What Are The Challenges
Price Reporter is a multiple GSA contract holder, and has successfully secured hundreds of GSA schedules contracts to its clients and we can help you get yours.
Of course, selling to the United States government isnt without its challenges. It can be complicated and not as straightforward as in the commercial market. Some of the dilemmas that pop up are: How to get a contract, do you qualify to get a GSA contract, whats the market potential, and can you become profitable by becoming a GSA contractor?
The main challenge is the amount of paperwork, and being able to follow complicated procedures, required to submit anapplication for a GSA contract. Even an expert with many years of experiencetakes up to three months to prepare, and submit an offer. Then,there is the process of the Governments review, possible rejections,clarifications, resubmissions, negotiations, price agreement, final proposalrevisions, and finally award andpublishing
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?
Puts You First In Line And Top Of Mind
BENEFITS OF HAVING A GSA SCHEDULE
After awarded your business will appear on the Government Amazon where Government buyers search first for needed products and services GSAadvantage.gov
To your Ebuy portal to see if you received a Request for Information RFI or Request for Quote RFQ for Government opportunities in your back-end profile.
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Types Of Gsa Contracts
The GSA Multiple Award Schedule is a contract vehicle used by the GSA that features several types of contracts. The MAS was designed to expedite the procurement process, as evidenced by the hundreds of subcategories commercial organizations can apply under. There are many types of contracts businesses can be awarded through the MAS, but the twelve main categories include the following:
- Office Management Category
- Scientific Management and Solutions Category
- Security & Protection Category
- Transportation and Logistics Services Category
- Travel Category
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.
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Interagency Resources Management Conference
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The Interagency Resources Management Conference was a federal executive conference of the General Services Administration, hosting about 300 federal and industry leaders each year. The Interagency Resources Management Conference began in 1961 as the ADPCO conference. In 1979, the Department of Commerce, GSA and the Office of Management and Budget jointly sponsored a conference for Senior Executive Service officials at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At the same time, the National Archives hosted a small records management conference for senior executives, also located in Gettysburg. These two conferences merged with ADPCO and became The Interagency Resources Management Conference. Over the years, the conference has evolved its focus from highly specialized to integrated. In 1996, when U.S. Congress mandated the role of chief information officer , these new federal executives were invited to attend The Interagency Resources Management Conference.
In 2008, Hosky was awarded a competitive contract to continue to manage and develop the forum. From 2008 to 2010, IRMCO drew attendees from about 65 federal agencies and diverse disciplines including information technology, human resources, acquisition, management and finance.
Shortly after IRMCO 2011, GSA’s Associate Administrator for Governmentwide Policy, Kathleen Turco, announced to media that she and other GSA officials felt that IRMCO had lost its spark and retired the event.
Gsa Schedule Contract Eligibility
You must first determine whether or not you meet the qualifications for GSA contracts. In order to get a GSA Schedule contract, your business must evidence financial stability and have been in business at least two years. You will also have to demonstrate past performance, and your products have to be commercially available and compliant with the Trade Agreements Act. If your business meets these requirements, you may want to consider getting GSA approved to get cash from the US government.
If you are a small business owner, getting on the GSA list may be something you want to pursue. You now know what GSA contracts are. But, now you have to consider whether or not you want to obtain a GSA number. Use this post as a guide to help you determine whether or not getting a GSA contract is the right decision for your business.
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How Is The Gsa Schedule Program Possible
The programs concept is straightforward. You must be in business for 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 unit price.
Once you win your initial 5-year contract, you are now considered an elite vendor with some of your pricing preapproved obviously, it works differently for service providers. Your products and/or services are cataloged in the GSA eLibrary for easy review by buyers and procurement officers. But dont get too excited yet.
While the GSA guarantees 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 some businesses at least once. Their requirements are difficult to interpret, and they change the language in their solicitation many times throughout the process.
Amidst the process, there are also refreshes. When they decide they will change something in the schedule, you will surely be rejected if you miss this. We keep our finger on the pulse of Government, so we are in the know. At the same time, you are exchanging some of your commercial work for Government work.
At Government Services Exchange, we keep this process running expeditiously and proficiently.
What Does Gsa Stand For
To simplify government purchasing and maximize the federal governments buying power, the GSA developed the GSA Schedules Program, also known as Multiple Award Schedule Contracts, or Federal Supply Schedule Contracts. The GSA establishes the policies and regulations governing procurement and has a number of internal programs, such as GSA Advantage, that were designed to streamline the purchasing process for government agencies.
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Fss Solicitation Provisions And Contract Clauses
As prescribed in this paragraph, insert the following provisions in the beginning of FSS solicitations:
552.238-70, Cover Page for Worldwide Federal Supply Schedules. Use in all FSS solicitations. Use Alternate I for single award Federal Supply Schedules.
552.238-71, Notice of Total Small Business Set-Aside. Use in FSS solicitations containing special item numbers that are set aside for small business.
552.238-72, Information Collection Requirements. Use in all FSS solicitations.
As prescribed in this paragraph, insert the following clause and provision as an addendum to 52.212-1, Instructions to OfferorsCommercial Products and Commercial Services:
552.238-73, Identification of Electronic Office Equipment Providing Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities. Use only in FSS solicitations for electronic office equipment.
552.238-74, Introduction of New Supplies/Services . Use only in FSS solicitations allowing the introduction of new supplies/services. Note: GSA Form 1649, Notification of Federal Supply Schedule Improvement, may be required if revising a Special Item Number .
As prescribed in this paragraph, insert the following provisions as an addendum to 52.212-2, EvaluationCommercial Products and Commercial Services:
552.238-75, Evaluation Commercial Products and Commercial Services . Use in FSS standing solicitations.
552.238-77, Submission and Distribution of Authorized Federal Supply Schedule Price Lists. Use in all FSS solicitations and contracts.
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.
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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.
How Do Businesses Use Gsa
The following process is required for all vendors working with GSA:
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Who Needs A Gsa Schedule Contract
Government contractors are not required to obtain a GSA schedule contract. However, doing so can significantly improve the number of government-issued jobs you are able to receive. In fact, some government agencies only place orders with contractors and vendors that have obtained a GSA schedule contract. So, while a GSA schedule is not essential, it is a great idea to receive one if your organization is eligible. You can learn more about GSA contract award information on the GSA eLibrary.
GSA schedules, also called Multiple Award Schedules or MAS, can benefit government contractors by streamlining the process for government contract procurement.GSA contractors are required to comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the General Services Administration Acquisition Manual . This includes a proper accounting setup that is compliant with FAR Terms 8.4, part 13 and part 15.
Solicitation Provisions And Contract Clauses
The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.238-112 , Definition Non-Federal Entity, in solicitations and contracts for all Federal Supply Schedules.
The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.238-113 , Scope of Contract , in solicitations and contracts for all Federal Supply Schedules.
The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 552.238-114 , Use of Federal Supply Schedule Contracts by Non-Federal Entities, in solicitations and contracts for all Federal Supply Schedules.
See 552.101-70 for authorized FAR deviations.
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What Is A Gsa Schedule Contract
The General Services Administration oversees the GSA Schedule program and awards the coveted 5 year Multiple Award Schedule , aka GSA contracts.
What is a GSA contract?Lets put it this way Imagine if the largest buyer in the world had a secret way for small to medium sized businesses to circumvent all of the back room good-ole-boy deals and do business DIRECT with the small business owner without the red tape.
Imagine if they loved this secret program because it was cheaper, faster and far less risky and included guaranteed fast payment to vendors. They are, by the way, averaging more than $2,000,000 per year in revenue! Got it? Now imagine no more because THAT is a GSA Schedule contract.
The GSA Schedule program represents the fastest and most affordable way for businesses to win lucrative federal contracts. But you must win the contract by completing the GSAs massive solicitation and submitting it for award. The process includes a negotiation of pricing, terms and conditions. The resulting award gives the government your best price for 5 years and can be renewed by you for up to a total of 20 years. And dont worry, your pricing can change as your business changes.
What Are The Schedule Policy And Procedures
The GSA MAS program is guided by two major governing regulatory documents: FAR & GSAM.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation contains the principal rules and regulations governing the federal acquisition process. It ensures that purchasing procedures remain standard and consistent across GSA contractors, so that there is a standard document to look to despite the differences in Large Categories. Many GSA contract provisions and clauses reference the Federal Acquisition Regulation, so it is important to at least familiarize yourself with the document in order to understand the GSA Schedule acquisition process.
Additionally, FAR 8.002 outlines an order of procurement that federal agencies need to follow when purchasing supplies or services. This is helpful for GSA Schedule holders because this section of the FAR mandates that if purchases can be completed through a Federal Supply Schedule, such as the GSA Multiple Award Schedule Program, they need to be done before agencies seek other Commercial Sources. The FAR can be used to your advantage if you know it!
This clause benefits GSA MAS contract holders because federal purchasing entities are required to look to sources for prioritization of acquisition — GSA being near the top.
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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.
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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