Vectrus CEO seeks to bolster core work with new technology

By Marjorie Censer, Inside Defense, June 22,2017-Chuck Prow, who took over as chief executive of Vectrus late last year, plans to maintain the contractor's focus on logistics and facilities, but bolster the company's technology capabilities.

In an interview with Inside Defense earlier this month, Prow, who previously was an executive at IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers, said he's focused on infusing new capabilities into the existing portfolio.

"We can and we will expand our program portfolio by looking at very niche technologies, technologies . . . around energy management, very, very targeted aspects of what we'll call predictive analytics," he said. "By doing that, we're going to focus on the types of technology that can really enhance our core competencies of facilities and logistics."

This year, the company has brought on two new executives: Kevin Leonard and Susan Deagle.

Leonard, now Vectrus' senior vice president for facility and logistics services, previously was an executive at Fluor and worked at Amazon. Deagle, named chief growth officer at Vectrus, was an executive at IBM who had a number of roles, including managing sales for IBM's U.S. federal and government industries business and running the government-wide acquisition contract center.

Prow said Vectrus would stay focused on its traditional strongholds of facilities and logistics; it won't compete with every large IT provider.

"I don't see us being a standalone IT provider of core administrative systems for the government. I do see us however being very, very heavily involved in basically operational and mission-oriented technology and capabilities," he told Inside Defense.

Prow said the company's customers remain focused on price -- but that he expects increased use of technology to lower costs.

"In our marketplace, we would be fooling ourselves and making a big mistake, quite frankly, by assuming that price isn't always foremost in our clients' minds," he said. "Very targeted technologies can help us become more efficient and more effective."

Prow said the government services industry's shift to greater use of fixed-price contracting allows companies to inject innovation into their work.

"I would see us becoming even better at integrating commercial technologies into our existing government services portfolio," Prow said. "We're going to become more tightly integrated with the larger infrastructure providers," like Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.

He acknowledged this effort would take investment.

"We have to find a way to bring commercial capabilities -- whether they be technologies, processes, tools, methods -- together in such a way that we can provide outcomes in a smarter, faster way," Prow said.

The company lost two key contracts last year: the Kuwait-Base Operations and Security Support Services -- or K-BOSSS program -- and the Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 program.

Vectrus, along with the other losing bidders, protested K-BOSSS, and the Army opted to take corrective action. In the meantime, Vectrus, which is the incumbent on the program, has received an extension.

Prow said Vectrus still has "the ability to compete for that in the future" and is optimistic about its chances.

He said the company's overseas work "is at our core." But Vectrus will continue to make inroads in work in the United States and in some adjacent markets, Prow added.

"There are civilian agencies that have very large, deployed asset infrastrucutures that we should do very well in," he said. "There are other government services infrastructures that are out there that are very conducive to the types of work that we do."

 

Release date

Thursday, June 22, 2017