Steve Kelley is helping to make sure of that. This past December, Kelley, a 36-plus year veteran of strategic business development work within government contracting, was tapped director of business development for Fulcrum IT’s Tidewater/Hampton Roads region — the largest military operation in the world outside of the Pentagon.
“I was excited about the opportunity to grow the business from an engineering services point of view, which is my forte in the DoD market space,” says Kelley, whose work includes partnership with Navy, Air Force, Joint Forces Command, Coast Guard and Army customers.
Doing more — without more
It’s to the DoD customer base that Kelley is delivering the message: Fulcrum IT stands ready to “do more without more,” as Ash Carter, the DoD’s under secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, has put it.
Kelley himself speaks to that reality on the ground. “Money is tight,” he says. “The Department of Defense in general, the component commands — most customers and agencies — are going through consolidations of one kind or another where they are combining various different groups into one for efficiencies.”
Less money, and lower number of customers, spell a tougher market for strategic business development and new customer capture. But Kelley is unfazed. He seems pretty optimistic, in fact.
“To me, everything is an opportunity — the sky’s the limit,” says Kelley. “The consolidation of some of the service components and various commands into one gives companies like ours more opportunity, not less,” says Kelley, citing the push toward large umbrella contracts, as well as multiple awards, that break through the often immovable network of incumbent contracts of years past.
With opportunity comes increased focus, by necessity. “Now more than ever, we also have to be real selective about which opportunities to go after,” says Kelley. “Fulcrum is a very focused company,” he adds. “We are focused on five areas of business, mainly in the southeastern region, so we’re not trying to be a panacea to everyone.”
So far, that heightened self-selection is paying off. Recently, Fulcrum IT was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the Washington, DC region.
“The fact that our customers are renewing our contracts — and we’re winning recompete business — is an indicator that we’re doing a good job and that we’re pricing our offerings correctly,” says Kelley.
Those offerings center on cybersecurity (information assurance, information operations, vulnerability analysis), which is one of the company’s fastest-growing operations. Additional offerings include data management (data at rest, data in motion, data storage, data protection, database design, and data warehousing.) Fulcrum also offers enterprise services, intelligence analysis services, as well as IT support and applications software development.
Fulcrum’s intellectual capital
Kelley never loses sight on who’s behind Fulcrum IT’s innovation — the company’s own intellectual capital, its people.
“The business development guys going into meetings, and doing strategic planning, are totally naked if they don’t have people who are working for the company out there coming up with innovative solutions for our clients — and delivering under cost and on time,” says Kelley.
To heighten that sense of perspective, Kelley helps lead weekly business development meetings, in which program managers participate from time to time. “We have a couple of program managers here locally [Tidewater/Hampton Roads] whom I meet with on a regular basis and try to foster a sense of community with the customers we have here in the area,” says Kelley.
In 2011, the company is forecasting continued strong double-digit organic growth. “Internal investment in our key service offerings will ensure the capabilities stay aligned with client requirements and leading edge solutions,” says Kelley. “With our new partner Boyne Capital, Fulcrum’s growth strategy also includes acquisitions to accelerate expansion of customers and technical solutions in the DoD space … we are poised to have an outstanding year in 2011.”