Grand Island, Nebraska – Eakes Office Solutions is employing the expertise of the Nebraska Business Development Center’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (NBDC PTAC) to expand sales to federal agencies and meet a growing need for cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Founded in Grand Island by Howard Eakes in 1945, Eakes Office Solutions specializes in office supplies, copiers and printers, promotional products, furniture solutions and installation, janitorial supplies and equipment, technology services and equipment service. The company’s roster of products includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfecting supplies. Since the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Eakes has expanded its offerings and now stocks a broader selection of personal protective equipment (PPE).
NBDC PTAC consultant Chuck Beck initially reached out to Eakes when he recognized the company’s capacity to serve government agencies. In 2019, Beck provided information about an opportunity with Kearney Housing Agency. Following discussions with Paul McKinney, managing partner at Eakes, Beck assisted the company with developing a capability statement and a basic BidMatch profile.
Holly Hopkins, major accounts development specialist with Eakes Office Solutions, says Beck also helped the company with its System for Award Management (SAM) registration, Small Business Administration (SBA) profile and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) registration.
“When he sees a contract opportunity that Eakes may be able to source, he simply sends me the link in an email and includes any other necessary information,” Hopkins says. With the coronavirus pandemic creating shortages of cleaning supplies and PPE at government agencies nationwide, Beck has helped Eakes identify federal contract opportunities to supply hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and PPE.
Eakes has made sales to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Ellsworth Air Force Base.
“Chuck and NBDC have had a great impact on our business,” Hopkins says. “They’ve provided opportunities in government contracting that we never had access to in the past. We landed our first deal earlier this year, and are looking forward to future growth.”
She says NBDC has been very easy to work with. “Chuck has been more than helpful,” she says. “He has made navigating often complicated government requests very simple for us.
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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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