If you are just starting to embark into the world of government marketplaces and federal contracting, the term “GSA Multiple Award Schedule” might seem foreign to you. The industry has a lot of this confusing jargon, so it is integral to learn about these terminologies early on. Although coming across these terms can be daunting at first, you have come to the right place to get yourself schooled. This article shall discuss the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program established by the General Services Administration (GSA).
As one of the federal contracts offered by GSA, the Multiple Award Schedule extends the benefits that the contractors receive from the agency. Organizations receive the opportunity to widen their reach and let more public sectors know about their products and services. Before we get into the specifics of these advantages, businesses must first understand how the program works.
GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program: Defined
GSA Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) are long-term governmentwide, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts that allow the public sector to acquire products and services at volume discount pricing. As for the GSA contractors, they can take advantage of GSA MAS to streamline product delivery and reduce the tedious administrative work.
Organizations that qualify for the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program can provide products and services on the duration of their contract, for an initial period of 5 years. After five years, they receive the option to renew their contract for three additional 5-year periods. Overall, enterprises can become GSA contractors under the MAS program for a total of 20 years.
Benefits of the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Programs
The Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program makes it easier for either the federal agencies and GSA contractors to process their transactions. That said, here are the significant benefits of being on GSA MAS.
Both sellers and buyers must look for an avenue to streamline all of their transactions and negotiations. GSA MAS offers an efficient and cost-effective option for government buyers and businesses to sell and purchase various products and services.
Before organizations are allowed to advertise their products and services within the government marketplace, authorized personnel from GSA ensure that their prices are “fair and reasonable.” It ensures that the pre-negotiated ceiling prices set for their products and services get selected according to the government standards. Contracting Officers (COs) from GSA review these aspects during the application process to see if your business can compete within the government landscape.
More often than not, the price point is significantly different from how products and services get sold in the commercial market. Negotiating the prices beforehand can help both the public and sellers skip the long bargaining process with either party’s preferred price.
Access Useful Resources
Apart from the fair prices and more efficient procurement process, GSA contractors can benefit from the marketing tools readily available in the GSA platform. For instance, many organizations use GSA Advantage to increase their exposure to their potential buyers in the government marketplace. Upon awarded a contract, federal buyers can find information about your current offerings on this platform. Businesses can use this platform to showcase their products and services by providing product shots and descriptions.
Moreover, GSA MAS holders can also access another useful resource that supplements their needs. GSA eBuy is another platform for both GSA contractors and government agencies to discuss business. The platform allows them to provide and obtain quotations and information about the products and services sold. GSA eBuy gives small businesses a competitive advantage with ample opportunities to respond to volume requests and build long-term business relationships.
Remain Competitive Inside and Outside the Government Landscape
GSA MAS is a great asset for organizations looking to become recognized inside and outside the government landscape. When other potential buyers realize that you are on the GSA Schedule, they expect your products to be exceptional even to get accepted into the program. Getting accepted in the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program means that organizations can remain updated with the market trends within the government marketplace. Not only that, but they can also see how the competitors from their niche market operate. It gives them an idea of which offers work and how they can improve their products and services.
How Can I Get a GSA Schedule Contract?
After reading all the advantages of being on the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), you might be itching to get into it right away. The first thing that you need to do is to prepare. The application process is long and tedious since not all organizations pass. Therefore, you should prepare everything that you need and make sure your business is ready.
To determine whether your enterprise qualifies for GSA MAS, look at the GSA’s following basic requirements.
- Business must express financial stability, operating for at least two years.
- The company must provide proof that they have sold products and services commercially.
- They must work per the Trade Agreement Act (TAA).
- The business must possess a DUNs Number and active SAM.gov registration.
It is also important to note that there are 12 main categories and 30 subgroups that define the GSA Schedule segments. These groups categorize the products and services offered within the GSA realm under SINs. There are more specific requirements based on these categories that are also worth checking. Businesses must select the appropriate SIN based on their specialization. In this way, federal agencies can quickly locate you across GSA platforms. Meeting the basic requirements mentioned above leads you to the next step, preparing a technical proposal to be submitted to a GSA Contracting Officer (CO).
Preparing Your Technical Proposal
After the preliminary preparation, you can finally begin crafting your technical proposal. It is important 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. It is important to 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 step 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 ones 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.
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.
The solicitation is crucial to help businesses determine the additional requirements attached along with their proposal. As for the solicitation process, organizations must acquire GSA MAS solicitation corresponding to the GSA Schedule to which they belong. As previously mentioned, there are 30 Schedules you can qualify for, each with its policies you can find in the solicitation.
Do you qualify for GSA?