SimplexGrinnell to seek GSA Schedule for fire, security systems

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Monday, July 1, 2002

WESTMINSTER, Mass.-SimplexGrinnell could be soon expanding the scope of its General Services Administration work, with an agreement now in the works for a GSA Schedule for fire and security systems.

If approved by the GSA, it would enable Simplex-Grinnell to become a turnkey provider of security and life safety services to government agencies that require GSA approved contractors. The firm already has a GSA agreement to service fire alarm systems.

"What we're trying to do is have our full breadth of product offerings and that will eventually include fire," said John Harding, manager of government sales and marketing for SimplexGrinnell. "That's going to open up markets for us that we were previously blocked out of."

With a GSA Schedule, SimplexGrinnell will gain access to a new group of customers since some government agencies only work with contractors who are approved by GSA.

"Our one-stop delivery model is a very good fit in the government marketplace," said Harding. "And the intent is to expand our GSA offerings to include portable fire extinguishers and sprinklers, as well."

The arrangement typically involves a GSA vendor providing a price list of all products and services offered and then the two enter into a price agreement contract. By doing this, it helps streamline the federal purchasing process, with a shorter procurement cycle.

"You want to be easy for your customers to work with," said Brad Peacher, an operations manager for SimplexGrinnell's Columbia, Md. office. "That direct pipeline can't do anything but help us, particularly when you see that a lot of government agencies will only work with you if you're on the GSA."

Peacher said it was difficult to estimate how much more business SimplexGrinnell will garner as a result of the GSA Schedule, but expects it will be significant.

Harding said Simplex-Grinnell began the application process last summer for fire and security related services and, if all goes well, anticipates reaching an agreement before the end of the year. In April, the company received GSA approval for advanced nurse call and patient response products, opening up the substantial Veteran's Affairs  market to the company.