Can I Participate In Government Bids Without A Gsa Schedule
The answer, put simply, is yes. Yes, you can participate in government contracting bids without a GSA Schedule. But it may not be the best way to secure government contract opportunities. Open market sales to the federal government take longer and are more expensive than sales through a contracting vehicle.
Many government agencies are required to make the majority of government procurements using either the GSA Schedule or other Government-wide Acquisition Contracts . The GSA Schedule is the largest GWAC and the general start point for many government contractors who are looking to do business with the government. Having a GSA Schedule contract makes doing business with the federal government faster, cheaper, and easier for both the government buyer and the business.
Government procurement is regulated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation . By utilizing a GSA Schedule, the government can ensure procurements will be FAR/DFAR-compliant, which will help minimize risks for all parties involved and speed up the process. Because GSA Schedule holders go through a rigorous vetting and approval process to get their own GSA Schedule contract, government buyers already know they meet their requirements. It is partly due to this ease that government buyers often look exclusively at GSA partners for fulfilling their government contract opportunities.
Ready To Land A Gsa Contract
Federal Schedules, Inc. has been helping companies obtain and manage their GSA Schedule Contracts since 1986. We can help you:
- Determine if Your Company Qualifies to Get a GSA Schedule
- Evaluate if Your Company Would Benefit From Getting a GSA Schedule
- Develop Your Proposal & Negotiate Your GSA Schedule Contract Award
- Educate Your Staff on Post-Award Contract Requirements
What Are The Gsa Schedules
There are a number of different GSA Schedules that are used to identify the types of businesses these contracts exist with. These schedule classifications include everything from publication media, 76, to sports equipment and supplies, 78. They also include facilities maintenance and management, 03FAC, as well as office, imaging and document solutions, 36. If a business sells a3 printers, for example, they would be classified under the schedule of 36. You can see a list of all the GSA Schedules on the GSA eLibrary website.
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- via Cooperative Purchasing or Disaster Purchasing via GSA Schedule procurement
What Happens If You Do Not Accept The Mass Mod
Keep in mind, this is a federal order that is not limited to GSA contracts. The vaccine requirements implemented across the GSA Schedule Contracts are also required for most other federal contracts and are strongly encouraged even when not required.
Even if your company decides to forego all federal contract work, OSHA will soon issue an emergency rule that requires all companies with 100 or more employees to ensure employees are fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. During this weeks industry session, GSA noted it will be more cost effective for companies to implement the FAR mandated COVID-19 safety protocols as opposed to OSHAs emergency rule that allows for a weekly testing alternative.
That said, if your company decides to not accept Refresh 8 mass mod A837 because you cannot or will not comply with federal COVID-19 safety protocols:
- Your contract information will be taken down from GSA websites like GSA eLibrary and Advantage you will also lose access to GSA eBuy.
- You will not be eligible for any future orders.
- You will not be able to renew or extend your contract.
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How To Grow Your Business With A Gsa Schedule
A GSA Schedule is regarded as the best first place to start when analyzing whether or not your firm should get into federal contracting. This is because a GSA Schedule Contract is a government-wide contract also known as a GWAC that gives your firm the ability to efficiently do business with almost all federal agencies. There are approximately 20,000 firms that have gone through the process of obtaining and maintaining a GSA Schedule and these firms do on average 1 million dollars in annual federal sales while also providing inroads for making contacts within federal agencies for obtaining other future contracts.
The challenge of obtaining a GSA Schedule Contract can be large for many small firms that are not well versed in government nuances. Technical mistakes can delay the application for months and also create other challenges such as future pricing. Having an experienced firm to consult with regarding your GSA Schedule application will save you time and on a cost-benefit basis, money as well. In addition, experienced help in the negotiation process with the GSA can help ensure your firm has a profitable relationship with the federal government. We assist firms in the GSA application process, help firms make modifications to their contracts down the road as well as provide marketing support services to our clients. This is why our clients have been awarded over 1 billion dollars in federal contracts.
Gsa Contract Award & Management
The Award of your GSA Contract usually happens so quickly that it is a bit surreal. But there is much to be done still to get you registered in the GSA systems and unlock the Agency Leads.
Aside from this, you will have some Maintenance and Compliance concerns going into the future, and this is where preparation is very important.
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Finding Products And Services
- Schedules Also known as Multiple-Award Schedules , “Federal Supply Schedules ” or “GSA Schedules”, these are the primary contract vehicles used for procurement and purchasing. Schedule categories can be explored at GSA eLibrary.
- GSA Global Supply This requisition-based ordering program is available for office supplies, tools, computer products, safety gear, and cleaning products.
- Assisted Acquisition Certified contracting, project management, and financial management professionals are available to assist agencies with acquisitions.
- Technology Programs Solutions for complex technology procurement include IT Schedule Schedule 70, Network & Telecommunications Programs, and Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts, or GWACs.
- GSA Fleet & Automotive GSA Automotive is the source for purchasing government vehicles, while GSA Fleet provides leasing opportunities.
- GSA Travel Programs Superior travel solutions are available at very low cost.
- Personal Property Management This service allows agencies to purchase items from other federal agencies and also dispose of unneeded personal property.
Welcome To Schedule Services
Schedule Services is a government contracts solutions provider with a central core competency in The GSA Schedules Program. Our goal is to help you develop government business. As an established leader in the contracts environment, Schedule Services has enabled companies of all sizes to create a competitive advantage in the federal marketplace.
Everyone wants to know how to get government contracts and we know how. We offer a broad range of services beyond simply getting you a GSA Schedule. After award, to ensure contract compliance, we offer our GSA Maintenance and Support Program, and a complete package of marketing and sales support services, with contract administration assistance for those businesses already on a GSA Schedule.
Whether you are a large corporation, small commercial business concern or a company just entering the federal market, Schedule Services has a customized program that will satisfy your requirements, and the resources to help you succeed!
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Get Your Business Ready For Government Contracts
Before you can begin pursuing a GSA Schedule, you should do your homework and get your business ready for it.
- Register your business. Only a legitimate business can work with the government. You must register at the System for Award Management to be able to pursue GSA contracts. In turn, registering at SAM.gov implies your company has a D.U.N.S. number, is assigned with a NAICS code, and is a legitimate tax payer.
- Learn about GSA contracting. Start with a Federal Contracting Guide at SBA. Then, there are a number of educational materials at the GSA Vendor Support Center, which is always a great source of information. Research how the contracting system works, and you will avoid many pitfalls other vendors fall victim to.
- Make sure you are ready. Start with obligatory training that includes Pathways to Success and Readiness Assessment training programs. Then, you can use our express test here, to see if your business qualifies for GSA sales.
Finding The Right Gsa Schedule
The question what is a GSA Schedule? can be viewed in light of the 31 different GSA Schedules , or main product/service categories. There are another 9 Schedules under the VA/FSS program. Each VA or GSA Schedule Contract has numerous subcategories called Special Item Numbers . When you are pursuing a GSA Contract it is important to read the scope descriptions for the SINs and assure that you have performed work similar in scope. If you submit for GSA SINs that you have not performed for, then you will be rejected. Sometimes this is challenging to identify the appropriate GSA Schedule and SIN.
There is often overlap among the list of GSA Schedules. A company can either have a clear category that fits them, or there can be multiple GSA Schedules. Therefore, it is important to read the descriptions within the GSA List very well, research your competition to locate which Schedule they were awarded, and utilize the experience of a professional who knows the numerous scope conflicts within the Solicitation document. Otherwise, your GSA Contract pursuit could take months or years longer.
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Meeting Federal Customer Needs
Companies should understand their federal customers are required to follow the new Federal Acquisition Regulations related to COVID-19 safety protocols. GSA anticipates federal agencies will turn to GSA Contract vehicles, like the GSA Multiple Award Schedule, to ensure compliance. Since GSA is incorporating the new FAR clause on COVID-19 Safety Protocols into all GSA MAS Contracts through the mass modification process, agencies are not required to modify the contract/Task Order themselves. Government buyers can also use GSAs COVID Safety Protocols Dashboard and GSA Contracts Online webpage to find out if a company has incorporated the new COVID-19 related FAR clause into their contract.
What Is A Gsa Contract
A GSA contract is an agreement that the General Services Administration enters into with small businesses. These agreements are sometimes referred to as a GSA Schedule, Multiple Award Schedules or Federal Supply Schedule contracts. Regardless of what you call them, these contracts all do the same thing. They are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, or IDIQ, agreements that can be used by all different government agencies. These GSA Schedules allow for the government to get products at the lowest prices for the best value, with less lead time, added flexibility and control of procurement.
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Gsa Says Vast Majority Of Contractors Agree To Implement Vaccine Mandate
Although the Biden Administrations vaccine mandate for federal contractors still faces numerous court challenges from state attorneys general, individual contractor employees and other opponents, companies themselves arent putting up much of a fight at least if the General Services Administrations Federal Supply Schedule program is any indication.
As of this week, the overwhelming majority of the 12,000 companies who do business with the government via the GSA schedules have agreed to implement the mandate. Ninety-five percent of those firms have signed contract modifications to add a clause implementing the mandate for their own workforces. And across the broader portfolio of other types of contracts GSAs Federal Acquisition Service administers, the figure is 91%, said Mark Lee, FASs assistant commissioner for policy and compliance.
GSA remains committed to the safety of our federal workforce, our contractors, the agencies we serve, and we appreciate the hard work and dedication of our contractors, Lee told vendors this week during the Coalition for Government Procurements fall training conference. Well continue to keep you involved and do our best to be a value-added partner, and thank you for the tremendous response on the modification.
Of course, even if schedule holders had reservations about implementing the mandate within their own companies, it wasnt exactly optional at least not if they wanted continued revenue from the Schedules program.
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How A Gsa Contract Works
The programs concept is very simple. You must be in business at least 2 years, have grossed at least $150,000 in sales, have happy customers and be willing to offer the federal government your best price. You are now considered an elite vendor with preapproved pricing when you win your 5 year contract. Your products and/or services are catalogued in the GSA E-Library for easy review by buyers and procurement officers.
But dont get too excited, yet. While the GSA does guarantee that they will utilize your contract, getting into the program is not easy. Many companies have thrown hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years into winning only to come up short. The GSA rejects most businesses at least once. Their requirements are difficult to interpret and they change the language in their solicitation many times throughout a business pursuit of the award. That leaves one question How do you get into the GSA program?
Federal Supply Schedule Services Overview
TurboGSA helps firms expand their Federal business by combining experienced, professional service with innovative technologies to ensure greater success in the Federal market. Whether you need to obtain a GSA Schedule, manage or modify an existing schedule, or increase sales and marketing, we can help.
A General Services Administration Schedule is one of the most valuable contracts a business can have to facilitate Federal business development. However, GSA Schedule proposals are difficult to develop, and most business owners and manager lack the time necessary to learn about GSA Schedules, figure out the process for successfully applying, and dealing with the bureaucracy. TurboGSA helps businesses that don’t have the time or money to throw at the problem.
How Do Employers Verify Employee Vaccination
Employees that are required to be vaccinated must show or provide their employer a copy of the:
- Record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy or
- COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or
- Medical records documenting the vaccination or
- Immunization records from a public health or State immunization information system or
- Other official documentation verifying vaccination with information on the vaccine name, date of administration, and the name of health care professional or clinic site administering vaccine.
GSA held a virtual industry session this week to discuss the new COVID-19 safety protocol requirements and address industry questions. Jeffrey Koses, GSAs Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, acknowledged industry concerns. Koses explained, in an attempt to reduce the administrative burden, GSA is not asking companies to make any certifications or submit any documentation regarding the COVID-19 safety protocols. Once a company accepts mass mod A837, GSA will assume the contractor is in compliance with FAR 52.223-99, unless they have reason to believe otherwise. GSA is also recommending that Contracting Officers have some flexibility with contractors who are showing a good faith effort to comply with the new protocols.
Gsa Document Preparation Process
The process to get GSA Certified requires many steps, but the best way to breakdown the process is to look at the components
GSA Template Docs
There are several different docs that may be required for your GSA Offer, it varies depending on which GSA Schedule you are pursuing. You will find these documents within the Solicitation Package, and the instructions will be within the Solicitation Document. Some of these documents include:
- Summary Of Offer
- The Solicitation Packages for each GSA Schedule can be viewed and downloaded HERE > >
GSA Offer Process
Stages to Get a GSA Contract
Initially, a document package, called an offer is prepared and submitted electronically to the GSA for review. After the GSA has had time to review the Offer document package, they commonly respond with several clarification items, which must be addressed promptly. This Clarification Process continues for several iterations until the GSA offer documents are deemed acceptable by the GSA Contracting Officer reviewing them.
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What Are Gsa Clarifications
In order to even make it to Clarifications with your GSA Offer must make it through a Pre-Screening, so:
- 1. The GSA is generally satisfied with your document package
- 2. No documents are expired
- 3. Your Offerss contents are consistent and easy enough to understand
- 4. Your Pricing offered to the GSA is within a competitive range
- 5. Your Offerings are generally within scope of the GSA Schedule and SINs you are pursuing.
GSA Clarifications handle many of the issues that go deeper than these though. The offer package listed many mandatory documents that you have already submitted, but now you are at the mercy of the GSA Contracting Officer. Every, offer will have a few gaps that need to be filled. These gaps are usually just areas that need to be better supported, or they are weak points in the due diligence check into your business that must be explained away. GSA Clarifications must be handled with craftiness and timeliness to build momentum towards the next stage, Negotiations.
General Tips for Successful GSA Clarifications: