Over the past 4 years, GSA sales have mostly risen, even with fiscal tightening of the federal budget. After 2+ years of steady sales growth and percentage-of-sales growth, there was a modest dip in 2011. Below are the figures, and even lower are the editorials and projections.
|GSA Sales||$37.2 B||$38.0 B||$39.2 B||$38.9 B|
|Total Gov Contracts||$541.5 B||$540.5 B||$538.4 B||$536.8 B|
|% GSA Sales||6.9%||7.0%||7.3%||7.2%|
It is difficult to pinpoint the reason for the 2001 decline in percentage-of-sales, because this is a time where I noticed a good deal of customers needing a GSA Contract fast because a large government contract was expiring, and the customer wanted to use the GSA to procure upcoming needs. One possibility is that with shrinking budgets, a small group of federal buyers though they could find better value through other channels. I cannot image why, though. However, some who have been in federal contracting for decades to talk of a fluctuation in preferred contracting methods.
Another probable reason for the slight loss in sales by the GSA is the slow processing time experienced by new companies trying to get on contract. If a Contract Specialist wants to buy from ABC Company, and they do not have a GSA Contract when the Solicitation expires, then they must use another contracting method, and I see this happening often.
In talking to GSA employees, I have noticed some aggressive and forward-thinking shifts to better meet the new requirements federal buyers face from the green legislation introduced over the past 3 years. The GSA has also pushed hard to improve their electronic systems to make them more intuitive, and improve processing times.
* data was gathered from the GSA’s Schedule Sales Query and usaspending.gov