Project Success, Inc. (PSI), an Atlanta-based project management training and consulting firm, recently utilized the services of Georgia Tech’s Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) to expand its business into the government sector. GTPAC is a program that assists companies with all aspects of government procurement processes.
“We’ve been in business for almost 28 years now, and we teach the practical aspects of project management. We work in all industry sectors, in manufacturing, energy, marketing, software and IT,” said David Halm, a senior consultant at the company. “With the downturn in the economy in late 2008, we recognized that the manufacturing sector was going to continue to decline, so we took a suggestion from one of our consultants to get on the U.S. General Services Administration schedule.”
The General Services Administration (GSA) oversees the business of the U.S. federal government. According to its website, GSA supplies federal purchasers with “cost-effective, high-quality products and services from commercial vendors.” Halm was referred to GTPAC after attending a GSA-sponsored event in Atlanta.
“We learned about the educational and classroom offerings through GTPAC, and I took several classes, including Introduction to Government Contracting, Understanding the GSA Schedules Process and Using the Computer to Win Government Contracts,” Halm recalled. “Those classes allowed me to get connected to Chuck Schadl, director of GTPAC, and Joe Beaulieu, a procurement counselor. As we researched the GSA requirements, we jotted down ideas about the best way to structure our proposal.”
Beaulieu helped PSI structure a proposal under GSA’s Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services, or MOBIS. Under the MOBIS schedule, PSI may provide mission oriented business integrated services and products to U.S. Government agencies. The MOBIS objective is to enable federal agencies to improve performance, quality, timeliness and efficiencies throughout their organizations.
“Getting a GSA contract basically means that all the negotiating points – the pricing, the delivery – all those terms have already been negotiated. So a government agency can purchase from Project Success through the GSA process. It opens a lot of doors,” Halm noted. “In the GSA seminar, the speaker said that more than 90 percent of companies that set out to get a GSA contract never get there. Having this contract offers great marketing potential and has helped us maintain and generate business in this downturn.”
GTPAC, part of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, provides no-cost assistance with government procurement to any company licensed to do business in Georgia. Each year, GTPAC conducts seminars in Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Carrollton, Columbus, Gainesville, Rockmart, Savannah and Warner Robins. The center assists companies with all aspects of federal, state and local government procurement processes, including solicitation analysis, proposal preparation, pre- and post-award counseling, and quality and accounting systems. Procurement counselors also analyze whether companies have the potential for participating in the government procurement process.
“It’s very useful to be able to use GTPAC as a sounding board, because the counselors understand the specific requirements,” Halm said. “In dealing with us, Joe helped us maintain the confidence we needed to stay on track. GTPAC provided tangible, direct guidance, as well as the more intangible, but equally important, encouragement.”