It’s no surprise to anyone familiar with government contracting that the industry brings its own special brand of uncertainty.
For Alison Moye, that reality simply means companies must focus on the one thing they can control: great customer service.
“There are lots of challenges in the contracting market today – from budget pressures to the current political landscape – that we have very little control over,” says Moye, who recently took on the role of vice president of consulting services for the Arlington, Virginia-based management, policy and information technology consulting firm Savan Group.
“What we do have control over is providing exceptional customer service and helping with mission-critical projects,” Moye says. “Becoming that ‘go-to problem solver,’” Moye says, “really minimizes some of the pressures we face in this current environment.”
Customer Service Focus
It’s a philosophy Moye has carefully honed over a 20-year career providing consulting expertise to industry leaders such as Alion Science and Technology, Booz Allen Hamilton, BearingPoint and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, as well as a wide variety of federal civilian agencies and nonprofits.
Throughout those varying missions and challenges, Moye has maintained a singular focus on navigating project and change management through exceptional customer service.
“Customer service is really important in this business – and I think it’s frequently overlooked,” Moye says. “When agencies reach out to consultants and contractors, they are asking for help in solving their problems – and delivering excellent customer service is what sets individual companies apart.”
That differentiator now guides Moye in her current work with Savan Group, where Moye came onboard in late August.
“Truthfully, I was not looking for a new position when Savan Group reached out,” Moye says. But when you’ve had a string of successes – such as turning around multiple failed projects and winning previously held work likely to double a business unit’s size – word gets around.
In Moye’s case, that work caught the attention of Savan Group’s new vice president of IT, Dan Albarran. Moye, in turn, was connected with Savan Group CEO Veeral Majmudar, who’s made team investment a key priority since founding the company in 2006.
“I was instantly interested in what Savan’s leadership team was doing and what they were looking for in this role,” says Moye, citing Savan’s recent recognition by Inc. Magazine as one of the 5,000 fast-growing companies in America as another nod in its favor.
Footprint in 12 Federal Agencies
Moye was equally attracted to the chemistry of the leadership team and the passion with which it was growing its business with an existing footprint in 12 federal agencies, she says.
As she settles into her new role, Moye’s focus has been two-fold: internally, helping Savan Group’s consultants hone their skills as go-to problem solvers; and beyond, ensuring Savan’s customers, who span a dozen federal agencies, from Housing and Urban Development Department to the Defense Department, are “pleased and delighted,” as Moye puts it, with the services they receive, in the areas of service delivery and quality assurance.
For Moye, that dual focus is right in her wheelhouse.
“I personally like working with people in a team environment, both consulting teams and the end customer,” says Moye, a Virginia Beach native and self-described “Navy brat” whose family is no stranger to government service.
“I enjoy tapping into people’s individual strengths to solve customer problems,” adds Moye, whose very first meeting with Savan Group’s leaders focused on ways to cultivate talent, from an emerging millennial workforce to seasoned subject matter experts, while working in unison to solve customer challenges.
While no two days look the same at Savan Group, Moye is always alert to a common industry pitfall. “Sometimes,” she explains, “a team can get so in the weeds with what they are working on, they can’t always see the big picture.”
“One of the most rewarding things,” Moye adds, “is sitting with some of our individuals and helping them to come up a little – and understand they can help their customers and teams even more by taking a broader look at some of the bigger challenges they face.”
Premium on Communication
Not surprisingly, Moye places a premium on communication. “When I think back to times in my career when a project required a turnaround, it really had to do with failed communication, whether within the team itself or with the customer,” Moye says.
“People don’t think about the human element when they’re implementing a highly technical solution,” she adds. “As simple as it sounds, though, the solution is really simple – you have to listen.”
When interfacing with customers, Moye fosters another simple yet hard-won truth.
“We are really in a position, as consultants, to be in a support role, to help our customers succeed – being right or getting credit for your work, it really has no place in this business,” says Moye, who believes recognition must come internally, within a company.
“Over the long haul,” adds Moye, “you have to enjoy [the knowledge]that your success comes from your customers achieving their goals.”
That approach informs Moye’s unfolding role with Savan Group, precisely at a time when the company is experiencing record growth – by last count, it saw a 3-year revenue growth of 82 percent.
“The growth that Savan Group is experiencing is really exciting,” Moye says. “I’m excited about that continued growth – both for our projects and our people – and making sure we’re really known for providing exceptional customer service.”