By Joel Guge, PTAC Advisor at North Carolina State University
Tru Vantage Solutions, Inc, (TruVSI) is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) headquartered in Clayton, North Carolina. The owners, Walter Watson (Navy) and Al Thomas (Air Force), are military veterans who enjoyed productive working careers after their military service was completed. In 2016, Walter and Al both retired from their existing careers and launched their own business. With Walter’s work experience – 30 years in electrical systems and facilities management, and Al’s experience – 30 years in law enforcement, they decided to capitalize on their experiences and expertise to start a project management company focusing on security/protection and electrical systems.
In 2019, Al attended a Federal Proposal Writing Workshop presented by the PTAC advisor in Elizabeth City. From the information and assistance provided in the workshop, Al and Walter wanted to continue working with the NC PTAC as they looked to expand their business. Due to their office being located in Clayton, Al contacted the PTAC Advisor in Raleigh. Subsequent to the training, Al stated, “I was a little apprehensive when I first contacted PTAC; however, it turned out to be an impactful resource for our growing company. Joel was extremely helpful and knowledgeable and always willing to provide assistance. I highly recommend reaching out to your local PTAC Advisor.”
The assistance that TruVSI Solutions has received from PTAC has been varied. From the initial assistance provided in the proposal writing workshop, PTAC has assisted TruVSI with reviewing proposals, researching and providing information on potential vendors and subcontractors, providing information on prime contractors that are looking for a small business subcontractor with TruVSI’s capabilities and certifications, and providing information on open solicitations that fit with TruVSI’s business model.
Walter has also attended a Capture Management Workshop and viewed the on-demand PTAC webinar on Navigating Federal Contracts. Most recently, PTAC provided educational assistance on joint ventures and information on a potential JV partner that had approached TruVSI seeking to form a joint venture.
Tru Vantage Solutions Inc. decided to focus their business on three main areas: Security and Protection, Electrical Systems, and IT Maintenance and has enjoyed success as a government contractor. In quarters three and four of 2019, Tru Vantage won three additional contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs, developing and installing security systems, including access control and closed-circuit video surveillance. They were also awarded service/maintenance contracts for existing systems. TruVSI continues to receive numerous micro purchase orders and decided to enter into the joint venture through which they have successfully won contract awards. TruVSI is now looking to add an additional 12 to 13 full-time employees to fulfill an upcoming multimillion-dollar local contract and another handful of employees in other states.
Tru Vantage Solutions Inc. has positioned itself to fast-track while their business flourishes and feels that PTAC has been instrumental in that growth. As Walter puts it, “Working with PTAC gave us the confidence to be aggressive in our approach to government contracting. And, in an industry that weighs heavy on qualifying past performance, PTAC showed us that our prior personal professional experience made Tru Vantage Solutions Inc desirable as a government contractor.”