The General Service Administration (GSA) is a part of the United States Government that helps manage government buildings, procuring products and services, and helps to develop policies and regulations. If your private company would like to work with the United States government, then you must also work with the GSA.
It works by providing companies with the opportunity to bid on Government projects, and then they choose the best bid, typically based on best value requirements. The bidding process can be a challenging thing for a small company, and we are going to try to make this process easier for you to understand. We will talk about the four things you need to know to locate and win GSA bids.
Getting Into the GSA Schedule Program
One way to locate and win GSA bids is to go through the GSA’s IT schedule 70 program. The IT schedule 70 program allows for a more streamlined way for federal agencies to purchase information technology. While this program is part of the GSA and the Federal Government, it does not guarantee you any business with the government. IT schedule 70 is just a platform for you to market your products or services with the government. There are several things though that you should know if you choose to go this route.
For starters, you must apply and get approved to do this type of work. This process is like any other process, where you do need to spend some time researching the market and understanding the best way to get your product sold to governments.
There are also several steps you can take today to get ready.
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There are several pieces of training that you are required to complete to help you in fulling understand the GSA scheduling program. The pieces of training are the Pathways to Success and the Readiness Assessment; both pieces of training are free and offer you the basics of the GSA schedule contracts. These contracts will also help you understand what the right Special Item Numbers (SINs) is for your business.
There are several places that you must register your project to submit your offer.
- Data Universal Numbering System Number (DUNS): This unique number helps identify your business.
- System for Award Management: This part requires you to have a DUNS number and helps you transact business with the government.
- Digital Certificate: Due to the process being online, this is needed to sign and submit your offer and can help verify your identity.
3.Putting Together Your GSA IT Schedule 70 Offer
The process of putting your GSA IT Schedule 70 Offer can be complicated. However, you will need to include a: Letter of Supply, Agent Authorization Letter, Price Proposal, and a Sample Labor Category Matrix.
4.Upload & Submit Your IT Schedule 70 Offer
Finally, you submit your offer through the digital system eOffer. This system is specified in the details that you have to enter and can take some time, but you can save and finish it at a later time.
Monitor GSA Bids on eBuy
Another way to locate and win GSA bids is to use eBuy. eBuy is a website that is designed to allow federal buyers the ability to request proposals from GSA contractors. This system works when federal buyers prepare and post a Request for Quotations (RFQs), looking for a specific good or service. The bid will include a particular SIN category, and any sellers under that category will get an email and can review and submit a proposal for that job. Several things need to be done to participate in eBuy. For starters, a GSA Contractor must register with the Vendor Support Center (VSC). This occurs after their GSA contract has been awarded. The GSA Schedule contractors also must have their catalog posted to the GSA Advantage, and finally, the GSA contractor will be registered in eBuy using the appropriate SINs.
Know your Buyers
Knowing who your buyers are is essential for any business regardless of whom you are selling to. However, when it comes to GSA bids, knowing who your buyers are is even more important. Part of the reason it is important to know who your buyers are is that the contracting officers and End Users are the ones who write the GSA bids. Therefore, they know what they are looking for because they are also the ones that are deciding on whom to hire. If you know your buyer, then you might be at an advantage by tailoring your bid to meet their exact expectations. Meeting their expectations can be important when it comes to winning the bid in the end.
Know your Competition
Every industry has competition, and when you are competing for government bids, the competition can be very tough, especially if you are going against large corporations. Therefore, it is important that you know who your competition is and could provide you with a major advantage. Luckily, there are a few tools available that you can use to get a better understanding of who your competition is.
This tool can help you get a better understanding of what your competitors are selling. They provide the product name, part number, a brief description, who makes it, the GSA price, and delivery time.
2.GSA Advantage Spend Analysis Program
This tool provides information about GSA Advantage and eBuy sales information.
This tool provides you with information on all of your competitors that are included in your SIN number.
4.Contract-Awarded Labor Category
Using this service, you will be able to understand what the average rate is and what a competitive range would be.
5.GSA Schedule Sales Query
You can look up GSA sales reports for a competitor, sales by schedule, or SIN when you are using this tool.
6.Federal Procurement Data System
This data system includes the purchasing data for contracts over $25,000. This can be a useful tool for finding out whom your competitor sold to and the value of the contract.
When it comes to locating and winning a GSA bid, there are some essential elements that you might want to be aware of. Hopefully, understanding the information presented here will provide you with a competitive advantage and help you win more GSA bids in the future.