The GMP Friction Products team, holding the parts from the company's break repair kit, which recently won them a long-term government contract with a maximum value of $6.25 million.
The GMP Friction Products team, holding the parts from the company's break repair kit, which recently won them a long-term government contract with a maximum value of $6.25 million.

OHIO PTAC guides Akron company to success in government contracting

Daniel Kington
September 21, 2017

The Akron-based company GMP Friction Products secured eight government contracts in the past year with the involvement of Ohio University’s Procurement Technical Advancement Center (PTAC), part of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. This includes seven contracts with a total value of $985,000 and one long-term contract with a maximum value of $6.25 million.

GMP Friction Products opened its doors in 1929, producing a durable friction material manufactured entirely in the Akron area and used in brakes and clutches. Almost since its founding, GMP has produced products used by the military, but until recently has shied away from the red tape associated with direct government contracts, instead relying on middlemen.

GMP’s CEO, Rick Cardarelli, said that after the company’s management changed in 2016, they began looking back into direct government contracts.

“We did our research on the OHIO PTAC and realized that it is a completely free resource that provides access to experts in a variety of fields who could help us navigate into direct government contracting,” Cardarelli said.

The OHIO PTAC helps connect private businesses with government contracts, stimulating local economies across the organization’s 55-county Ohio service region. Before connecting with the resource, GMP had not secured a direct government contract since 2012. This year alone, in contrast, they’ve secured eight, including one long-term contract to produce break repair kits for military aircraft arresting systems.

“We’ve taken out the middle-man, and we’ve passed on the savings to the government and the taxpayers,” Mark Molitoris, GMP’s purchasing manager, said.

GMP’s story is not unusual.  In fact, in 2016, OHIO PTAC helped Ohio companies earn more than $95 million in government contracts.

According to Cardarelli, Richard Delisio, who works in PTAC’s Akron office, has become the company’s point-person every time they’re unsure of how to proceed in a contract negotiation.

“One of the first people we reach out to when we run into something we don’t understand is Rich,” Cardarelli said. “Rich usually knows the answer, and any time he doesn’t know the answer, he knows who we can go to get that answer. Oftentimes that person is within the PTAC network.”

For instance, during GMP’s negotiation of their long-term contract, the company needed assistance in working with the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC). “We reached out to Rich and asked for help. He connected us with Tony Griffin who works with PTAC in Columbus and actually used to work with the DSCC. Tony was incredibly helpful, and we were able to resolve our issues,” Cardarelli said.

Griffin noted that PTAC’s statewide network was built to provide this type of assistance.

“I was in an ideal position to assist Rich with this client,” Griffin said. “The fact that our team members bring various expertise from a variety of professional backgrounds, allows us to tackle a broad array of business situations.”

Generally, PTAC has worked with GMP in an advisory capacity – but in Cardarelli’s eyes, that’s never stopped PTAC staff from going above and beyond when the situation requires it, even attending negotiation meetings and occasionally intervening directly on the company’s behalf.

“I don’t think we would be where we are today without PTAC,” Cardarelli said.

“Rich Delissio has kept us informed about the systems we need to be up to date on, and what we need to accomplish to earn these contracts,” Molitoris said. “We’re certainly glad that we have this resource available to us, because it certainly has been a huge part of our success this year.”

Delissio said he is happy to see GMP grow.

“As PTAC counselors we encourage our clients to be resourceful,” Delisio said. “PTAC is a passenger along for the ride, there when they need us.”

For more information, or to connect with an OHIO PTAC regional representative, contact Sharon Hopkins, Director of OHIO PTAC, at hopkins1@ohio.edu.