Jennifer Felix, president and chief executive officer with ASRC Federal, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the company's recent rebranding effort. The rebranding initiative, which launched nearly five months after Felix took the helm in her new role, highlights corporate legacy and heritage through capability-driven messaging.
During her interview, Felix discussed how the company's offerings have evolved, the new focal points of the company, how COVID-19 has impacted the workforce and how she has worked to recruit and retain talent in the field.
ExecutiveBiz: What initiated ASRC Federal's rebranding?
“Our original brand was created almost 20 years ago. Since then, we have grown and evolved. We realized it was time for a refreshed brand that better represents who we are today and at the same time, continues to honor our legacy and heritage.
It was just part of our natural evolution. We began working on it prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, we didn’t want to roll it out right as the pandemic started. However, as the pandemic continued we decided it was important to move forward, just as everyone is trying to do at this point.
Our new brand reflects who we are, who we aspire to be as a company and how we deliver our services to customers: with quality, passion, focus and humility. We feel that it really represents a continued focus on delivering to our customers, with our culture and employees at the core of our success.
We strive to elevate our customer’s mission performance. That's the goal from a brand perspective. Our focus is the same since prior to the brand launch. However, we recently updated our strategy, so from a timing perspective, it really came together well.
We want to be aligned as a team and we refined our overall approach, including greater cross collaboration across our company with respect to new methodologies and technology best practices.“
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the major challenges you help your customers solve?
“The pace of change from a technology perspective continues to be a critical focus area, including IT modernization, software development and using agile methodologies. Those are all key areas that we support our customers. The transition to the cloud is also a huge area of focus. Our brand really reflects our enduring commitment to our customers, employees and shareholders, and we will continue to evolve and deliver on our commitments.“
ExecutiveBiz: How will you continue to drive growth throughout the company?
“A critical area of focus is the development of our people, ensuring they are connected and have opportunities to learn and grow their skills. We strive to enable continued growth and advancement, which is a key part of attracting and retaining talent and we’ve rolled out programs to do that.
In addition, we’ve really refined how we look at technology so that we’re sharing best practices across the company. We have created communities of practice so that our employees that work across our family of companies are able to collaborate and learn from one another.
Our brand continues to highlight our people, our culture and our heritage, which I believe is unique in the market. That's very important to us. We want new recruits to meet our team, and there's an area on our webpage where they can find videos and information to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to work for ASRC Federal.
In addition, our strong mission focus for our customers and our shareholders resonates with candidates who are equally mission focused.
We also offer every employee the opportunity to continue their education. We've also developed a relationship with learning organizations where employees can go online and get certifications, and we provide for program management certifications.
We encourage development in a variety of knowledge areas to reach the breadth of support for our employees and their growth.“
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the challenges involved in retaining knowledge and training within government contracting (GovCon)?
“One of the challenges that our industry has had in the past is the competition with commercial companies. Commercial companies have enabled employees to work remotely, much more than you would typically see in government and contracting.
That was always a bit of a challenge, but that’s changed by necessity most recently. The mission of our country and our customers I hope will draw more technical talent to the industry .“
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the key aspects of ASRC Federal's culture?
“One of our key values that I think is very important is humility. I do think it’s a differentiator. With a lot of larger corporations, you may not find that as much, but that is a strong focus of ours that we reinforce.
In order to make progress, you have to remain humble. You have to realize that you can always do better. That's one of the areas where, as we are communicating our new brand to employees, we will refocus because it's important to our values.“
ExecutiveBiz: How has your role shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
“My emphasis has been more on compassion. I recognize the environment that we’re living in right now and compassion for one another is essential. Focus is also critical. I’m really proud of how our employees have done with respect to staying very attentive and continuing to support our customers.
From a leadership perspective, we have to communicate our goals and our mission, as well as understand where there are challenges, so that we can keep moving forward. I work hard to connect with the organization in this environment.“
ExecutiveBiz: Where do you see ASRC Federal moving toward in the future?
“We’ve really looked at our core offerings across the organization. We’ve taken an inventory of that to understand where we are excelling and what we do well. We've expanded on delivering those capabilities. I project continued growth within those capability sets.
As an example, software development and mission software engineering represent about 30 percent of the revenue for our collective companies. That's an area where we have a center of excellence, to develop and share that knowledge and best practices across the enterprise and across the customer base, and where we can continue to expand based upon market needs.“
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