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6 July, 2006 - 11:12 By Staff Reporter

Apex awarded prestigious GSA approval

Every company wanting to supply the US Federal Government or Agency must be approved by a United States body called GSA (General Services Administration).

A scan of the GSA website in the USA will bring up a list of as many as 30,000 suppliers offering everything from tacks to tanks.

By comparison, there are only a few hundred non-American suppliers elsewhere across the globe of which just over 20 are approved in the UK. These UK companies are typically large blue-chip enterprises such as BAe, and it is very unusual to find small specialist manufacturers gaining approval of this stature.

Letchworth based Apex Security Engineering has joined this elite having received its GSA approval to add to the many UK Government approvals already in its locker.

Apex, has a staff of 35 and turnover of £2m. It manufactures secure office furniture and IT enclosures up to UK Government Class 4 standard, or ‘top secret’.

Apex has been helped by the East of England International Trade Team in St Albans, which delivers UK Trade and Investment services to businesses in the area. UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that helps UK companies trade internationally and Apex has using their services since 2003.

Kevin Woods, managing director said “Although we had always felt our products would appeal to Federal Markets and other foreign governments, for a relatively small organisation approaching these markets was a hugely daunting prospect.

“UK Trade & Investment’s Passport to Export scheme definitely gave us the initial impetus and it is doubtful whether we could have embarked on this export initiative without the continued support of UKTI.”

As part of the UKTI Passport to Export scheme, Apex developed a strategic plan to export, visited the US and took advantage of meeting UK Trade and Investment officers overseas.

Woods added: “Terry Shear, Vice Consul at the British Embassy in Washington, was particularly helpful; she introduced several potential clients and initiated our participation in a UK Trade Mission to FOSE, the Federal Government IT security exhibition in March this year.”

Since joining the Passport to Export Programme, sales are increasing significantly and Apex continues to develop its product range to further increase its appeal to Federal Markets.

Winning GSA approval will open a significant number of doors for Apex both in the UK and across the world.

Approval of this nature will result in Apex being listed on the GSA site, thus opening up the lucrative American market which is particularly large at this time after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of 9/11.

Outside the US, there are Embassies, military installations, U.S. Navy and Air Force bases and many other potential customer groups for the Apex product range.

Woods said: “ It has taken nearly 12 months of intense work and negotiation to achieve our GSA Contract approval, but the effort has been well worthwhile as it now opens up the massive Federal market to us and we are proud to represent the UK as one of only a handful of other approved companies.”

 

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