KBR Iraq win opens future opportunities

Firm relies on teamwork, proximity for war-zone win

As the incumbent supporting the Convoy Support Center at Camp Adder in Iraq, KBR Inc. found itself in an enviable spot when the Army Corps of Engineers’s Transatlantic Programs Center sought out proposals for the next phase of the project.

However, Ann Reese, capture manager for KBR’s effort, was taking no chances and commenced a no-holds-barred proposal process.

With more than 22 years of experience in construction and contract management, Reese followed her proven approach, which includes a commitment to teamwork and sharing information across functional lines. She also emphasized a fact that Army Corps of Engineers officials couldn’t ignore: KBR had people and equipment already in place, a reality that would save them precious time, money and effort.

In January, KBR won the $35.4 million contract, which calls for the Houston-based contractor to design and construct a power plant, electrical distribution center, water purification and distribution system, waste water collection system, associated information systems, and paved roads.

As of late September, the project was more than 20 percent complete and on schedule for completion by March 2010.

Michael Starke, senior manager of business development at KBR Government and Infrastructure, said KBR initially went after the first phase of the Convoy Support Center because it was a perfect fit for the company’s core competency of providing engineering, procurement and construction support in remote, austere and hostile environments.

KBR is well known for its work on a number of design and construction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, the Army Corps of Engineers had clear requirements for the second phase of its Convoy Support Center, most notably a tight timeline. Starke said a key to KBR’s win was the team’s decision to emphasize its track record of meeting deadlines when it structured its proposal. The company highlighted its capacity for rapid mobilization of personnel, equipment and materials to the site, along with the fact that the majority of the project management team was already on location at Camp Adder. KBR also had the necessary civil works and building construction equipment and an operational concrete batch plant on-site.

However, one of the most critical decisions was selecting vendors, major suppliers and principal subcontractors. KBR picked teammates it had worked with on the first part of the project. “Their selections were designed to bolster client confidence in our team’s ability to successfully work together and complete the project on time and within budget,” Starke said.

He added that KBR also excelled by successfully identifying and mitigating security risks in the proposed effort.

Starke said the win has significance for KBR’s future proposal efforts and long-term strategic goals. “It further solidified our position at Camp Adder and positioned KBR for future follow-on design and construction opportunities at the location,” he said. “Long term, it extends our reach in providing quality support services to an important client and demonstrates our commitment to support their critical wartime mission requirements in a time of significant need.”

About the Author

Heather Hayes is a freelance writer based in Clifford, Va.

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