5-point strategy drives CACI's double-digit growth

CACI integrates new executives into a tradition that has been bringing strong growth during a tough time in the market.

New leaders installed as part of a carefully implemented succession plan at CACI International have a lot to live up to: years of record growth.

The Arlington, Va.-based company followed a revenue increase of 14.2 percent from fiscal 2009 to 2010 with growth of 13.6 percent from 2010 to 2011. Headcount has grown by 900 in the past 12 months.

It’s enough to place CACI, celebrating its 50th year in business in 2012, at No. 14 on Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, with $2.5 billion in prime contract revenue in fiscal 2011.

Major wins include a $91 blanket purchase order to provide a Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) system for the Veterans Affairs Department to consolidate the medical records of Armed Forces members in an electronic database, as well as a companion contract at the Defense Department.

“That was remarkable for us because we have come from nowhere in the health care IT field and vaulted into a lead position,” said CACI CEO Paul Cofoni. “Innovation in our proposal was the key thing.”

Other notable awards include a $75 million contract from the Defense Business Transformation Agency to support the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command's Virtual Interactive Processing System (VIPS), a virtual screening system for potential recruits.

Driving all that success is CACI’s ability to execute on five key strategies,  Cofoni said. First is focusing on areas most resilient in the face of budget cuts, including defense intelligence, homeland security and government transformation. Second is a five-year-old operations excellence program that includes defined processes to assure CACI is meeting contract objectives.

“You might think these are normal things, but clients tell us we are the only company they know who does this,” Cofoni said.

Third is an innovation program, including a fund to capitalize great ideas. “This has become an increasing success factor in proposals and day-to-day delivery,” Cofoni said. Agility and a high-integrity, high-ethics culture round out the list.

“CACI has been the best operator in a very tough environment,” said Alex Hamilton, managing director at EarlyBirdCapital. “They’re well-diversified in the faster-growing lanes.”

Recently, the pace of contract awards has been slowing as departments and agencies await the budgeting outcome. But CACI is using the time well, including installing several new executives.

William Fairl, former president of U.S. operations, moved to chief development officer in anticipation of retirement in September. COO for U.S. operations Daniel Allen assumed Fairl’s position; replacing him is John Mengucci. Also newly hired are executive vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Good and executive vice president for business development Krisstie Kondrotis.

“All the people we brought in are people we sought out,” Cofoni said. “These are all people that are in their 40s and 50s, so they can take us through the next decade.”

CACI plans to continue its pace of acquisitions, targeting cyber-security; intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance; health care IT; biometrics; mobility; and government transformation.

Over the past year this strategy has brought TechniGraphics and Applied Systems Research into the fold, both providers of geospatial and technical services to the intelligence community, as well as Advanced Programs Group in the government transformation space and cyber-security companies Pangia Technologies and Paradigm Holdings.

Those acquisitions accounted for half the 900 people CACI has hired over the past year, but the company’s recruitment efforts are far from finished; more than 300 open positions remain. About 20 percent of CACI’s workforce are veterans, and the company has hired more than 600 disabled veterans over the past five years.

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