Bill Hoover explains American Systems' road to success

The CEO of American Systems talks about his strategy that has moved the company from being mostly a subcontractor to becoming a prime player.

For Bill Hoover, there is no shortcut to success in the federal market. Five years ago, he became president and chief executive officer of American Systems Corp. The company was a solid teammate for many prime contractors. But Hoover set the company’s sights on becoming a prime contractor itself, and in 2009, American Systems reached a 50/50 split between prime and subcontracting work. In one quarter of 2009, the company booked more business than it had in an entire year in its 35-year history.

Hoover spoke recently with Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman about the company’s strategy and where it is going next.

Q: How is the company different today?

Hoover: We are more aggressive in looking for opportunities to prime, and we are very focused on national priorities. These are things that enable the president to make this nation safe: C4ISR, readiness, national security, intelligence, acquisition, logistics and citizen safety.

We’re now structured around our core competencies: consulting, professional and IT services, custom solutions, human capital, managed services, and design and installation services.

We also installed a professional business development organization focused on vertical markets, and in January, we made Peter Smith our chief operating officer, which combines delivery and business development under one person.

Q: How is adding a chief operating officer helping the company?

Hoover: It enables us to have a seamless approach to the market. Peter has been with the company 30 years and has exceptional knowledge of the business.

It is actually the first time in my career where I haven’t been directly responsible for both delivery and business development. That’s a change for me.

It gives me an opportunity to take on broader external activities with industry partners and customers.

Q: How are those changes paying off for the company?

Hoover: When you put in a professional business development system, it takes three years to really get it engaged. You have to get out in front of the opportunities. In 2007, we hired our first BD professionals. The pipeline started to grow in 2008, and we submitted some significant new business proposals. Then in 2009, we started to get results. We had 13 percent growth. We booked close to $400 million in new business opportunities.

We finished 2009 with $230 million in revenue, and we expect 2010 to finish in the $250 million to $260 million range.

We were a large small business five years ago. Today, we are a small large business, and we have no problem taking on the big boys and girls of the marketplace.

Q: What do you see driving growth going forward?

Hoover: We have a lot of organizational confidence because we look at our indicators, our pipeline of opportunities, the qualified pipeline and the proposals submitted. Indicators are not results, but they do indicate something. If they are positive, there is reason to believe the results are going to be positive.

In 2007, we began to build the indicators. In 2008, we were still building but didn’t have the results yet. In 2009, we got the results, and the indicators remained strong.

In 2010, the indicators are even stronger, which means we can project continued growth in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The employees understand this because they recognize [that] as they win new contracts it creates new opportunities for them.

Q: Can you elaborate on how a company gains organizational confidence?

Hoover: It’s like putting a baseball team together. Everyone knows what they are supposed to do, but you practice and play a game. You lose, maybe lose badly. You practice hard and still lose. You practice hard some more and lose again, but maybe it’s a little closer. Then you practice hard and win, and then practice hard again and win again.

All of a sudden, the ability of the team and the confidence of the team and the trust each individual has in the other members of the team go up.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.