Q&A: Applications2U CEO on firm being named among fastest-growing companies in Pittsburgh
Each year, the Pittsburgh Business Times ranks the area’s fastest-growing, privately held companies. Applications2U (A2U) is among the top 100 firms in 2016 that had the largest growth over the past three years. In the Q&A below, Dan Dillman, president and CEO speaks to the company’s high-growth strategy and what lies ahead for A2U.
“Since 2013, we have grown from three to 35 employees, achieved 276 percent year-over-year revenue growth and grew partners by 16 percent. This explosive growth required us to expand from a 2,700 square foot office space to a 6,900 square foot office space this year,” said Dan Dillman, president and CEO, Applications2U.
Q: What caused the company to grow so rapidly between 2013 and 2015?
A: Our success is no accident – it comes down to two things:
First, our trusted advisor approach. That means, we aren’t driven by selling new products – we’re focused on finding solutions. A2U is not a company that will try to sell you something that you don’t need just because it’s new or looks “cool.” We’ve earned a reputation as an honest, trusted advisor and that word-of-mouth marketing has been a huge factor in our continued success. Happy customers turn into walking billboards – and that’s put us ahead of the pack.
Secondly, we have the best technical, talent around. Our staff is made up of top-tier experts when it comes to IT solutions. Bottom line, we only hire “All-star” players.
Q: What is one key strategy you adopted during this time that helped enable this growth?
A: This goes back to finding, hiring and retaining the best, technical talent. Hands down, that’s been a winning strategic move behind our fast growth. Our customers don’t have to worry about the “bait and switch” show – because we do our due diligence, putting in the time during our intense interview process with candidates to ensure we are bringing the best and the brightest players to the A2U team.
Q: What’s been your biggest challenge?
A: We’re adding people almost weekly and it’s easy to get lost in that fast-moving current. The challenge is balancing all the training and on-boarding time that’s required with meeting the demands of new and existing customers.
Q: What opportunities do you see for the company in the future?
A: We are excited to expand into new verticals and territories and identify what areas we can further create efficiencies for through innovative, technology solutions. It’s all about improving the end-user experience – we’re going to stay laser-focused on that as we engineer new technologies.
Q: As you look ahead to the next three years, what’s on your mind?
A: As we continue to grow, we have to make sure that we’re planning even more strategically and putting the right processes in place. We can’t act like a startup and shoot from the hip. It’s important that we focus on what customers need today and plan for what customers will need tomorrow.
I’m constantly reminded that our business isn’t always about breakthrough innovation, it’s about flawless execution – we’re really good at getting the job done. And, I want to make sure we stay good at that three, five, 10+ years from now.
The Pittsburgh Business Times will honor all of the winners who made the “2016 Fastest Growing Companies” list on August 18th.