Recently, this contracts and procurements leader for CACI led an internal company demo, alongside colleague Steve Weiss on what’s ahead for the company: a new and improved contract management system.
It’s an idea whose time has come. Especially now, as the government ramps up self-reporting requirements. CACI’s new contract management system addresses this new environment through one overarching approach: information flow among core business systems, aided by common terms and definitions across the board.
For Drewer, CACI senior vice president of contracts and procurement, the approach spells greater efficiency. And more timely response.
“We’ll be able to feed information from system to system,” says Drewer. “That will make it a lot easier when we do have to report to the government.”
For government contractors, CACI’s move to bring various systems under one roof is worth watching, and taking a cue from. Especially as the company continues its ascent; it’s grown from $1.6 billion to $3 billion over the last four years. To further growth, preliminary work on the contract management system continues, from data migrations to prototype design and development.
“We’re calling it the ‘Contract Enterprise System,’” says Drewer. “It’s a Deltek product,” she adds, “which will be good because that’s what we’re currently using on our BD side … it will be easy to integrate with our other systems.”
Additional growth measures
Beyond technical advances, Drewer and Weiss, who serves as CACI’s executive vice president of government business operations, are focused on another critical front: fostering ties with government contracting officers. It starts with understanding.
“There’s a lot of pressure on contracting officers nowadays to make sure it’s a squeaky clean process and they’re not going into an award with a possible conflict in place,” says Drewer, who leads about 175 contracts and procurement professionals alongside Weiss.
“One of the things Lora and I try to do, as well as our staff, is build trust with our customers, including our contracting officer base, so when issues come up, we can deal with them quickly and effectively,” adds Weiss.
Part of fostering that understanding comes through CACI Virtual University, a web-based portal that offers over 3,000 courses. Topics covered include top issues of the day: organizational conflict of interest (OCI), as well as compliance with contractual and programmatic requirements.
Participation in online courses is tied to a professional advancement. On the procurement side, Drewer’s team is linking career hierarchy to a training matrix. “So our employees will be able to see what they have to do to get to the next level,” says Drewer.
Advisors to the line
Another area of focus is integration. On a human level.
“We want our teams to work together — the program management teams, contract teams, the pricing teams,” says Weiss. “We want these teams to be more seamless and integrated.”
A step in that direction is outlining goals. “We really encourage our employees to be more than contracting and procurement technical specialists and be business advisors to the line,” says Drewer.
Toward that end, staff is closely aligned with business groups. “Each business group has a certain core set of contracts and procurement individuals with whom they work together on a daily basis,” says Drewer.
Next up: $5 billion in revenue
Looking ahead, Weiss and Drewer have their an eye on the next goal: helping CACI reach the $5 billion mark.
“We’re positioning ourselves to grow to about $5 billion and beyond,” says Weiss.
Reaching that point takes continued focus.
“You have to continue to protect your base of business, strategically look at new opportunities to go after, build relationships, and then bring people in to support that — that’s what we’re all about, setting down a foundation where we can leverage and grow people,” says Weiss.
“From my perspective,” adds Drewer, “it’s about staying in sync with the vision of the company and the challenges that we’re facing on the line side … we are a support organization, so it’s very important that we’re there for internal clients just as much as we’re there for our government customers.”
And not just support after-the-fact. Support, now. In real time. That’s what makes CACI’s upcoming contract management system worth watching on an industry-wide level. Stay tuned.