When General Dynamics (NYSE: GD,) opened its doors in 1952, its focus was providing hardware to the military—tanks, rockets, missiles, submarines, warships, fighters, and electronics to the US Army, Navy, and Air Force. While the successful multi-billion-dollar defense contractor sold off nearly all its divisions in the early 1990s, with the exception of its Electric Boat and Land Systems, by the mid-1990s, world events led to the company’s expanding by acquiring combat vehicle-related businesses as well as IT product and services companies.
Today, General Dynamics, which ranks #90 on the Fortune 500 list, is one of the leading US defense contractors, with a strong portfolio of products and services that fall into four main categories: Aerospace, Combat Systems, IS&T (Information Systems and Technology), and Marine Systems. Headquartered in Falls Church, VA, General Dynamics continues to grow by acquiring companies that strengthen its core business areas and by a relentless focus on continuous improvement. While General Dynamics operates around the world, serving government and commercial customers on six continents in more than 45 countries, North America continues to be its largest market, accounting for nearly 75 percent of sales. Sales in 2016 topped $31 billion.
Although more than half of those domestic sales (approximately 60 percent) are focused on the US government—with sales to the Pentagon—General Dynamics also caters to the civilian market. Civilian sales are largely led by the company’s aerospace unit, which includes Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, which designs, makes, and refurbishes business jets primarily for civilian customers.
The company’s Information Systems and Technology business unit also serves civilian and military markets. Today, this unit focuses on delivering cybersecurity, tactical communication systems, sensors and cameras, ruggedized computers (for use in harsh environments, such as those with strong vibrations, extreme temperatures, and wet or dusty conditions), and antennas to domestic and international customers, including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, the intelligence community, and federal civilian agencies.
Given the company’s focus on IT and communications systems, it’s perhaps not surprising that when General Dynamics began looking for a service leader to provide Avaya and Nortel maintenance and support in 2006, the company selected Continuant. In addition to delivering world-class support for 14 of the company’s US-based locations, Continuant is currently working closely with General Dynamics on a Skype for Business Managed Services offering. With more than a decade of history with General Dynamics, Continuant is poised to take on whatever new challenges this leading-edge company presents.