JIL Information Systems Inc.
JIL Information Systems Inc.
IL Information Systems Inc. is a second-generation 8(a) company, which was given a second bite of the 8(a) apple when company CEO Calvin Glover bought the previous 8(a) company - JIL Systems - from its retiring owner in 1991.
Trained as an accountant, Glover owns 67 percent of the new Vienna, Va.-based JIL, and runs the show with company president Bailey Walsh, who owns 19 percent of the company. The remaining 14 percent is evenly split between two outside investors.
Glover "focuses on the financial side of the company while Walsh runs "the company day-to-day," said Walsh. The company employs 180 people, double the number employed when Glover bought it.
Glover used an extended payment plan he negotiated with JIL's previous owner, Anthony Nelson. The deal was authorized by the Small Business Administration, which oversees the 8(a) program.
During the first seven months of 1997, JIL took in $12.2 million, generating an after-tax profit of $450,033, according to a company balance sheet. Based on these results, the company should take in $21 million this year, estimated Glover.
Government data collected by Vienna, Va.-based Input also shows that JIL won 8(a) contracts in 1996 worth up to $59 million over the next several years.
Revenue for 1997 marks a sixfold growth over the $4 million taken in during 1991, when the new JIL was born. Roughly 84 percent of this year's revenue has been earned from 8(a) contracts. The company will graduate from the 8(a) program in June 2002.
Among the expiring program-support contracts are a $1.96 million U.S. Marine Corps contract, as well as two contracts worth $6 million and $1.7 million to provide program-management support to the Federal Aviation Administration.
To boost next year's revenues, JIL is trying to ally with 8(a) companies that will soon graduate from the program after their maximum nine-year stay, said Walsh. Those graduating 8(a)s can "flip" their expiring 8(a) contracts over to JIL, which would then subcontract up to 49 percent of the contract's work to the graduated 8(a), said Walsh, who joined JIL in 1994.
Faced by stiffer competition within the government and 8(a) markets, and by the bundling of small contracts within larger difficult-to-win programs, JIL is also bidding for more non-8(a) contracts, including three new government contracts that are soon to be awarded, said Walsh. "The jury's out on us," said Walsh.
Today, almost 95 percent of JIL's work is project management for the Defense Department and the FAA, which is not obliged to use the 8(a) program. The remainder of the work is for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and the Health Care Financing Administration. Only 1 percent of the revenue is from commercial work, Glover said.
To expand beyond the 8(a) program, Walsh said the company has targeted three areas:
World Wide Web-enabling technology, including intranets for easier communications between widely dispersed experts.
Smart-card technology, including high-tech cards that can store much personal information or ease secure access to agency databases.
Computer-assisted training, such as the JIL-developed software technology used to train maintenance crew for the Navy's complex E-2C Hawkeye radar-carrying aircraft.
JIL employs roughly 30 people in Florida who are working on Pentagon training technology, including a U.S. Navy contract worth up to $20 million for the delivery of 15 high-tech classrooms to 15 different facilities around the nation.
Under this Navy classroom contract, several JIL employees in Oklahoma City, Okla., are combining off-the-shelf computer technology and software for air or truck delivery to the Navy training centers. Consolidating the work in Oklahoma rather than in Washington cuts JIL's cost by roughly 15 percent, said Walsh.
This work "is a big area for us," said Walsh.
- Neil Munro