Editor’s note: The winner of the Chief Officer Awards Public Company CGO Award announced June 17 is Craig Reed of Serco Inc.
On June 17, WashingtonExec will be virtually celebrating the most impactful and innovative C-suite executives in government and industry. These chief officers work in technology, security, data, operations, finance, business and more, excelling on both sides of the government contracting sector. Our team of judges have chosen the finalists for the inaugural Chief Officer Awards, so before we announce the winners during the event, we wanted to get to know the finalists a bit better. This Q&A series highlights their careers, successes, proud professional moments and notable risks.
Teri Hamlin is chief growth officer at Siemens Government Technologies and a finalist in the Public Company CGO Award category.
What key achievements did you have in 2019?
We rapidly stood up a large digitalization team to provide our federal customers with digital transformation and software services. This strategic move brought Siemens experts into our cleared government team — allowing us to sit side-by-side with our defense customers and industry OEMs — helping them accelerate their use of powerful digitalization tools and digital twins to decrease development time and cost, while also increasing agility and quality of new systems and environments for our service members.
We also booked the largest-ever energy savings performance contract in Defense Department history, a project four years in the making for fence-to-fence energy efficient improvements at a critical naval base. Coming from DOD myself, that objective of increasing speed to need of any new acquisition system, or improving the lives of our service member’s infrastructure, is personally important and fulfilling.
What has made you successful in your current role?
Aside from a really versatile and tenacious team, I would say that what we do best is address customer pain points by looking across an incredibly broad Siemens portfolio, to come up with end-to-end solutions in the areas of digitalization and smart infrastructure. The secret is to capture the technical solution and value proposition and translate it into discernible and compelling value and clarity for the customer.
Of course, winning new business is great, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t deliver as promised in your proposal. The opportunity to earn customer trust and grow our business can never be decoupled from excellence in program execution.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
You know, every day, I’m amazed how Siemens leads through R&D to bring innovations in digitalization, automation and electrification to the commercial and federal markets. What’s special to me is how we’ve used these innovations in digitalization and smart infrastructure in our own factories, facilities, services and solutions to deliver the same transformative capabilities in software and hardware to our customers.
We really do lead by example as a solution provider and OEM, creating state of the art digital manufacturing environments with software, hardware, connectivity and security from shop floor to top floor.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Unequivocally, our primary focus is on continued digital transformation in line with DOD mandates for systems and environments. Digitalization is the single most important transformation underway in the DOD right now, and we are leading with digital twins of products, production processes and performance to create the digital thread, which is the closed loop connectivity between those three twins.
These digital twins, blending together the real and virtual worlds, eliminate expensive, time-consuming, “trial and error” approaches by creating an exact virtual replica of the physical product, plant or production process before it’s built. The days of product, plant and process trial and error or ‘build it, test it, build it again’ are gone from aircraft design to shipyard modernization.
It is truly game changing in terms of our ability to revolutionize speed, quality, and cost of advanced systems, manufacturing and smart and secure environments. For instance, the work we are doing for the U.S. Navy right now on the four major shipyards for their modernization is the largest digital twin of an industrial environment ever undertaken and the applications keep expanding.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Talk face-to-face with people whenever possible, get to know them and be sensitive to their needs, sit and listen with colleagues, partners and bosses. Don’t just count on authority over something, be creative and use influence to come to a better answer or solution. Finally, keep looking up and out the window. With so much specialization across professional roles today many individuals seem to have a harder time being able to identify the next big thing coming because they may just be too busy with their head down. Once you have that good look up and out, then read a lot, drive action and connect dots to make your own Mona Lisa.