Steve Weiss brings a 30-year background in senior-level leadership and acquisition management experience to his role as executive vice president of government business operations at CACI International.
Weiss also participates in CACI’s mergers and acquisitions program that former CEO Jack London started in 1992 and has since seen the company make 55 purchases, such as its buy of Six3 Systems in late 2013 for $820 million and LTC Engineering Associates earlier this year for an undisclosed sum.
In this conversation with ExecutiveBiz, Weiss overviews CACI’s strategy behind the Six3 and LTC deals and the targeted markets through those acquisitions, how he helps CACI examine potential subcontracting partnerships and what he does as the company’s corporate ombudsman.
ExecutiveBiz: Describe your role and responsibilities at CACI.
Steve Weiss: I am responsible for the management and strategic planning of all our corporate contracts, sub-contracts, procurements and property functions at CACI. I am also involved working with our pricing team and proposal strategy. I spend time leading strategic initiatives regarding negotiation of corporate-wide vendor agreements also known as strategic sourcing, leveraging the buying power of CACI.
We made great strides over the years consolidating corporate-wide agreements and harnessing significant discounts with many of our leading vendors. I also oversee CACI's travel program as well as serve as corporate ombudsman.
ExecutiveBiz: What attributes do you see LTC bringing to CACI?
Steve Weiss: We are excited about the acquisition of LTC. LTC is a highly specialized provider of technical engineering solutions and services in the areas of software engineering, cybersecurity and signals intelligence as well as communications intelligence and digital signals processing. They expand CACI's capabilities in C4ISR, intelligence and cyber markets.
It is a perfect follow on and synergistic to our Six3 acquisition, which was really important to CACI back in November 2013. LTC adds innovative and complementary security and communications capabilities to counter global threats and meet our nation's evolving requirements in national security.
It also continues our highly successful mergers and acquisition program, which we are really proud of and is a key component of our strategic growth plan. The acquisition of LTC positions CACI to deliver innovative and in-demand solutions and services for our customers' highest priorities.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you see the C4ISR market evolving over the next year?
Steve Weiss: It will continue to evolve and be an important focus area for CACI. The demand for C4ISR is growing. It is a large market sector encompassing a wide range of technologies, solutions, customers and skillsets. Current platforms continue to require modification, support and associated services. The demand for modularity and software improvement capabilities is on the rise.
Our customers require highly differentiated products along with the drive to reduce cost. Key focus areas are solutions that generate efficiencies and acquiring new capabilities. Network defense will also grow over the next few years.
Communications networks and the convergence of multi-platform devices are continued hot topics with increased emphasis on the development and integration of the reconnaissance surveillance and target acquisition sensors into air and ground vehicles for enhanced situational awareness, improved threat detection and ultimately a greater decisive edge.
This is the wave of the future. Demand is going to continue to be there and that's why CACI is positioning itself with these key acquisitions.
ExecutiveBiz: What kind of work goes into identifying subcontracting opportunities?
Steve Weiss: That is a huge part of what we do. It has always been important in defense contracting but as we see this greater push for efficiencies and with the realities of reduced budgets and the pursuit of larger new business opportunities, you need a strong and diversified team. However, you just can't pick anybody or everybody.
You need a strategic and disciplined teaming approach. We are looking for partners that fill our gaps and have niche technologies, key personnel and intimate customer relationships. We also strive to work with companies that hold our same values, good character, integrity and ethics. We are looking for teammates that think like us, work like usand who offer great value and solutions to our important customers.
ExecutiveBiz: What responsibilities do you have as the corporate ombudsman?
Steve Weiss: I feel honored to be the corporate ombudsman at CACI because it is a very interesting and special role. It is something that Dr. London started 25 years ago because he knew the great importance of our people and making them feel like they can be heard.
I am the designated neutral third party who can help confidentially resolve workplace disputes or issues. I am a champion of ethical business practices who is deeply committed to growth of employees as well as the whole company.
The role is central to our dedication to CACI's culture of good character, integrity and ethics in all we do. Anyone of our nearly 17,000 people in the corporation can reach out to me as an independent person they can talk to. The only prerequisite is that the employee has attempted to resolve the issue either with their management or human resources rep prior to me engaging, after that I am available to help.
In my ombudsman role, I meet a lot of very interesting people. Sometimes it is counseling, strategizing on a workplace issues or looking for advice on how to work with somebody better. At the end of the day it gives people an excellent outlet to have an independent and objective view of their situation. Our people seem to appreciate this process and it is something great that CACI has available to all employees.
CACI is proud to be a government contractor. We believe in our mission, our customers and our people. At CACI we are always looking for better ways to support our customer's missions and do it as efficiently as possible.