Federal Agencies often can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to utilizing the most favorable acquisition option. There are so many ways to buy, as well as internal policies and inherited notions, that federal buyers are continuously challenged to decide if the GSA Schedule Program, or one of the many other options will serve them best.
As a Government Contractor, unless you understand your buyer, and their [highlight]motivations[/highlight], then you will struggle to sale to them. This holds true in the federal market. Contracting Officers and Procurement Specialists have the largest procurement rulebook known to man. There is so much “Red Tape” that it is a miracle that the government even spends money as fast as they do. This is done because of pass-throughs like the GSA Schedule program and other streamlined Contracting options. These contract mechanisms assure that guidelines are met, while avoiding redundancy in the procurement process.
Most Contractors find that the GSA Schedule program (or getting a GSA Contract) may help them them win in the federal market. But how is the Federal Buyer convinced to use a GSA Contractor to purchase their goods or services? Well, the GSA blog recently addressed this question. Not only is this an opportunity for me to “nerd out” on federal acquisition regulation, but it is also a great resource for Government Contractors to learn about the major barriers that a GSA Contract remove for federal buyers.
If a Contractor can speak intelligently on how their solution will make their potential customers life easier, they are halfway to the sale. And, if a Government Contractor can cite difficult FAR regulations that their solution will fulfill, then the CO may just love them enough to award in their favor.
Here are the take-home bullet points from the GSA Blog below (the actual post can be found HERE).
12 reasons to use GSA Schedules:
- Streamlined acquisition processes
- No requirement to synopsize
- Socioeconomic determinations are made at the contract level
- Small Business set-asides are allowable at the discretion of the ordering activity contracting officer
- Easy handling of the “rule of two” prescribed in FAR Part 19
- Subcontracting plans are issued and administered at the contract level
- GSA performs the contractor responsibility determination IAW FAR Part 9 at the contract level
- Conducting a cost and price analysis as prescribed in FAR Subpart 15.4 is not required
- Additional discounts off of the already fair and reasonable pricing is permitted and encouraged at the order level
- The FAR Part 15 debriefing requirement does not apply to orders
- Use of GSA Schedules is considered a competitive procedure in accordance with FAR 6.102(d)(3)).
- Over 28 million products and services on GSA Contracts
THIS BROCHURE that the GSA released will also outline many benefits that Federal Buyers enjoy through the GSA Schedule program.