I have been operating GSA Focus now for 8 years, and have a good bearing on the major pitfalls of GSA Contractors in regards to compliance. Below is a list of the top ten GSA Compliance pitfalls in my experience. This is also a good “What I wish I knew when I got my GSA Contract.”
Failure to update pricing as the years go by
The GSA has a specific process to revise your offerings and pricing to the GSA, this is called a modification (Mod). A Mod is not very complicated, we handle GSA Management like this for all our clients and it is inexpensive and (usually) pretty painless.
Not keeping GSA Advantage up-to-date
After a Mod is reviewed and approved by GSA, the changes must be uploaded into the GSA systems. Otherwise, federal buyers will not know that the changes took place and you may get orders for the old prices.
Lack of preparation to track your GSA Sales
Every quarter you must report your GSA sales (and process your IFF). This means that having a system in place to easily track your GSA sales will save you much time and effort.
Make your GSA Pricing well known to your sales team
It is common that a company gets their GSA Contract and does not regularly train their sales staff on the proper use of the contract. As you can imagine, many compliance issues will happen. The most common one is the triggering of the Price Reduction Clause because the a salesman either overcharges the GSA or undercharges the Basis of Award (call me if you want to know the specifics on this -866-916-6484).
This relates to both product AND service companies. Goods and services (in the form of labor) must originate from a TAA Compliant country when under a GSA Contract. Chinese products are not allowed on GSA.
Depending on the service, either Service Contract of America (SCA) or Davis Bacon will determine the wages that employees receive for government projects under a GSA Contract. This is determined in the award process of the GSA Contract, and must be adhered to over the life of the GSA Contract.
Separate “Open Market” from “GSA” items in proposals
Sounds simple, but you must identify on proposals, invoices, etc. which items (products or services) are under your GSA Contract and those that are outside of your GSA Contract (Open Market).
Lack of Planning and Marketing preparations
A GSA Contract is a license to hunt; you must diligently track and pursue government opportunities. A good example is utilizing product pictures on GSA Advantage, this visual leads to many more sales than those without. Another example is regularly running a cost analysis to assure that your pricing is competitive in the federal market.
Not using GSA systems (E-Buy and GSA Advantage)
The GSA systems revolve around marketing to government buyers. GSA Contractors that do not use these advantages to their fullest are missing out big time.
Missing $25K Minimum Sales Requirement
You can lose your GSA Contract by not meeting this sales figure. A GSA Contract can potentially last 20 years, as long as you stay compliant. At the renewal option periods (every 5 years), your contract will be on the chopping block.