A Davenport security company expects to take in more than $17 million over the next five years from new government contracts it landed after the firm’s newly hired business development person spent roughly five months working closely with CIRAS.
Eric Sanders, bid coordinator for Global Security Services, says the credit for his company’s success in government contracting belongs to Melissa Burant, a government contracting specialist with the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) who helped Sanders understand the sometimes confusing world of government contracting.
“By listening to her advice, we not only were able to adjust the quality and content of our proposals, but we also were able to challenge the contracting officers and get them to make adjustment to the RFPs,” Sanders said. “You can read a lot about it on the Internet, you can go to all these classes, but none of that matters without someone like Melissa to help you piece together how it works behind the scenes.
“We wouldn’t be here without your program and her knowledge.”
Sanders, a U.S. Air Force veteran and former congressional staffer, was hired by Global Security Services in 2018 to improve the company’s approach to government contracting. The company had provided security services for governments before, Sanders said.
But Burant believes the company found success this time because it decided to devote the time and resources necessary to make sense out of a complicated government contracting world.
“I think the trick was that they finally got someone who was designated to do this,” she said. “A lot of companies, they’re very small, and everybody wears multiple hats. That’s hard when you’re pursuing government work, because it requires so much research and understanding. Many companies take one look at it and get quickly overwhelmed with the volume of information and the number of choices you have to make.”
Sanders said Global Security Services, which had 110 employees last fall, added 80 more at the beginning of 2019. Recently obtained contracts include handling security for public utilities, a public library system in Illinois, and a courthouse in Wisconsin.
“The lesson,” according to Burant, “is that you can actually take this information that we provide and turn it into action. It works. But it’s not easy.”
> For more information, contact Melissa Burant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-726-9958.
A version of this article was published in the Spring 2019 edition of CIRAS News. To read more of that edition or others, please explore elsewhere on our website.