General Fire & Safety Equipment
When the Missouri River Project Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needed new fire extinguishers, Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) Procurement Technical Assistance program consultant Mary Graff wasted no time sparking the interest of General Fire & Safety Equipment in Omaha.
Graff was checking the Federal Business Opportunities website when she saw the contract being bid by the Corps of Engineers and reached out to General Fire & Safety CEO Jason McDonald. “Mary contacted me and asked if we had access to government contracting opportunities,” McDonald says. “We didn’t, and though we weren’t actually looking for government contracts, I always thought we should be.”
Because of the impending deadline, Graff immediately emailed McDonald the synopsis, solicitation and site visit information.
“She walked me through the process and let me know precisely what we needed to do,” he says. “She explained the SAM (federal System for Award Management) registration and how to get all the necessary details up and running. It can be a fairly daunting process, and she helped us get through all that.”
One day before the solicitation was due to the contracting office, Graff made certain McDonald had the contracting officer’s email address so his company could meet the deadline. General Fire & Safety was awarded the contract.
Graff and McDonald have since met to discuss the government contracting opportunities the company may have an interest in pursuing. General Fire & Safety subsequently was awarded a contract for a carbon dioxide (CO2) fire suppression system installation, again for the Corps of Engineers.
“Mary was very understanding of the intimidation factor when you want to bid a government project but really don’t know where to begin,” McDonald says. “She really made us feel more comfortable bidding these projects.”
Graff helped make certain McDonald and his company continue to receive notifications of available contracts. “She’s been very proactive,” he says. “She allowed us to set up the notification process to be as focused as we want.”
McDonald says NBDC offers high quality services made even more impressive by the fact there was no fee. “When she first called, I thought, ‘What’s the catch?’” he says. “It’s a fantastic resource, and she’s always just a phone call away.”