Focus on BD, M&A fuels CACI strategy

New CACI CEO Ken Asbury leads with business development as a primary focus for the company's growth but don't think that merges and acquisitions are going to be forgotten.

When CACI International Inc. hired Ken Asbury as its new president and chief executive officer in February, it got what it needed—a business development guru.

“I come from a business development background,” he said. “That’s how I made my bones in the business.” He joined CACI after 27 years in the executive ranks at Lockheed Martin.

Though he’s been on board only a few months, Asbury has wasted no time in embarking on an overhaul of CACI’s strategy for growing business by moving to a more decentralized business development model. Capture managers and business development executives are moving into the company’s individual business units to put them closer to customers and high-growth segments of the marketplace, such as health  IT, cybersecurity and federal business systems. Being closer to the customers and markets also will help the company build skill sets and subject-matter expertise in high-growth areas, Asbury said.

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“Now those folks are able to develop a longer term set of relationships with the customers who are pursuing those areas,” he said. “And our business groups themselves have a little more space between them--they’re not as overlapping, giving them more separation in the marketplace.”

Decentralization is a part of Asbury’s aggressive approach to expanding CACI’s business. But it’s not just about winning new business; it’s about winning recompetes as well.

“If we’re close to our customers, if we understand the work and if we’re paying attention to the dynamics in the marketplace, our goal is to win 100 percent of our recompetes,” he said. “That’s an institutional objective. In reality, some things happen and you don’t always do it but I can tell you we win a very high percentage.”

In addition to maintaining operational excellence in program and project management, Asbury is also stressing mergers and acquisitions as a “high value, core competency” and a top priority for CACI.

All of CACI’s acquisitions have to represent a strategic fit, he added. “We’re not looking for turnaround situations,” he said. “We’re looking for really good companies that are going to fit with our culture.”

In the high-value health care market, CACI last year acquired Emergint Technologies Inc., whose  customers included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. Early this year, CACI announced the acquisition of IDL Solutions Inc., another health IT company with a ready set of federal customers. IDL developed analytics to help healthcare organizations gain insight from large amounts of health data.

On the contract front, CACI recently was awarded a contract to modernize mission systems for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The five-year contract, which has a ceiling of $54 million, expands the company’s presence in its business system and investigation and litigation support markets.

Under the contract, CACI will modernize the technology underlying the bureau's mission systems, which include software applications for case management, real-time situation reporting, and global security monitoring.

“CACI’s strategy focuses on the government’s high-priority missions and we will continue to focus on high growth and high-volume markets in our addressable market segments,” he said.