Sequestration: What's the impact?

Posted by:Whitridge in Federal - IT
10 September 2013 0

In January of 2013 Whitridge launched Whitridge Government Solutions, a vertical organization dedicated to providing expert IT Staffing to government agencies and more specifically the “cleared” world within that arena. Shortly thereafter sequestration became a reality and presented challenges to grow our government team and to insert Whitridge into its identified target areas.  While Sequestration effects did not directly impact IT Staffing activity, the aftershocks of cost management and uncertainty were very damaging to IT Staffing both internal and external. Sales cycles were lengthened, requisitions and programs were put on hold or cut and candidates became more wary of transition and job change.

FY13 was further complicated by program re-competes, consolidations and a pervasive procurement preference for “low cost technical acceptable” (LCTA).  In order to retain work, Incumbent contractors were forced to drastically cut rates, while still offering highly skilled talent, who also had to accept draconian pay cuts, with specific domain certifications and intimate customer knowledge.

The challenges of FY13 have served to make Whitridge Government an agile, resilient IT Staffing defense contractor. We have responded to our customers’ needs in delivering exceptional talent despite dramatically reduced rates. We tapped into an exceptional talent pool of transitioning veterans and contractors who are eager to apply their skills to mission critical defense programs. We continue to do due diligence in setting candidate expectations in an ever changing market, and are keeping our candidates on a track for career advancement and success.

2014 presents a new set of challenges - some positive, and some will test the mettle of the defense community as a whole.  Some say the better part is that the government buyers are better prepared; one DOD official stated to an industry executive “it can be 10% or 20% reduction; we’ll know what to do.”

The uncertainty will be gone, most will know due to their experience how to manage to a different world in government contracting and to plan accordingly. The challenge facing program managers is due to the delay of awards in 2013, therefore the extension of contracts and the small businesses they need for set asides are not available due to their limited band width. Might the most productive decision for everyone be that a continuing resolution is passed that meets the goals for 2014? This will provide some predictability to the demands and position companies like Whitridge to plan for the needs of its government partners.

No one has a crystal ball so anything can happen but we’ll be prepared for whatever challenges we are faced with and will make 2014 a high growth year for the government vertical.