Working with one of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) government contracting specialists has enabled Protex Central to expand its visibility and interaction with state and federal agencies.
Established in 1966, Protex Central provides fire protection systems, security systems and life safety system services that monitor and protect people, property and assets throughout the Midwest. The company has offices in Omaha, Des Moines, Scottsbluff, and its corporate office in Hastings.
Sales Director Tom Reiber says he was introduced to NBDC and its services when he attended a series of workshops held at the Hastings Chamber of Commerce. The workshops included a session on federal contracting basics and set-aside programs presented by Chuck Beck, a procurement technical assistance specialist in the NBDC office at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. After the workshop, Reiber contacted Beck to learn more about doing business with federal agencies.
Beck suggested ways that Protex Central could increase visibility with federal agencies. Since the company could serve as a prime on some contracts, a BidMatch profile was created and the company’s Small Business Administration (SBA) Profile was updated.
“Now I get information about government contract bids via email every day,” Reiber says. In subsequent meetings, they discussed pursuing federal subcontracting and local and state opportunities. Reiber learned how to identify prime contractors in the federal market and strategies for reaching out to those potential partners. Beck showed Reiber how to register to do business with Nebraska’s Purchasing Division and the Nebraska Public Power District. “Chuck helped put together a capability statement dedicated for government agencies and contracts that serve as our company’s snapshot,” Reiber says. “His advice helped us find information about available bids, and how to interface with government agencies, all the way through payment processing.”
Reiber attended a Meet the Buyers Conference hosted by NBDC at Chadron State College in October 2017, which proved beneficial to Protex Central. “It was a good tool to help us get in touch with the purchasing sources and exchange information,” he says. “It’s always helpful to be able to put faces with the names.” He says the conference led to a closed-circuit television security project with the Internal Revenue Service in Scottsbluff and a contract for an intrusion system for the Forest Service.
“We plan on sending two team members to the next conference in Chadron,” Reiber says. Most recently, Beck provided a list of school district points of contact for Reiber to use in marketing a new product. “Chuck has been very helpful as we navigate the different government processes and regulations,” Reiber says. “We really appreciate what he has provided from a support standpoint.”
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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