All Rite Distributing, Inc. was founded in 1972 as a wholesale distributor warehouse in the automotive aftermarket, but over the past 10 years has evolved into more of a government distribution warehousing company, with approximately 70 percent of its 2010 sales coming from defense contracts. To secure government contracts, Steve Dunning, Director of Government Sales, finds manufacturers to build products for his company and then finds government contracts to match the abilities of those manufacturers. All Rite qualifies as a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), which gives the firm an advantage in the contract bidding process by allowing it to explore various set-aside opportunities available only to such companies. All Rite receives up to 100 government contracts a month typically ranging in value from $50 to $100,000, with its largest a five-year contract valued at nearly $14 million.
When All Rite Distributing registered as a defense contractor around 10 years ago, it started working with Partners in Contracting Corporation (PICC), a Hammond-based organization that helps Indiana companies secure government contracts. After PICC opened a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) in the fall of 2009 in Fort Wayne, All Rite began working with Gil Perry, counselor/trainer for the local PTAC, who works out of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center (NE ISBDC). The PTAC and the NE ISBDC work closely together when possible, and it was in November of 2009 that PTAC first introduced All Rite to the NE ISBDC. The company had just been awarded the five-year defense contract valued at nearly $14 million, which was to supply the U.S. Army with 2,000 machine gun mounts. Mr. Perry wanted All Rite to get some recognition for this substantial contract and asked Mary Popovich, marketing coordinator for the NE ISBDC, to meet with Mr. Dunning and create a press release that would give All Rite some much-deserved publicity. The conservative family-owned business, which up to that point had been quietly operating as a defense contractor, was hesitant to become a client of the NE ISBDC and to be put in the limelight, but Mr. Perry and Ms. Popovich convinced company leaders that the press release was a strategic move that could bring them more business. The press release was created and distributed by the NE ISBDC on behalf of the PTAC, and All Rite received a large amount of publicity for its $14 million contract.
In June 2010, with All Rite continuing to grow its defense business, Mr. Dunning contacted Mr. Perry to inform him that All Rite was being awarded a Vendor Excellence Award for Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) by the Defense Logistics Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. Mr. Perry, in turn, involved Ms. Popovich of the NE ISBDC, and the two met with Mr. Dunning and All Rite Vice President Gary McNaughton to discuss doing a press release about the award and how the services of the Northeast Indiana SBDC could further benefit All Rite Distributing. This convinced company leaders to make All Rite an official client of the NE ISBDC on June 25, 2010.
The NE ISBDC created and distributed a press release on June 29 to announce All Rite’s receipt of the prestigious Vendor Excellence Award, and this announcement garnered much media attention for the company. Mr. Dunning credits the press release for “a few important contracts (with a total value of nearly $200,000) that without a doubt have a direct relationship to the NE ISBDC’s guidance and exposure.” In addition, he notes that All Rite has established several new Northeast Indiana partnerships since the press release was issued.
The NE ISBDC also worked with Mr. Dunning in July 2010 to develop and design a much-needed marketing brochure to help promote his company at events such as the annual SDVOSB Conference in Las Vegas and the Tacom Conference in Detroit. “Using the brochure as a tool at these events has given us a competitive edge that allows us to take All Rite to a different level of sales opportunities when in contact with the large prime contractors as well as the small business companies that we are networking with,” Mr. Dunning said.
“On another note, we want to say thank you to Mr. Gil Perry for his continued support and wisdom that we have received this past year. By PTAC coming to Northeast Indiana, it has given this community a great sense of sponsorship showing that out of the gate he was up and running with a positive attitude toward a common goal of ‘creating opportunity for local companies.’ This desire has not gone unnoticed with our company,” Mr. Dunning said. “It will always be a pleasure to continue this working relationship with the SBDC and the PTAC.”
Photo Caption/Quote: All Rite Distributing President J. Brian McNaughton (right) and Director of Government Sales Steve Dunning (center) proudly display the Vendor Excellence Award for Service Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business that All Rite received on August 24 from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The award was presented by DLA Director, Vice Admiral Alan S. Thompson, SC, USN (left). After the NE ISBDC wrote and distributed a press release about All Rite’s receipt of this prestigious award, the company received “a few important contracts (with a total value of nearly $200,000) that without a doubt have a direct relationship to the NE ISBDC’s guidance and exposure,” according to Mr. Dunning. In addition, he notes that All Rite has established several new Northeast Indiana partnerships since the press release was issued. The NE ISBDC also worked with All Rite to develop a marketing brochure that Mr. Dunning says has given his firm “a competitive edge that allows us to take All Rite to a different level of sales opportunities.”