Let’s start today’s topic with who is the General Services Administration and why you might consider using their Multiple Award Schedule as a business development strategy.
Who is U.S. General Services Administration?
The U. S. General Services Administration otherwise known as GSA provides centralized federal procurement and property management to help federal agencies better serve the public. As a federal agency one of their missions to deliver better value and reduced costs to its customers – other federal agencies.
What are GSA Schedules?
The GSA Schedules program provides eligible ordering activities with a simplified process for obtaining supplies and services. A Schedule is composed of businesses supplying comparable supplies and services through contracts awarded by GSA. Currently, GSA has 17,000 plus contracts in place and the program offers tremendous choice and flexibility.
GSA contracts are indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts awarded to businesses that offer commercial supplies or services at fair and reasonable prices. These contracts can be used by other agencies. GSA awards the contracts; federal agencies use these contracts to order from the businesses on that schedule and deliveries are made directly to the federal agency that placed the order.
To be a successful GSA Schedule industry Partner
To be a success under the GSA Schedules program, businesses need to be able to be highly competitive in the marketplace. Your business development strategy needs to contain a detailed analysis, planning and proactive steps ensure that you are successful with the GSA Schedules program. The GSA schedule process is a significant investment not only for your business but also GSA.
To help you make the best business development strategy possible considers the following facts:
- 80% of GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contractors are small business who denote 36% of sales;
- GSA Multiple Award Schedules account for approximately $40 Billion in sales each year;
- Approximately 8% of government purchases used the GSA MAS Contracts;
- GSA has developed a Vendor Toolbox that contains a collection of resources to help you with your business decision.
Preparing a Multiple Award Schedule Offer
If your business decision includes a Multiple Award Schedule, then the next step is preparing a MAS offer. Offers are completed through the eOffer/eMod system. A GSA contracting representative will review and evaluate your offer. This process can take up to 12 months, however if your offers are well documented with competitive pricing then it can be accomplished faster than this timeline. Now it is important to understand that just because you are awarded a GSA MAS does not mean that you are guaranteed to receive orders. You still are required to market your business.
Congratulations for being added to the GSA MAS. Now What?
- Optimize your web presence by placing the GSA logo on your website and providing a link to your online GSA Schedule price list.
- Include your company website address on your GSA Schedule price list.
- Train employees about your GSA Schedules contract – how it should be used and how to promote your business to potential government customers.
- Consider Teaming with another GSA MAS business if you cannot meet all of a federal customer’s requirements.
- Set up a Blanket Purchase Agreements otherwise known as BPAs on your Schedule contract to obtain regular business from a federal customer.
Maintaining Your Contract
The downside to the GSA Schedule is that your business must accrue at least $25,000 of GSA reportable sales during the first 24 months of your contract and maintain an additional $25,000 in sales each year thereafter. This can be a difficult task unless you have a solid marketing plan in place.
There are additional responsibilities in order to properly maintain your Schedules contract. Contacts may be canceled, or options not exercised if you do not meet the contract requirements.
- Report sales and remit the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) to GSA. Sales reports and the IFF which is currently 0.75% of the total sales are both due 30 days after the end of each quarter.
- Participate in Contractor Assistance Visits (CAVs). GSA’s Industrial Operations Analysts will assist and educate contractors on how to get the most from their contract. These visits occur at least twice during a five-year contract period.
- Keep registrations and certifications up to date.
As you can tell getting your business on the GSA MAS is not something to take lightly. You must have a strong plan in place if you intend to get your Return on Investment (ROI). I have seen many small businesses go through the process of getting on the MAS only to not get a single contract within the first two years and have their contract ended. These business owners were very discouraged with the GSA Multiple Award Schedule. Learn from the mistakes of these small businesses and develop a detail business strategy before you apply for the program.
We hope you enjoyed this article on GSA Schedules as a Business Development Strategy. To find more articles on topics such as these visit our website.