No. 19: For SRA, the profit is in its people

SRA International Inc.

Prime IT contracting revenue: $738.5 million

Location: Fairfax, Va.

Leader: Renato DiPentima, president and CEO

Employees: 4,900

URL: www.sra.com

2005 revenue: $881.8 million

2005 net earnings: $57.7 million

2004 revenue: $615.8 million

2004 net earnings: $38.9 million

Renato DiPentima, SRA's president and CEO, foreground, and Stephen C. Hughes, executive vice president and CFO

Rick Steele

The numbers say it all: 2005 federal IT spending increased slightly from fiscal 2004, but during that same time, federal systems integrator SRA International Inc. posted a 43 percent increase in revenue and a 48 percent rise in net income.

With 95 percent of its business coming from the federal government, SRA is grabbing market share at other integrators' expense and earning its first appearance in the Top 20 of the Top 100 list. SRA is at No. 19 with $738.5 million in prime IT contract dollars.

SRA unseated incumbents for many of its wins, and about 90 percent of its revenue has come as a prime contractor.

The company's steady climb is a result of nothing more than basic, but well-executed, blocking and tackling, said Renato DiPentima, SRA's president and CEO.

Those moves include building and following through on proposal opportunities, which grew by almost 100 percent in 2005. That was done through significant investment in new business development staff, he said.

SRA also focused on hiring and keeping the right people. DiPentima, former CIO of the Social Security Administration, is just one of several SRA executives who joined the company after careers in government.

Acquisitions are another well-considered strategy. SRA in recent years has acquired Galaxy Scientific Corp., Spectrum Solutions Group Inc. and Touchstone Consulting Group Inc., DiPentima said.

"Strategic acquisitions to us are the secret sauce rather than the main ingredients," he said. "We're not a rollup company. We try to fill in critical pieces to our business."

SRA's core strength is in business process transformation and in helping customers analyze enormous amounts of data, he said. About half of its federal business comes from defense, 20 percent from homeland security and 30 percent from civilian agencies.

A focus on the customer, honesty in service and high ethical behavior may sound like post-Enron hype, but they're the foundation that has carried SRA through 28 years, DiPentima said.

"This takes a leap of faith," he said, "but we don't manage by numbers. We manage by taking care of customers and taking care of our people, on the belief that if you do that, the numbers show up."

They showed up big time last year. Wins include:

» A $350 million, multiple-award National Exercise Program Support indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for the Homeland Security Department

» Federal Aviation Administration Enterprise Service Center's Financial Management Line of Business Center of Excellence, at a maximum $97 million

» Re-win of a $108.5 million Military Sealift Command contract for IT services.

Today, SRA is tracking 32 projects worth more than $100 million.

"We're extending our reach, going after tougher contracts," DiPentima said. "Where traditionally we'll win 70 percent" of those pursued, "now we'll win 40 percent, but of bigger contracts."

The strategies that have brought SRA this far will continue, DiPentima said.

"Our goal has always been to grow at about 15 percent to 20 percent organically each year and five to 10 percent through acquisitions," he said.

Additional 2006 Top 100 Profiles
  • No. 1: 12 times the fun for Lockheed

  • No. 2: Northrop takes aim on health IT

  • No. 3: SAIC prepares for public debut

  • No. 4: Revving the acquisition engine

  • No. 5: CSC holds a lure for a buyer

  • No. 6: Raytheon works the system

  • No. 7: L-3 cuts bigger slice of govt pie

  • No. 8: For EDS, steady as she goes

  • No. 9: Booz Allen adapts to stay on top

  • No. 10: Dell solutions get superpowered

  • No. 11: BAE keeps acquisition fires burning

  • No. 12: Despite sale, Anteon's vision lives on

  • No. 13: Intelligence work fuels CACI's growth

  • No. 14: Verizon-MCI combination packs a punch

  • No. 15: Restructured IDS lets Boeing help clients

  • No. 16: ITT Industries aims for the sweet spot

  • No. 17: IBM Corp. steps up as a subcontractor

  • No. 18: Sprint Nextel goes for convergence

  • No. 19: For SRA, the profit is in its people

  • No. 20: It's always mission possible for Unisys

  • Overview: The Billion-Dollar Club

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