Integrity's growth path takes planning

Despite Integrity's rapid growth, the company continues to look ahead to where the market is going.

Integrity Management Consulting was launched in 2006 with just two employees: husband-and-wife team Christopher and Mary Beth Romani. In their first year, they posted revenues of $177,408 from government business. Just five years later, the acquisition and program management services provider based in McLean, Va., boasts 60 employees and last year reported $12.2 million in revenues.

The company is ranked No. 7 on the 2011 Fast 50 with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 188.18 percent.

Lesson learned: Be strategic.

“One thing that has helped us be successful is that we’re always looking one or two years down the road, which you don’t always see with small businesses that are in our size range and in a hyper-growth period,” said Mary Beth Romani, Integrity’s chief strategy officer. “It’s hard to take the time to stop and be strategic, but we’ve made an intentional effort to plan for the future.”

The company recently won its most important contract to date, a multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity vehicle with a $39.9 billion ceiling to furnish ongoing global support for the engineering, technology and program management requirements of the Navy. Under the contract, Integrity will supply services in response to task orders issued by the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Naval Air Systems Command, the Space and Naval Air Systems Command, the Naval Supply Systems Command, the Military Sealift Command, the Naval Facilities Command, the Strategic Systems Programs and the Marine Corps.

President and CEO Christopher Romani said the award “represents a highly significant and strategic milestone in the history of our company.” The contract is “basically our gateway into the Defense Department, specifically the Navy and Marine Corps markets,” he said. “It’s a market we’re very comfortable with [because] we have a lot of in-house experience in those areas.”

Integrity’s first government customer was the Transportation Security Administration. Christopher Romani was a subcontractor — one of seven individuals on a team — to a prime contractor providing acquisition and program management services to TSA. In 2009, Integrity became the prime contractor, winning a blanket purchase agreement award to furnish acquisition and program management support services to TSA. The company currently has three task orders under the contract.

The TSA contract reflects Integrity’s skill at developing “deep customer relationships” that help the company grow, Mary Beth Romani said. “The customers that have worked with us know that our name — Integrity — is more than just a name to us and they feel confident that we will help them meet their mission success — that’s one of our primary goals.”

Indeed, building customer confidence is another essential element in Integrity’s business strategy. “What I hear from customers is that we deliver the best subject-matter experts and we deliver the subject-matter experts we say we’re going to deliver,” Christopher Romani said. “We don’t do bait and switch. If you think you’re going to get a credentialed subject-matter expert with a top clearance, you’re going to get that person on Day One.”

And customers will get that expert fast, when they need it. “When your need is urgent, our response is quick. If you need folks on site within three days, you’ve got it.” 

Another factor in the company’s success is making the right hires, especially when it comes to building its second-line leadership team, or “B team,” as the Romanis call it.

“When we hire that B team underneath us, we’re building for the future,” Mary Beth Romani said.

“When we have leadership team meetings, we’ve got the right people in the right chairs, building the necessary infrastructure for this company to grow,” Christopher Romani said. “We try to stay one step ahead of the infrastructure we need. We go and find people for our leadership team who have the right skill sets. Sometimes they have more experience than us.”

Another strategy for growth is socking earnings back into the company. “We’re not waiting to see what next month’s revenue is going to be,” Mary Beth Romani said. “We’re consistently reinvesting back into the company so we can continue to have the successes we’ve had. You’ve got to demonstrate that you’re confident, even during uncertain times, and that’s paid off very well for us.”

As a result, “our employees feel very confident, our team feels very confident, and our clients feel very confident that we’re going to be there tomorrow and that we’re going to be even stronger and better tomorrow,” she said.

Christopher and Mary Beth Romani said they plan to keep the company on a sustained growth track. “I can’t give you a particular number — X number of dollars in X number of years — but there’s a lot of room to grow,” Christopher Romani said. “Regardless of company size, political climate or the budget battle, if you’re good at what you do and have happy customers, I think you’re well-positioned for success.”

“We know Integrity won’t be a small business forever, not on this growth trajectory,” Mary Beth Romani added.

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