Government Technology Insider recently sat down with Jay McCargo, President and CEO of ARServices, to talk about his company’s growth and development. With a new $145.5 million DTRA contract, ARServices has made the transition from a small business to a mid-sized GOVCON prime contractor that’s shaping the federal contracting space. Read on to learn why Mr. McCargo has described this win as “transformative”.

Government Technology Insider (GTI): You’ve described the DTRA contract win as “transformative” for ARServices. Why is that, and what does it mean for the future of ARServices?

Jay McCargo (JM): This contract is a giant leap. When you win a contract like this, it validates that you have a set of capabilities that very few companies have, and it makes it much easier to win the next two or three contracts. Companies begin to seek you out to partner with because of the uniqueness of your offer set and competitive strengths. You compete for contracts differently. It’s a unique and multi-faceted credential for ARServices.

GTI: ARServices began its journey in federal contracting as a Small Disadvantaged Business in the 8(a) Business Development program. How did you steer your small business to becoming a recognized contractor that is competitive for prime contracts in the federal marketplace?

JM: Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are tempted to pursue almost any contract that provides profitable revenue, but you have to be very purposeful in what work you choose to pursue. You always want to look at work that is closely aligned to your customer’s mission because that’s where your customer will continuously invest in. If you’re doing work that’s around the edges of your customer’s mission, your funding streams can  be irregular. 

For example, if you’re working with the Defense Logistics Agency, you want to do logistics. You wouldn’t want to do HR, because it’s not a core function for them. Is the work something that the customer cares enough about to give you a successful path of performance that will lead to other high value work?

GTI: What advice do you have for SMBs that are beginning to navigate the federal contracting space? 

JM: The teaming piece is essential and allows for a company to expand in the market. It’s rare for a federal customer to say to a small business, “I want you to do X all by yourself.” Government customers often look for companies that bring along partners with complementary skills. It’s hard to secure a prime contract if you’ve never done business with that organization before. If your company has worked closely with that agency, that experience carries weight, and it does resonate. Experiences gained as a subcontractor can then be parlayed into opportunities as a prime contractor.

Having the right people is also important. It means things will get done the right way. Do you have people who have been to where you want to get to? Our corporate and management staff stand above their peers, and I feel very confident in saying that our folks wake up wanting to do the right thing every day.

GTI: What would you say has helped ARServices stand out in the federal marketplace? 

JM: Many companies are great at writing proposals, but many are not great at delivering consistent project performance. At ARServices we carefully craft our solutions to differentiate ourselves. We invest the time with our customers by getting to know project requirements and making plans to exceed customer expectations. If you’re going to grow and scale, you can’t start under-resourced. If you’re going to pursue growth, you have to pursue it in a comprehensive and well thought out way.

To learn more about how ARServices has helped federal agencies with research and development, business transformation, and integrated logistics, click here. 

(This article originally appeared in Government Technology Insider on November 22, 2021)