Q&A with 2016 GovCon Award Finalist Craig Reed, President and COO of NT Concepts

Craig Reed, NT Concepts

Craig Reed, NT Concepts

The finalists for this year’s Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards were announced in September and WashingtonExec is bringing you its annual series with the nominees.

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Professional Services Council have unveiled the finalists for the 14th Annual Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards, the premier awards event for the Washington area government contracting community. The winners will be named at a Nov. 1 gala dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner.

WashingtonExec talked with one of the finalists, Craig R. Reed, president and chief operating officer of NT Concepts, to get his take on leadership, among other issues.

WashingtonExec: What is your organization’s plan for growth over the next 3-5 years?

Craig Reed: Our strategic road map for growth focuses NT Concepts on two core areas: investigative services and solutions and national security solutions. We will leverage both organic and inorganic growth strategies to expand in these markets, particular those serving the intelligence community. By focusing our resources and investments, we are confident in our ability to build concentration and value in each of these areas and achieve overall double digit growth through 2020.

WashingtonExec: What are the largest challenges that you predict your business will face in the next 5 years?

Craig Reed: Maintaining steady growth as a mid-tier player will be the biggest challenge. The government’s increasing emphasis on small business set-aside work is pushing more and more companies over the thresholds into the already crowded mid-tier, where companies face reduced opportunities to bid as a result of these set-aside preferences, and have to compete against the largest and most diversified Tier 1 primes (as well as other mid-tiers) for most of their work.

This is further compounded with procurement delays, low price preferences and the commoditization of professional services. Delivering outstanding customer satisfaction and flawless program performance, while continuing to develop differentiated offerings is paramount for us to thrive in this environment.

WashingtonExec: What was your organization’s largest accomplishment in the last 12-18 months?

Craig Reed: We turned a short-term, emergency contract award of over 900 employees into an extremely stable contract effort, where we eliminated historic backlog, drove up quality and timeliness and effectively handled workload variances. In concert, we have maintained strong financial performance, realigned our corporate structure, and scaled our corporate infrastructure – all the while keeping true to our corporate culture.

WashingtonExec: We have seen many large M&A transactions this year, do you anticipate this will continue in the future?

Craig Reed: Yes, and consolidation in our industry through M&A transactions will continue for several reasons. Many mid-tier players will continue to struggle to grow in full and open markets if they lack differentiation, and owners will sell when they believe they can no longer increase value. Larger companies will continue to acquire smaller firms that provide differentiated market access, contract vehicles, or scale that can help them spread their infrastructure costs over a larger base, particularly if they are having difficulty meeting shareholder growth expectations through purely organic means.

Finally, companies will continue to pursue acquisitions, particularly in “fast-moving stream” markets when they believe the cost of acquisitions is less than the B&P and other costs of entering those markets organically.

WashingtonExec: How has your organization changed over the past year and what makes you optimistic about winning GovCon Awards in your category this year?

Craig Reed: NT Concepts matured greatly over the last year – our previous GovCon nomination was about our rapid growth spike and how we transitioned literally overnight. Our 2016 nomination is based on the successful transformation of the company into our new normal – maturing processes, aligning existing and new leaders, scaling systems, expanding communications – all while improving our delivery to customers and maintaining our core values and culture.  The leadership, investments, and efforts required to achieve this transformation far exceeded those required to achieve the previous year’s transition.

Related: NT Concepts Names Craig Reed President, Chief Operating Officer





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