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Our team took over in 1994 so then he was around May of 1994 and here we are we're a small company I think by that time maybe we've gotten up to about 48 million in sales later I don't remember exactly and we had to sit down and try to figure out how we were. Gonna survive as an entity so you know I'd done a lot of studying in terms of you know management off sites and planning and I was convinced strategic planning you know it was the way. To go when you had to get buy-in by the management team so we kind of all got together and said alright. What is it going to take to survive in this industry because you know during the 90s you were looking at probably one of the biggest draw downs and you know in defense. Spending at that time you know probably in US history because you know with the Gulf War and. Did the gut you know the Berlin Wall had come down and then we had that little spurt with the Gulf War in the early 90s and then it was basically you know it was like gee we don't need the fence anymore I mean they were talking as a teeny. An army anymore and so it was a whole different world what we did was we got together and we took a look at at the defense industry and how it was created and. Then realized that even the large contractors became what they were through acquisitions so we figured we weren't going to be a large contractor so we came up with this idea of being a mid tier contractor that that's you know the term we used and we said gee you know what. How would you define mid tier and we realized that most defense contractors were little specialty companies doing less than five hundred million dollars in sales so you know. We weren't unique but we had a desire to figure out how to get the five hundred million dollars in sales and we figured that was. The only way we were going to you know survive what we just did was we said all right we're gonna define mid-tier as five hundred million dollars in revenue and above and we you know we took a look at the whole universe and that's essentially what we did we. Sat through you know this this off-site and we say you know mid. Tier companies actually play a unique role you know because they can be massaged better than than the large companies they've got enough you know financial and technical. And management resources you know so that they can put you know key product subsystems and that kind of. Thing into into the marketplace so we said to ourselves you're not really you know managing one of these business isn't really managing a company so to speak of his. Managing a portfolio of contracts that's how we looked at it and we said to get to the mid-tier you just need more contracts and you can do it by trying to buy into programs but you'd never win. The programs that quickly more you could do it through acquisition and essentially what you were doing was buying programs you know so that was the plus but then you were also applying all these different cultures mm-hmm. You had to figure out how to integrate the culture so we became very cognizant of the fact that you just couldn't buy these companies you had it somehow create. A unique culture and and kind of blend these these companies with their contracts into your culture buying one or two things opens the door to other businesses. And those we found on our own and then what happened was once we got larger and started making a name for ourselves then. The investment bankers start coming around and you end up on the list. When when their property is being sold you get a chance to take a look at them mm-hmm and then what happens is they start to fall into your lap and. You determine which ones make sense with where we're trying to go and you know we divided the company into certain segments of business and then. We try to see what would fit in with those different segments and so you know and just as the years went on there's just more and more things that came on the plate of course you know as time went on other people were doing the same thing and some of the acquisitions got. A little more expensive than they were when we when we first started doing it we tried to buy things that seemed to go together but it turned out that getting into a lot of this army business paid off you know when after 9/11. So you know it really was a function of being in the marketplace on a regular basis and and you know we went ahead and we hired a staff of people you know originally was just myself and. Our general counsel at the time what we focused on was this concept. Of a of trying to build a culture in the company and that was very important because we brought in such such diverse businesses and I you know and I used to make it a point of trying to get out to all the businesses I loved manufacturing I. Loved seeing people doing things and and so we used to go out to the different businesses and talk about this great opportunity. That all these people had to kind of build their own culture you know because a lot of them came out of large companies you know with very diverse cultures and very often these were little pieces that you know weren't very meaningful to the big guys but they were meaningful to us and I. Would tell the people you know you are special to us what we used to say that if we're gonna grow this business right you got you have to perform on all your contracts you got to take care of your customers right you got a nurture your employees and you got to always. Strive to be innovative though those were the kings that that we've thought about and we always stress those points at DRF you know that was that was what was Kate in putting this thing together you always have to have that next piece of technology you know you've got a win that next program it never changes ever changes so. You know I think that the fact that the business is still there and the fact that you can say that it's 50 years old you know. I think that means a lot and as long as we keep the customer plugged in to what. That means so it's good to hear that things are doing well.

 


DRS Technologies Company News

Thu, 09 May 2019 13:49:00 GMT
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