A growing number of businesses are drawing to the government marketplace. Once executed correctly, companies can take advantage of the GSA government contracts and bring tremendous growth. Enterprises that want to thrive in the government market can see a boost in sales if they leverage GSA Schedules. Not only do they provide acquisition solutions across federal institutions, but they also gain loyal customers in them.
Obtaining a GSA contract is especially beneficial for smaller businesses. It allows them to enjoy GSA services while increasing their exposure to a whole different business landscape. Overall, the federal services GSA provides benefits to companies that help them become successful vendors. With the increasing competition in the government marketplace, a GSA contract can leverage your chances of reaping the most rewards.
What Does GSA Stand For?
GSA, which stands for the General Services Administration, is an agency that provides procurement and acquisition solutions across federal institutions. From overseeing leasing, managing procuring goods, and streamlining the delivery of services, GSA is the “landlord of the government.”
GSA is known to offer two primary services to the federal government. First, they offer Public Building Services (PBS) to federal agencies and institutions. They manage federally-owned establishments, which include leasing arrangements and maintenance services. GSA officials sort out all real estate needs to provide complete supplies, utilities, amenities, and construction to the federal government.
Secondly, a portion of federal services GSA offers go through Federal Acquisition Services (FAS). It refers to the procurement of goods and services to the federal government. They make sure that supplies are delivered accordingly and at a fair ceiling price. FAS offers full-cycle acquisition support through GSA Schedules at large.
What Are GSA Schedules?
From the military and beyond, most federal agencies need a considerable amount of goods and services. They would often need to have them delivered at the shortest turnaround time and with as little delay as possible. On top of that, procurement with federal agencies is considered a partnership. This partnership means that they can likely ensure a long-term commitment as long as you deliver accordingly. Because of these institutions’ demanding needs, GSA established a government-wide contracting program, the GSA Schedules.
GSA Schedules can also indicate Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) and Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). These are government-wide contracts that tie businesses and federal institutions together. It streamlines the acquisition process with a plethora of government vendors ready to provide supplies and services. Since GSA-certified enterprises have already gone through strict compliance checks, federal agencies can ensure that they purchase products at fair and reasonable prices. GSA streamlines acquisition services through their tools. It promotes technology-based orders and eliminates the tedious administrative process that may delay procuring goods or services.
There are a total of 32 GSA Schedules with 19,000 GSA contract holders in place. Currently, GSA-certified businesses offer more than 11 million products and services.
Are GSA Schedules the Right Fit for My Business?
GSA Schedules gives businesses vast opportunities to boost their sales and revenue. Once you have a GSA contract, you can already become a supplier for numerous federal government agencies. Most government institutions prefer purchasing from GSA holders because they offer cost-savings selling goods at negotiable ceiling prices. As a business, you can take advantage of the enormous sales numbers, with agencies spending over $40 billion every year.
Before you get into the GSA contract application’s tedious process, it is essential to know if you fit their minimum requirements. Otherwise, you would just waste your time preparing for a proposal and then find out that they don’t cater to your business.
- The company must already be at least two years in the industry, with financial statements covering two years.
- Past Performance Rating follows the Dun and Bradstreet Open Ratings System Express compliance with the vital clause of the GSA solicitation, which includes:
- Trade Agreement Act
- Buy American Act
- Service Contract Act
- Administrative and reporting requirements stated in the GSA solicitation.
The next thing you need to consider is finding out whether you can provide products that sell to the government marketplace. Before acquiring a GSA contract, perform extensive market research first. You can explore the current GSA Schedule holders when you visit the GSA e-library. This e-library gives you an idea about the solicitations crafted by your direct competition. If you want to get an idea about your products’ price point, you can check the GSA Advantage. It comes with a specialized tool to help you examine the information about sales, history, and data of any Schedule holder. The Schedule Sales Query Tool can also help you determine how often and when the products sell.
How to Get a GSA Contract
The first thing you need to do before preparing your application is to sort out all the requirements. You need to register your business across systems including the System for Award Management and register a DUNS number and a NAICS. On top of that, companies must attend a mandatory training program to understand GSA Schedule contracts further.
Prepare your Technical Proposal
After the preliminary preparation, you can finally begin crafting your technical proposal. It is vital to read the solicitation in detail to know everything you need to include. GSA would
check company documents, including financial audits, catalogs, price lists, organization structure, etc. Pay close attention to the solicitation to make sure your proposal follows GSA standards.
Besides business-related administrative documents, make sure that you have prepared a comprehensive open rating report. This report demonstrates the performance of your company from the point of view of your previous customers.
Soon after you submitted a proposal to GSA, a contracting officer will proceed to review it. They will also be the one who will negotiate the terms and conditions in your contract. You can get awarded a contract when the contracting officer finds your prices fair and reasonable, with your offerings in the government’s best interest.
How Long Does it Take to Get Certified?
When you don’t encounter any issues throughout the process, you can be GSA-certified in the next 6 to 9 months. It is important to note that the GSA contracting officer will review your proposal for at least 120 before you hear any result. Before that, it takes a significant amount of time to prepare all the necessary documents and register across GSA systems.
It takes effort to become GSA-certified. Overall, you have two options to streamline your GSA contract acquisition. First, ensure that you complete all the requirements set by GSA. Make sure that your proposal has little to no error to prevent chances of getting rejected. The other way is through a GSA consultant. With an experienced professional by your side, you save time performing extensive research and focus on polishing your proposal.