FALLS CHURCH, VA January 31, 2013 — Kingfisher Systems, Inc. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Harry M. (Pete) Howton, received the SmartCEO Future 50 award as a Two-Time Winner. SmartCEO Magazine recognizes 50 fast-growing Washington, DC area companies based on the combined growth rate of revenues and employees over a three-year period. These companies represent the future of the region’s economy and their CEO’s are exemplary leaders in business and the community. These companies remain true to their mission to provide exceptional products and services to their customers.
SmartCEO Magazine profiled Mr. Howton and the other winners in their January 2013 issue. The Kingfisher Systems, Inc. magazine article excerpt stated the following:
“Growing Up: Kingfisher Systems accepted a major shift in contract activity with the award of a Prime Contract in Afghanistan. Our award required us to focus on overseas work in the war zone supporting the US Forces in Afghanistan. We provided counterintelligence analysts directly supporting ground operations. The war zone deployment added serious challenge and risk, which was met by the staff with great success.
Strategic Planning: Business planning in the challenging world of government contracting is an art more than a science. The senior management team consisting of COO, CFO, Business Development, Contracting Officers and Program Managers meet weekly to review cost, schedules, and technical performance of all awarded contract work. We have developed tailored tools to monitor and report performance to ensure all managers and staff are aware of plans and problems and exploit lessons-learned.
Financial Endurance: The biggest challenge is learning that “cash is king” to support ongoing work and future growth. We learned that performing government work is a test of financial endurance. We employ staff that work primarily at government sites and we pay the staff as the work starts. The government lag to pay invoices requires investment from the owners, up to a point. We now periodically rely on short-term external bank funding to continue ensure operations at the revenue levels we have reached.
Leadership Refined: I believe in the open-door policy, where every employee is welcome to present entrepreneurial ideas for further growth or complain about the issues that affect quality of life in the workplace. I motivate my team by example.
Managing Growth: The most significant growth decision was the identification, selection, and hiring of a motivated, entrepreneurial executive and business development staff to pursue a broader selection of contracts. While we are primarily focused on intelligence and information technology, we are venturing into medical support operations. We constantly look for business in areas that continue to be funded by the government.
Evaluating Opportunity: Opportunities to grow the company are based on smart evaluation of the Government RFPs. Prior intelligence about the nature of the bid will help us in the bid/no bid decision for work representing growth. We carefully measure the opportunity costs. The technical proposal and the pricing documents often cost a similar amount for a job that awards 25 person staff or 200 person staff. Return on effort is a key element of the decision to seek work, write proposals, and develop the future.”