. With this strategy, InfinityQS encourages manufacturers to re-imagine quality as an organizational profit center—not a shop floor problem.
The sales reform also reflected Lyle and Kearsley’s enterprise-wide vision, focusing on pursuing multi-site deployments rather than individual plant sales. The risk paid off with InfinityQS achieving the highest annual software sales in the company’s 30-year history. The sales team now moves 50% of sales qualified leads into the negotiating phase, winning 75%. InfinityQS began 2018 with its largest sales pipeline to date—a 22% increase from the previous year. The company also implemented a channel sales program with potential for exponential growth, bringing Enact to manufacturers in new markets around the world.
To sustain this tremendous increase in clients, InfinityQS’ customer support department re-imagined its support strategy by creating a self-help system designed as a content-rich, online portal with information accessible to users 24/7/365. Customers responded enthusiastically with overall satisfaction increasing to 98% and maintenance renewals to 97%. The portal has also become a valuable corporate resource, enabling staff to find quicker solutions to client issues.
Inspired by Lyle and Kearsley’s customer-first vision, InfinityQS’ application engineering, client solutions engineering, and sales teams all became Six Sigma Green Belt certified. Uniquely equipped with a solid understanding of Six Sigma methodologies, staff can now communicate solutions to industry challenges with prospective clients and help current customers achieve their quality process improvement goals.
Never satisfied with the status quo, Lyle and Kearsley continue to revolutionize the manufacturing industry with unmatched products, unparalleled staff and support, and an ability to unequivocally delight customers again and again.
In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of 201
- More than 50% of leads go into the negotiating phase and 75% of those deals are closed-won.
- Early adoption of Enact by several Fortune 1000 companies.
- Record-breaking software sales (+25.2% year-over-year), best first quarter to date (+26.5% year-over-year), all-time best third quarter (+23.3% year-over-year).
- To date in 2018, software sales are trending 20% higher than 2017 and 83% up over 2016.
- The sales team entered 2018 with its largest sales pipeline ever—a 22% year-over-year increase from 2017
- Closed largest deal ever.
- New support portal increased overall customer satisfaction to 98% and maintenance renewals to 97%.
- Industry Awards:Big Innovation Award – Business Intelligence Group: Enact., Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, Stevie American Business Awards, Annual Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES) Awards, Gold Key Award win for Website Design & Development, ITSMA Awards for Marketing Excellence Diamond Award