Fire design firm to reap rewards with GSA

Notifier ESD Antronnix derives 90 percent of its businsess from the federal sector
Monday, December 1, 2003

SILVER SPRINGS, Md. - A fire firm that already has 90 percent of its customer base in the federal sector has struck a contract to have its equipment and services listed on the GSA supply website.

Antronnix, a Notifier distributor here, expects that the new contract with GSA will add between five and 10 percent to company revenues, thanks to the broad reach of the GSA program and GSA Advantage, the purchasing website used by authorized federal personnel looking for products and services from GSA-approved vendors.

“It’s like the eBay of the government,” said Ed Graves, president of Antronnix, an $8 million company that was founded in 1968. “This means that a government agency in Alaska who needs a manual pull station can go onto the website and purchase it from us.”

Eventually, Graves said, the GSA contract will be responsible for 10 to 20 percent of Antronnix’s total revenues, once the company begins to leverage it through a dedicated sales position that will exclusively promote the GSA relationship and develop new business opportunities in that space. Graves estimated that it took about a year of man-hours to garner the contract.

Antronnix is already involved in projects around the world, designing systems for ongoing installations in Tokyo, Vancouver and Munich, as well as in its own backyard, with a recent high-profile installation at the Blair House in Washington, D.C. (see related story). And in an area that exists in part to service the needs of the federal government, Antronnix differentiates itself from its competition by marketing and selling its services to local electrical contractors, who perform most of the installations of systems that Antronnix has designed.

“As a result, 25 percent of my company staff is engineers and CAD people,” Graves said. “Every other fire company has an installation team and they are competing with their biggest customer, the electrical contractor. We have been very careful about that and it’s been very effective.”

The company’s 55 employees are housed in a 16,000-square-foot industrial space, about 2,000 square feet of which is dedicated warehouse space, Graves said.