When he took on ownership of ARServices, President and CEO Jay McCargo knew he wanted to grow a small, niche business into a diversified professional and technical services provider that served and supported the public sector. This past June, the company announced a big milestone on this journey: the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) selected ARServices for a prime contract over an industry-leading incumbent of over 50 years.
The contract is worth $145.5 million and supports DTRA’s Research and Development Directorate (RD) Program Management Office (PMO). This win is a landmark victory for ARServices, marking its shift from a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) to a competitive prime contractor in the federal marketplace.
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.
ARServices has grown and matured as a business in the public sector because of Mr. McCargo’s early initiatives to develop the skills, resources, and connections necessary to reach this goal. Before assuming ownership of ARServices, Mr. McCargo held positions in sales, marketing, and business development where he oversaw pricing, contracts, and service delivery for companies like AT&T, NCI Information Systems, and Unisys Federal Systems. In establishing ARServices as a high-performing small business in the federal marketplace, Mr. McCargo prioritized recruiting experienced professionals who shared his long-term vision.
When ARServices entered the 8(a) Business Development program, Mr. McCargo knew that subcontracting would be an asset in the journey to becoming a prime contractor. He strategically leveraged the 8(a) program to seek contracts that were connected to the customer’s core mission. These early wins enabled ARServices to establish a solid business base and bring consistent funding streams that would lead to long-term business growth and sustainability.
In pursuing ongoing customer relationships, ARServices built recognized expertise with the agencies that it served. Before winning the prime contract with DTRA, ARServices had already supported the agency for nearly a decade through seven contracts where ARServices carved its niche as an experienced provider in programmatic, financial, and policy expertise specific to DTRA’s complex management needs.
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.
The DTRA RD PMO contract provides high-profile, groundbreaking work across the country, as well as internationally. ARServices will provide program and project oversight and management services, leading an integrated team of nine large and small business partners. This contract will strengthen the company’s position in the federal marketplace as a company that delivers the services and results of a large-scale federal contracting firm while maintaining the quality and agility of a small business.
To hear more insights on ARServices’s journey to winning a prime contract, read Government Technology Insider’s full interview with Jay McCargo on November 22nd.