A study showed in 2011, 29,800 companies took the plunge and decided to do work with the federal government for the first time. These companies were awarded $10.9 Billion in contracts that year or $365,772 in revenue per firm. A large reason for this success is that the federal market place is requiring the rotation of vendors.
“Rotation of Vendors” policy is an attempt to distribute government spending among available vendors, rather than awarding similar contracts to the same vendor on an ongoing basis. They used a system called PPIRS which stands for Past Performance Information Retrieval System. This system was overused which made the venders monopolize the government contracts even if their performance was viewed negatively.
The requirement of federal procurement officers to rotate vendors supersedes the PPIRS system. This has forced procurement officers to give new vendors a try as long as the new vendor meets the price and quality specifications. The officer finds a new vendor through GSA Advantage. GSA Advantage is the online shopping mall for goods and services of companies that have a GSA Schedule. The benefit for the officers is this list shows firms that are actively doing business with the government and the prices have already been reviewed by the GSA Administrators.
The Procurement officers are using a new system called (D&B) Open Ratings System, which is a requirement to get on a GSA Schedule. Open Ratings is the process whereby D&B emails surveys to a company’s references to quantify a list of measurable regarding the vendors past performance in the commercial market place. A low score on Open Ratings will greatly reduce firms contracting opportunities where a high score will greatly increase firms contracting opportunities.
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Open Ratings are completed in conjunction and are part of a vendors GSA Schedule. Therefore obtaining a GSA Schedule with strong Open Ratings Report will put your firm to the top of the list of new contractors. GSA Focus includes the Open Ratings Report in the process of acquiring companies GSA Contract. The process involves submitting customer contact information for between 5 and 20 customers, followed by email survey’s being sent to these customers. After 5 surveys are completed, the Open Ratings Report can be generated.