The following article published in Breaking Defense details how HII – the largest military shipbuilder in the U.S. and only producer of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy – is transforming itself into a best-in-class solutions provider for the Department of Defense.
HII: Winning trust (and contracts) as a DOD solutions provider
HII has caught the attention of the investment community with a series of significant contract wins to provide support services to multiple branches of the U.S. military.
While the contracts are for widely varied mission-critical work — from technical analysis and research on artificial intelligence for the Air Force Research Laboratory, to casualty evacuation support to a geographic combatant command — they highlight HII’s growing reputation for success in the management and execution of U.S. government programs, and demonstrate HII’s steady progress in translating its strength in naval shipbuilding to becoming a premier service-solutions provider to all branches of the military, in all domains.
HII: Optimizing for agility at scale
So how did HII win these large service contracts? First: by recognizing the necessity of empowering nimble and inventive teams to tailor solutions to the customer. HII’s acquisition of several companies with specialized capabilities and top engineering and technical talent, and positioning them within HII’s Mission Technologies division, enabled agility and innovation within the context of HII’s credibility, infrastructure and resources.
“Security, subcontracts, talent acquisition, human resources — everybody at HII pitches in and they’re focused on timely and successful execution,” said Garry Schwartz, who was recently promoted to chief operating officer for Mission Technologies. “It’s the agile mindset across the business that actually enables program managers to succeed.”
Second: Rather than selling a product or service, HII presents customers with the platform and solution-agnostic options that meet their customers’ unique requirements. While HII is also a provider of its own mission systems, the company believes that its credibility comes from providing tailorable solutions to complex customer problems.
“Our philosophy is to approach every program through the lens of the warfighter,” Schwartz said. “It’s not about HII and its products and services; it’s the best solutions and the best team in the service of the mission. Some companies only sell hammers and hope that customers will believe that every problem is a nail. The truth is, that’s not the case. HII is remarkably good at understanding the mission first, then assessing the pros and cons of both its own products and services and those from other companies and presenting those options with explanations about how each will operationally support commanders.”
Read more about how HII is transforming into a best-in-class solutions provider for the Department of Defense in Breaking Defense.