No matter what anyone says, it’s unusual to receive an almost instantaneous response when a business calls for assistance. Everyone promises “the best service” but only a few deliver. So you can imagine the surprise when a Procurement Specialist with the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the University of Central Florida was on American Backflow & Fire Services President and CEO Gary Gamache’s doorstep not even 10 minutes after calling him for help.
American Backflow & Fire Services is a provider of fire safety solutions, primarily by offering sprinkler systems, detection devices and fire backflow services including inspections, installations and servicing. Founded in 2009, Gamache has successfully built his business serving commercial and residential customers.
“We make facility managers’ and homeowners’ lives easier by tracking their devices and inspection dates and then notifying them when it’s time for service to keep their property both safe and in compliance with state regulations,” says CEO Gamache.
Gamache has taken advantage of assistance from the FSBDC at UCF and its Lake County office to help him grow his business in a variety of ways. The FSBDC helped him write a business plan that was applauded by his bank when they approved a new credit line for the company. He has attended multiple FSBDC seminars and workshops that he says have sharpened his skills and helped him identify new avenues for growth.
One of those avenues was expanding American Backflow into government contracting. He participated in training about doing business with the government offered by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center. He signed up for the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center's Bid Match System, which would notify him about opportunities to bid on federal, state and local contracts. And he has consulted regularly with Procurement Specialists.
Gamache and his team had been monitoring the Bid Match System when they saw an opportunity they wanted to pursue. The United States Air Force was requesting bids for backflow survey services at over 500 locations at Tyndall AFB and two offsite USAF locations. Gamache called his Procurement Specialist on Friday at 5:00 pm to look over the government’s request with him. Gamache's Procurement Specialist was there 10 minutes later (he happens to live only a mile from Gamache’s office). They reviewed the Air Force’s request together and then, over the next week, completed American Backflow’s bid package with his Procurement Specialist clarifying bid requirements, focusing proposal language, and recommending administrative changes in the bid draft to ensure it was compliant and responsive to the Air Force’s request.
And American Backflow’s bid won the almost $250,000 government contract. Gary Gamache was effusive in his appreciation.
“To be bidding on my first federal contract and be able to call the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center and have them by my side almost immediately to help me evaluate an opportunity and then walk us through completing our proposal was invaluable,” says Gamache.