Steve Schroeder spent 21 years building Real Time Solutions from scratch into a top web design and management provider in New Mexico, and now his company is poised to hit the federal circuit as a new GSA Schedule awardee.
The General Services Administration awarded a five-year, $500,000 GSA Schedule contract to the company on Feb. 10, allowing any federal agency to now directly procure Real Time Solutions’ services without requesting bids from other companies. The award also allows state and local governments to buy RTS services through the GSA contract without a formal “request for proposals,” streamlining the procurement process and potentially opening a lot more doors for Schroeder’s firm.
This first award is for an initial five-year period through 2026. But the contract allows for three five-year renewals, potentially stretching it out over 20 years, Schroeder told the Journal.
“It gives us a new vehicle for any federal agency to procure from us now without an RFP,” Schroeder said. “Getting the GSA award was, really, the RFP.”
Under the GSA contract, RTS can sell up to $1 million in services to any single customer, with no limit on the number of customers that can procure contracts with RTS. The $500,000 represents the minimum amount of total business that the GSA expects RTS will be able to do over five years, Schroeder said.
“We haven’t landed a contract yet,” Schroeder said. “But I estimate that just in the first year we can do about $125,000 per quarter.”
The New Mexico Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination registration website, which Real Time built and runs for the government. (Courtesy of Real Time Solutions)
The company will use the GSA award to aggressively expand into more markets in other states. It already has many customers in Texas and Colorado, with executive offices for virtual meetings in Denver and San Antonio. It’s now preparing as well to launch services in Phoenix, Arizona, Schroeder said.
Getting on the GSA Schedule is a major milestone for RTS, which Schroeder launched in 2000 with just $80,000 in personal funds. The company doesn’t publicly disclose revenue, but it’s built more than 1,500 websites for customers over the past two decades, including numerous contracts with local businesses, and with state, municipal and tribal governments in New Mexico.
It built the state Department of Transportation’s “New Mexico Roads” website in 2007, managing it since then with at least three major upgrades and the addition of features such as smartphone apps for drivers to receive alerts about weather and road conditions.
The site offers comprehensive, real-time information on roads around the state, with cameras along central highways that users can access with a finger tap to directly view conditions and traffic at any given time.
“We’ve been working with RTS for about 13 years,” said Charles Remkes, department chief for intelligent transportation systems operations. “They constantly have their fingers on the pulse of technology as it progresses and evolves to help keep our system current. We see them as a partner more than a supplier who offers a strong, resilient product and service.”
RTS has also worked with the Department of Health for many years. It built and now manages the new COVID-19 vaccination registration site that the government is using to administer vaccines around the state.
“That’s all us,” Schroeder said “We developed it and we run it for the Department of Health.”
There have been some hiccups for users navigating the site, but overall, it’s helped the state manage the vaccination campaign rapidly and efficiently, said Steve’s son, Chris Schroeder, who is RTS’s chief operating officer.
“There are challenges with any new rollout,” Chris said. “But by and large, it’s a highly successful system.”
With the GSA Schedule now in hand, the company is preparing to launch a concerted campaign in March, targeting federal agencies to expand its customer base.
“We won’t necessarily change what we do, but we’ll be fishing in some bigger ponds,” Chris said.
The company currently employs 46 people at an 8,000-square-foot office near Old Town, although most employees have been working remotely since the pandemic started.
And with RTS now well established and growing, Steve Schroeder expects to retire in the next couple of years, turning the company reins over to his son, who joined RTS after graduating high school in 2001.
“I’m incredibly lucky,” Chris said. “My pops is my best friend, mentor and business partner. We’ve been preparing to transition the company for a couple of years while holding onto him as long as possible. When he’s ready, when I’m ready, and when we feel the market’s ready, we’ll make that switch.”
Kevin Robinson-Avila covers technology, energy, venture capital and utilities for the Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.