One day, you hear your phone ringing. You reach for it. You answer it. Congratulations! After months of processing, you have just received your very own GSA Schedule Contract. Then you ask yourself, “what’s next?” Putting up an appealing and convincing offer and applying to secure a GSA Schedule Contract is only the beginning of your company’s journey towards a life as a GSA Schedule Contract holder. Now that you have successfully secured your GSA Contract, you now have to assume new responsibilities to uphold your GSA Schedule Contract compliance.
What Comes with a GSA Schedule?
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To better appreciate the privilege of obtaining a GSA Schedule Contract and encouraging the continuing compliance to the GSA Schedule Contract, it is essential to note the premiums of having a GSA Contract.
GSA Schedule is a long-term, government-wide contract with commercial firms or companies providing the state, federal agencies, and local governments access to more than 11 million commercial supplies, products, and services at competitive pricing.
Among the benefits of holding GSA Schedule Contracts is that it streamlines for both buyers and sellers. More specifically, GSA Schedule Contracts save the buying agency time and money. As for sellers, or the industry, GSA Schedule Contracts directly links to the government contracting community. Besides, it removes the need to negotiate a price because applying for a GSA contract already asks companies to submit their GSA Advantage! prices before selling. Also, holding a GSA Schedule Contract means keeping a long-term agreement of selling to the government.
A typical GSA Schedule contract lasts for five years. Companies can renew this schedule for up to three additional five-year periods. Within this term, businesses can take a stakeholder’s role for federal agencies and earn a good fortune and revenue. Nearly $45 billion runs through GSA Contracts each year.
Top 5 Things You Need to do After Getting a GSA Contract
To start on the right foot, here are the top five things that you should do after securing a GSA Schedule Contract for your company:
Register to GSA Advantage!
GSA Advantage! is the online shopping and ordering system that links you to thousands of eligible contractors and millions of products and services that are GSA-compliant. GSA Advantage! is the leading resource option GSA Schedule Contract holders use to promote their products or supplies and services to various federal agencies and other eligible entities.
Additionally, upon awarding your GSA Contract, your company will receive a personalized page on the GSA eLibrary. GSA eLibrary houses the source for the latest GSA contract award information. For your products and services to appear on this webpage, they must register in GSA Advantage! first.
Update Your Products’ and Services’ Price List
Updating the product or services’ price list is a task that many GSA Contract holders fail to do or neglect altogether. Although this may not result in immediate sanctions, this mistake can be consequential later on. The GSA Schedule is an active document needing to be updated regularly to comply with the GSA Schedule Contract. Through GSA’s modification process, all changes in your GSA Schedule can get completed. The top factors to constantly update in your GSA Schedule include:
- Price increases or decreases
- Product and Service addition or elimination
- Administrative contact information
Update Your Company’s Website
Although the GSA runs free resources to promote your company’s products or services, such as GSA Advantage! and GSA eLibrary, it is still important to be proactive in marketing your GSA Schedule. It will also help if your company’s website includes a page dedicated to the government’s causes, such as the GSA. This page must present your GSA Schedule Contract and the background showing your company’s capacity to cater to future GSA clients.
Pay the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) On Time
It is crucial to provide a detailed and honest report of your sale and remit the 0.75% Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) to stay compliant with your GSA Schedule Contract. Remember, you need to claim every dollar sold through your GSA Schedule when you complete this form and remit your fee. To do this correctly and efficiently, your company must develop a system to track your GSA sales and separate them from your company’s commercial sales. In reporting your GSA sales and paying for your IFF, it is essential to note the following:
- Even if you did not have any sales on a particular quarter, you must still report $0.
- You need to determine the number of sales that occurred under each SIN awarded on your GSA Schedule Contract.
- If you are still paying by check, although this option might not be available much longer, ensure enough gap time for the GSA to receive and process your payment. Making sure that your check arrives on time does not guarantee your payment’s processing on time.
- For businesses not classified as small, bear in mind the reporting period to determine if you still need to complete your subcontracting reporting. (Individual Plans-Semi-Annually by 4/30 and 10/30; Commercial Plans- Annually by 10/30)
Although this list is not entirely thorough, completing the five items mentioned above will put your company well on its way to being a successful and compliant GSA Schedule Contract holder.
Build Networks with Federal Agencies and Potential Partners
While building networks should have started even before your GSA application’s review process, building more networks becomes more important after securing your award. Besides networking with federal agencies, you must also consider that there are still other entities to whom you can sell. Thus, networking with potential partners through your GSA Schedule is just as important. One of the most effective ways to build a more comprehensive network is by attending industry-specific and government-sponsored events. For this reason, the Small Business Association can be of great use.
Preparing and applying for a GSA Schedule Contract, though time-consuming and tedious, is still only a fraction of the job. After awarding a GSA Contract, the then-applicants now hold more responsibilities to remain compliant to the GSA Schedule Contract.
Find out if you qualify for GSA contracts!