Sabre Systems

Sabre Systems, Inc., a provider of information technology and professional engineering services, began as a small, two-man office in 1989. Now with $70 million revenue, 600 employees and a market reach extending throughout 15 countries, the Warminster-based company is almost unrecognizable.

Sabre President Philip Jaurigue owes his remarkable success to a very loyal customer: government. Federal purchasing offices are often required to set aside contracts or portions of contracts for exclusive bidding by small and/or minority-owned businesses. Major prime contractors are also required to subcontract part of their work out to small firms.

The Temple University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is home to a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), which offers services designed to help companies like Jaurigue’s capture potentially lucrative government contracts. Over the years, the PTAC provided fundamental support to Sabre’s procurement efforts through training, consulting, and bid leads.

Sabre was awarded its first contract supporting two program offices at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Warminster, PA. When the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) announced that Warminster division would realign to Patuxent River, MD, Sabre responded with an aggressive plan to expand.

The company’s relationship with Temple University SBDC began in 1993 shortly after Jim O’Donnell, Vice President of Administration, joined Sabre. O’Donnell, who counts contracts administration among his many responsibilities, initiated the request for government marketing assistance through PTAC.

Sabre dispatched its representatives to several government procurement seminars throughout its development. These seminars provide in-depth instruction on various government contracting subjects including electronic commerce, certification considerations, proposal response and federal acquisition regulations.

Seasoned consultants then provided the company with government marketing strategies and direction as it acted on its expansion plans. Sabre was also set up in the Bid Match Program to receive daily government bid leads.

“I have looked at those bid leads everyday for 15 years,” O’Donnell chuckles, recalling that the bids once arrived via facsimile.  “Those bids have been a tool for us in finding our contracts. Now, I send some of those bids out to my colleagues and they utilize these leads as a tool for business development.”

As an SBA 8(a) certified (or small disadvantaged) business, Sabre was able to greatly increase its bidding opportunities. Firms may compete for procurements over $3 million ($5 million for manufacturers) set aside specifically for those with this certification, greatly reducing the competition. The 8(A) designation also entitles these firms to a price evaluation preference on their bids.

Sabre was able to leverage the PTAC services to capture contracts across city, state and federal government agencies. In 2008 alone, the company acquired $551,409 as a prime contractor and $227,981as a subcontractor.

Sabre continues to enjoy controlled and steady growth, achieving recognition in the industry with multiple awards. The company made the Philly 100® a record seven consecutive years, claimed the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Award for IT Solutions and landed in the Deloitte & Touche Fast 500, a list of the fastest growing technology firms in the United States.