The General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) offers contract vehicles called GSA Schedules. Vendors who want to improve their marketing and efficiency of selling to the Government can acquire GSA Contracts. This cumbersome process is built to frustrate, often times resulting in multiple rejections. Unless you have someone with federal contracting experience in-house, it is a much better use of time and resources to outsource to a GSA Contract Specialist. This 5-part series will break down the process into smaller parts. This will allow you to focus on each part directly and hopefully gain the best understanding possible.
The First Step in Getting on a GSA Schedule
Getting a GSA Contract is a big step, and research should go into making sure it is the right step for your company. You should (1) know the Agencies who buy what you sell and if they use GSA often, and (2) have a clear understanding of the marketing a administrative commitment that having a GSA Contract entails. without the dedicated manpower in-house to pursue federal bids and maintain the GSA Contract, you will most definitely fail.
The first step in getting a GSA Contract is to isolate which GSA Schedule your company’s products or services belong in. Between the GSA and VA Federal Supply Schedules, there are 40 Schedules. They pull together industry-related offerings and subcategorize the offerings into Special Item Numbers (SIN’s). GSA Schedules cover almost every industry you can imagine; from medical devices to engineering services, from IT services to science products, and much more. HERE is a list of all GSA Schedules.
It is very important that the correct GSA Schedule is targeted initially, because this will govern which document package is used. The initial Solicitation documents are the backbone of an offer, however most documents must be gathered or drafted. Often times, a vendor will want to get the biggest bang for their buck, and apply for every GSA Schedule and/or SIN possible. This approach will almost definitely lead to rejection because the GSA takes the scope of their categories very seriously.
Learn About GSA Schedules
Below are some of the more popular GSA Schedules, if your company is not in this list; HERE is a comprehensive list of the GSA Contracts available to your business.
IT Schedule 70
PES Schedule 871
MOBIS Schedule 874
Medical Equipment Schedule 65IIA
Environmental Schedule 899
Security Schedule 84
Building Materials Schedule 56
Facilities Maintenance Schedule 03FAC
Hardware Schedule 51V