Diversity marks the 2014 Fast 50
- By Nick Wakeman
- Aug 17, 2014
From the No. 1 company OBXtek Inc. to No. 50 Unissant Inc., the 2014 Fast 50 is a testament to the diversity and strength of small businesses in the government market.
The diversity is exhibited through the types of small-business programs these companies are utilizing to build their businesses.
They also exhibit their diversity in the variety of services and products they offer to the federal government.
OBXtek, for example, is one of several service-disabled veteran-owned companies on the Fast 50, and the company for the most part fits the traditional IT services mold of a government contractor.
The company has captured the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 281.4 percent.
The annual Washington Technology Fast 50 is developed through an application process where companies submit five years of revenue data, and then they are ranked by the compound annual growth rate over those five years.
For OBXtek, the company attributes its success to a broad set of offerings, including IT engineering and support, software development, information security and testing and project and program management.
It also has a diverse set of customers such as the U.S. Army, DISA, GSA, the Labor Department, NIST, Veterans Affairs and the Transportation Department.
Meanwhile, No. 23 Arma Global Corp. has sparked its growth with a laser focus on one customer set – the U.S. Special Operations Command, which is headquartered in the same town, Tampa, Fla.
Arma also is a veteran-owned business and is offering professional services, defense and peacekeeping operations and systems integration services.
Its focus has helped it earn a five-year compound annual growth rate of 87 percent.
Arma describes itself as a systems integrator, as do several others. Other descriptors used by the companies on the list include consultant, professional services and IT services.
One of the professional services companies on the Fast 50 rankings also is an example of focus on a specific market rather than broad set of customers.
No. 48 Healthcare Management Solutions LLC sticks to the market implied by its name: health care.
But the company’s focus also is what brought it into the IT world.
“When we started out, we were purely a health care solutions kind of company, and we quickly realized the value of having an IT foundation to enable those health care solutions, so we were able to bring on a very strong IT section,” said Leah Heimbach, principal at the company. Healthcare Management Solutions is a small, woman-owned business.
The focus on their niche market and then using IT to deliver its solutions is a theme many of the Fast 50 companies can relate to.
For example, Allegheny Science & Technology (No. 7 with a five-year CAGR of 169.1 percent) uses its IT skills to enhance its research and software development efforts for customers such as the Defense, Education and Labor departments as well as NASA and the FBI. Program management is another core capability for the company.
In addition to being a woman-owned business, Allegheny also is an 8(a) small business.
Nearly any company on the Fast 50 can used as an example of a company that is focusing on either a specific customer set or a specific set of capabilities to gain a foothold in the public sector.
And another key strategy is using myriad small business programs to win business and establish their presence in the market.
Whether it is veteran-owned, woman-owned, HUBzone, 8(a) or some combination, the 2014 Fast 50 shows how companies that bring strong capabilities to market and focus on their customers can gain tremendous success.
Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.