Larry Gwaltney, CEO of Federal Resources, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz for the publication’s latest Executive Spotlight interview to discuss the acquisition of the company by Noble as well as the merging with TSSi to benefit their collective customers with greater access to integrated systems, data analytics and more.
In addition, Gwaltney also discussed the company’s growth strategies and recent contracts awarded to Federal Resources, including spots on a $33 billion DLA SOE contract and another $2 billion contract with DHS.
“We take our lead from our customers and their requirements, and it will be important that Federal Resources continue to move forward in concert with our customers. While I have mentioned our primary technical verticals, I think the same thesis holds true in our tactical, expeditionary, MRO, and soldier- borne systems as well.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight interview with Larry Gwaltney below:
ExecutiveBiz: Since Noble’s acquisition of Federal Resources back in Oct (as well as Noble’s earlier acquisition of TSSi), what do you think have been or will be the greatest benefits for your customers to have greater access to integrated systems, data analytics and other areas to support their particular mission needs?
“Noble acquired TSSi in early 2021, and they acquired Federal Resources in Oct. 2021. I think what we’re bringing to our customers now is really something special. We are going to represent more than 13,000 manufacturers with over a million products. We will be able to offer our customers more than 150 contract vehicles that will provide various buying options that won’t be hindered by contractual scope.
In addition to products and contracts, we’re also bringing a full life-cycle support of training and technical service We have subject matter expertise in highly technical markets such as C5ISR and CBRNE, and we are providing a technology backbone and a proprietary procurement process that will help contracting officers, our suppliers, our logistics partners, and even our internal buyers maximize contracting efficiency.
Once the integration is complete, I think that the integrated sum of the parts of these three organizations is going to be powerful and will be exponentially higher than merely combining the three companies together. We’re very excited about what it means to our customers as well as our vendors and employees.
From a cultural standpoint, TSSi, Noble and Federal Resources come from a common cultural background. There is certainly a common thread that begins with our customers; in particular, we all believe that we’ve got the best customers in the world – our nation’s warfighters and federal, state, and local first responders. The importance of these customers makes it easy to get up in the morning and go to work to support their missions. I think the “customer first” mindset is something that was always top of mind for FR and certainly seems to be a cultural similarity between Noble and TSSi.
Now, we have the opportunity to have a global footprint, which will be great for both our customers and the new organization as a whole. Our customers will be gaining access to a greater product portfolio, with logistics support around the world. Previously, Federal Resources focused on CBRNE, C5, and MRO markets. The new company will have access to expeditionary and tactical equipment, clothing, and medical kits, aerospace support, as well as a stronger logistics channels and supply chain.
All-in-all, the integrated FR, TSSi, and Noble will allow us to become a one-stop-shop for our customers, while offering leading procurement technology, the added value of full mission/life-cycle support and continued technical expertise for new equipment evaluations and integration.”
ExecutiveBiz: A little over a year ago, Federal Resources secured a $33B DLA Special Operational Equipment contract to support military equipment services. What can you tell us about the biggest needs and challenges that are facing service branches and government agencies to identify technology and procurement solutions?
“The DLA contract for Special Operational Equipment is a ten-year, $33 billion multi-award IDIQ contract. The scope of the contract is quite broad, and the greatest aspect of the contract is its rapid timeline for acquisition, which in our experience has routinely been around 30 days from solicitation to award.
I think that the SOE contract is a great tool for our customers among various contract vehicles we prime. We were thrilled to be on the last generation of the SOE contract, and we’re honored to have been re-awarded that contract by DLA.
The new company is bringing to our customers more products that can be procured under the SOE contract and bringing more customers to the contract for future procurements. The DLA is a powerful contracting organization, with around 20 contracting officers, and is a great partner for us.
DLA is focused on supporting both the end customer as well as the customer’s contracting shop. The customer’s contracting officers have a lot on their plate, and the rapid execution DLA brings with the SOE contract is a great benefit to the customer and its contracting officers. The contract is available for use by not only the Department of Defense but also other federal government organizations and interagency partners.
In addition to rapid procurement, our customers are looking for that next-generation, cutting-edge equipment to meet their operational requirements – whether that’s in communications, computing, cyber, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, chemical, biological, radiological, explosive, etc. – they want to know that they have the best equipment to bring to the fight.
As we look today into the next generation, we need to be able to talk to our customers about the interoperability of sensors, surveillance, and communications equipment on a common platform. After that, we need to be able to address how commanders turn all of that data into actionable information – to separate the melody from the noise. The amount of data that’s generated today compared to when I was an active-duty officer is astounding.
For the modern-day warfighter, information is available from many more systems, including electronic feeds, unmanned systems and static or mobile sensors. The ability to have that raw data turned into actionable information is something that our customers will need to have.
You need to have a platform that is interchangeable and can serve as a surveillance platform one day, a sensor platform another day, and serve as a communications platform on the move. I think those are the types of things that our customers are really paying attention to and that we are positioned to help them develop.”
ExecutiveBiz: In addition, Federal Resources also won a spot on a $2B DHS contract for COVID testing back in 2020. How has the current pandemic altered the response and delivery of personal protective equipment as well as training and other aspects for our warfighters, and the federal workforce?
“The word I would continue to use to describe the situation on the ground is ‘dynamic.’ In two years, we’ve gone from the initial response of a stay home order to the environment we’re in today of adapting to the ever-changing pandemic.
As it related to this multi-award IDIQ contract, I think the DHS did an outstanding job of looking forward when they put the contract out for bid in 2020, given what we see today as the importance of availability of COVID testing. While we’ve had success under the contract, as DHS fully comes back to work, I think we will see more usage of that contract. We’ve seen it used on broader issues related to border access and control and some other aspects of DHS’s mission. While it was a very forward-looking contract at the time of award, I think it’s still developing to meet current testing protocols and requirements.
As it relates to protective equipment on a larger scale, we were blessed to be awarded a number of contracts to supply PPE back in 2020, such as the contract to provide PPE kits to 15,000 nursing homes across the nation. We had to work through product availability at the outset of the pandemic, with demand outpacing supply.
More recently, we have had to deal with supply chain and logistics issues; but at the same time, we have more domestic sources for PPE than ever. I think the administration has worked to support the domestic manufacturing base and has ensured that we’re prepared to continue to respond to this pandemic.
I think we’ve been fortunate to develop great relationships with manufacturers, logisticians, shippers, and these partners have helped us navigate the dynamic PPE situation. So, Federal Resources was not only fortunate to be on the front edge, when the pandemic was an emergent issue, but also in continuing to work towards a steadier state.
We have also seen the pandemic bring a heightened interest in the biological aspect of “CBRNE,” and at the moment, we are responding to this heightened interest. We’re helping our customers more closely consider biological threats. For example, we have added biological detection equipment to our product portfolio, and we have a new training offering called ‘BioIQ’ to help first responders with biological threats.
We’ve always had best-in-class CBRNE training on all-hazards response, but we’ve strengthened our biological threat training offering to go along with our classes chemical, radiological, explosives and other hazards.”
ExecutiveBiz: With 2022 currently underway, how would you describe your growth strategy and what do you hope to accomplish in the year to come for Federal Resources? Any new market opportunities you have your eye on?
“As discussed, there’s the bio aspect of CBRNE that will continue to be a part of what we do here at Federal Resources, along with technical refresh of equipment within programs of record in which we have been involved. In addition, C5 is a significant growth area for us. I believe that our C5 market will become the future hub for all that we do.
The earlier discussion about interoperability and developing a common operating picture all leads back to our C5 sales vertical. Through the computing process and advanced learning, commanders will be able to develop actionable information from the various available platforms – manned or unmanned, static or mobile. That’s where we want to be. I think it’s going to show a great intersection between all the markets we support.
Even for the commercial-off-the-shelf- equipment we sell, I think that everything is going to run through our C5 vertical in some form or fashion. Our customers will need to get that interoperability and connection of their equipment to other systems.
As a result, we will be very focused on trying to integrate COTs equipment and producing kitted solutions for our customers. We can combine multiple technologies to help identify and verify data and bring everything together under one common operating system. I think that will be very powerful.
We take our lead from our customers and their requirements, and it will be important that Federal Resources continue to move forward in concert with our customers. While I have mentioned our primary technical verticals, I think the same thesis holds true in our tactical, expeditionary, MRO, and soldier- borne systems as well.
Interconnectivity and analysis of interconnected data provides a lot of ground to cover and anticipated growth across our business. It’s an exciting time for growth for Federal Resources and being integrated with Noble will allow us to cover even more ground, more quickly.”