Matt Carroll helped launch Fluor‘s secure services business line in the global engineering contractor’s government group in January 2012 and holds the title of vice president.
The 12-year Marine Corps veteran joined Fluor in 2003 and has held leadership roles for the government group’s business development group and accounts in markets such as Navy-Marine Corps, the Department of Homeland Security, NASA and intelligence.
Carroll caught up with ExecutiveBiz for this in-depth conversation below to discuss the business line’s launch, market areas it focuses on and his perspective on use of design-build for construction and infrastructure projects in the public sector.
ExecutiveBiz: Describe the organization you lead and the markets it focuses on.
Matt Carroll: Fluor is one of the world's largest engineering and construction companies. We work in energy, infrastructure, mining and metals, commercial power, industrial services and government. We are more than 100 years old and have offices in 60 countries.
My business resides within Fluor's government group, which provides services to U.S. and international clients. The secure services business offers design-build and operations and maintenance of facilities and infrastructure for intelligence agencies and organizations.
ExecutiveBiz: What two areas of the business have you focused on over the past year?
Matt Carroll: The business was established in January 2012. Initially we were focused on four agencies. Now, at the three and a half year mark, we are expanding into other elements within the IC. With several key successes under our belt,we are ready to branch out with service offerings that will be attractive to other parts of the community, as well as to related entities within the Defense Department.
ExecutiveBiz: What trend in design-build do you view as the most prominent right now?
Matt Carroll: We are seeing a reversal in agencies' application of design-build approaches in infrastructure construction. Eighteen months ago we acquired a company that has been in the ICdesign-build arena for over 20 years. They would tell you that the area has changed dramatically and projects used to be almost all design-build, but not today.
ExecutiveBiz: How is Fluor responding to that trend?
Matt Carroll: We're working with clients to better appreciate the benefits achieved through design-build. Due to budget constraints, clients seem to be leaning more toward low-price, technically-acceptable approaches right now. Theoretically, it makes sense. If clients can get a 100-percent design, they can go out and get a low-price offering that meets requirements.
However, my experience is that design-build is typically faster and it better delivers the desired solution. With a design-build approach, clients get a solid price and much more confidence that the project will be completed on time and on budget.
With LPTA, there is a risk that bids focused on price rather than client objectives will result in change orders that may drive up costs. We prefer to partner with clients early in the process regarding their needs and work together with them on a solution that delivers in terms of both price and requirements. Mission assurance is our clients' top priority and the design-build model provides a stronger probability of achieving that.
ExecutiveBiz: Where can government and industry collaborate closer on infrastructure initiatives?
Matt Carroll: Closer collaboration between clients and contractors such as Fluor will lead to better outcomes on infrastructure projects. Our industry talks a lot about partnering, but I think there's still work to be done on what a true partnership model looks like. Building trust and ensuring we have clear lines of communication are only starting points.
We also must understand what is driving behaviors and together figure out win-win solutions. When both the client and the industry partner are vested in the success of the other, we start to have real partnerships. That leads to a better understanding of requirements and allows for an open dialog on innovative problem solving and options.
The result will be a project delivered in a much more efficient and cost effective way, which should be the goal of every initiative.