Digicon Corp.

Digicon Corp.

Bethesda, Md.


Contracts: $46.273 million

If John Wu, president and CEO of Digicon Corp., Bethesda, Md., could change the 8(a) program, he would make sure there is more of a transition for companies that graduate from the program.

"The day after you graduate you don't have any support anymore," he said. "It's too abrupt."

Wu's suggestion is that a company should spend nine years in the 8(a) program and then have five more years of transition time in which it can still draw from 8(a) contracts.


Rank Agency Fiscal 1996
(last year's rank) (in millions)
1 Navy (1) $634.5
2 Army (2) $623.4
3 Energy (5) $478.5
4 GSA (17) $436.2
5 Transportation (6) $356.4
6 Air Force (3) $271.2
7 Justice (9) $166.8
8 NASA (4) $159.2
9 Defense (7) $155.2
10 Treasury (8) $147.6
11 Agriculture (12) $105.5
12 Commerce (11) $69.9
13 HHS (10) $56.3
14 State (13) $46.1
15 Agency for Int'l Dev. (15) $40.0
16 Labor (16) $36.5
17 SSA $30.1
18 Interior (14) $21.9
19 Nuclear Reg. Comm. $18.9
20 EPA (20) $16.1
Sources: Input, Federal Procurement Data Center
Digicon had that experience firsthand: the company graduated from the 8(a) program in April 1996.

Although he said his company did well by the program and he appreciates being a part of it, Wu said he would rather not be known only as a former 8(a).

"We like to have people think of us as a good company regardless of whether we were at one time an 8(a)."

Digicon, founded in 1985, makes its money in the systems engineering and development field, as well as systems integration and outsourcing.

The 280-employee company had revenues of $60 million in its fiscal 1996. Wu said he projects 1997 revenues to hit $65 million.

Since graduation, Wu said, the company has been making competitive bids, and winning significant indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts. The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., is Digicon's largest federal customer, Wu said. In addition, Digicon is just starting a state and local contracting effort, with a Texas project being the first win.

Much of what the company has been doing since graduation is just what it was doing before, said Wu.

The biggest change so far, he said, has been a greater marketing push, which includes a more focused marketing strategy and hiring more people in that division of the company.

- Shannon Henry

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