Chantilly, Va.-based AMERICAN SYSTEMS had an active 2016 with key events that included a major fifth-generation fighter jet testing services contract win and new health information technology services offerings for agencies — two key areas of growth for the government services contractor.
Joe Kopfman, a four-decade company veteran, is one of the key leaders over those endeavors in his dual roles of executive vice president of contracts and administration, plus chief compliance officer.
Kopfman recently spoke to ExecutiveBiz for this in-depth conversation on the company’s plans for this year through its status as an employee-owned contractor, strategies for the health IT and human capital services markets and how GovCon observers should watch for changes in how agencies buy technologies.
ExecutiveBiz: Which areas of the business are you prioritizing for this year?
Joe Kopfman: As an ESOP company, growth opportunities that flow to all of our employee-owners. We will be prioritizing growth through business development activities and our M&A program. Our business development activity will focus on large prime opportunities that benefit from the application of our strategic solutions pairing the best we have to offer with cost-effective execution to solve the difficult problems facing our customers.
Our M&A activity will focus on increasing our depth of capability and the range of customers we serve.
Just behind growth is recruiting and retention. We are excited about the work we do on national priority programs and we want to ensure that the people who appreciate the challenges and rewards of working on programs that make a difference are aware of who we are and what we do. Once they are here, we want to work with them to advance their careers and be a part of our long-term growth.
ExecutiveBiz: What growth opportunities have arisen from the company’s fighter jet test support contract awarded in June?
Joe Kopfman: That was a recompete of a contract we acquired in our November 2012 acquisition of SAIC’s testing business. It was essential for us to win this to demonstrate that we had successfully managed the transition and integration of that business, maintaining a high level of performance and customer relationships.
Work on operational testing of fifth-generation fighters for AFOTEC’s Joint Operational Test Team has provided many other growth opportunities. AFOTEC is a key customer of ours and the F-35 program is one of the largest-ever DoD acquisition programs, so our successful performance alone on this contract allows us to bid on other OT programs.
ExecutiveBiz: Which areas of health IT does the company view for potential expansion?
Joe Kopfman: As a top 10 contractor in the defense health market, we support two of the three Defense Health Agency Government Approved Labs as a prime contractor. Through these contracts, we support DHA’s principal legacy systems as well as newly modernized systems through PEO Defense Health Management Systems.
As experts in operational medicine, we support tactical medical training overseas and we support modernization efforts related to the Joint Operational Medicine Information Systems. Given our current incumbency and new contracting agreements between GSA and DHA, we see operational medicine as our primary area for expansion in health IT.
ExecutiveBiz: Where in human capital services is the company looking to work closer with agencies?
Joe Kopfman: We have delivered leadership training, executive coaching, and organizational development to a number of agencies such as DHS, OPM, DIA, and the Navy. We were recently awarded a prime contract – Human Capital and Training Solutions Pool 2 from the Office of Personnel Management and General Services Administration.
OPM and GSA partnered to jointly award and administer this new strategically-sourced contract vehicle. Under this contract, our focus is to provide customized training and development services, customized human capital strategy services, and customized organizational performance improvement services to all federal agencies.
ExecutiveBiz: Where in government services should we watch closer for change?
Joe Kopfman: The convergence of technology and services and corresponding change in government buying strategies. This convergence means the traditional lines that separate the professional services and technology sectors are being erased and this provides opportunity.
Cloud computing is an excellent example of this convergence, and our recent win under GSA Alliant in support of the Security Cooperation Enterprise Solution bolstered our position in this area. Under this program we provide enterprise IT services that include application hosting, end-user services, network and systems administration and cybersecurity to include risk management framework and continuous monitoring to support our cloud infrastructure.