General Services Administration Approval is a non-industry-specific ranking. It is for corporations that produce and sell products to the US Government through the General Services Administration. GSAs goal is to accelerate government supply acquisition and remove administrative work among corporations and federal agencies.
Why is GSA Application Important?
The key benefit of holding GSA Schedules is that the process for customers and vendors is simplified. It eliminates the need to work out prices as the application for a GSA contract requires one to present the prices to GSA Advantage before making sales. Moreover, acquiring a GSA Schedule contract means a lengthy selling to a government as it lasts for five years. Renewal is possible after that time, and an additional five-year would be taking effect. This period allows business establishments to make a name for themselves.
Nearly $45 billion go through GSA contracts every year. Various pre-qualifying factors are needed to apply for a GSA Schedule. Though managing one’s GSA Schedule is swifter and more manageable, the process before acquiring one takes longer.
How Long Will it Take to Get a GSA Contract?
How long is a GSA application process? Sadly, there is no exact time and answer to this question. Acquiring a GSA Schedule contract involves a tricky and lengthy process that requires pulling, documenting, and preparing huge information precisely. It also needs registrations like the System for Award Management or SAM, past performance documents, company information, customer reviews, ratings, and many more.
An estimated timeframe could be discussed based on clients’ experience as experts cannot provide a concrete answer. This knowledge also helped in identifying the factors that cut or lengthen the process.
GSA Company Evaluation
According to the GSA rules and regulations, GSA Company evaluation can last about 6-12 months from submission to award. One should pass a proposal without a consultant’s help. This process could take about a year or longer as timing is also dependent on your preferred category.
Other Large categories could also require more effort, like the Industrial Products and Services belonging to Large category E. The possibility of having a vast catalog of items is one of the reasons. Adding every item would also take longer. These offers can consume a year from submission of the articles to GSA to the verified award.
On the contrary, Information Technology belonging to Large category F, formerly Schedule 70, frequently consumes a lesser amount of time. It could only take up to six months for the process to be completed from the submission to award.
Knowledge and Understanding of the Requirements and Regulations
If you do your research and you know what to expect, your diligence could accelerate processing. Mistakes, confusion, and conflicts could get avoided when one understands and is knowledgeable about the requirements needed by the company before being eligible for application and what the GSA requires on the MAS offer.
The Complexity of the Offer
Going after multiple Large Categories or offering a wide array of solutions can take a GSA Schedule Contract awarding longer. To go around this issue, potential contractors can opt for a slimmer, more straightforward GSA Schedule Offer that highlights their most substantial assets and capabilities. Doing this can somehow speed up the process and significantly reduce the chances of getting rejected.
Expertise in the GSA application process is another vital factor in determining the length of a GSA application. Potential contractors who know nothing too little about the process and are just winging can almost always expect a slow GSA application process. Meanwhile, there is always an option to research or, better, work with a consultant to expedite securing a GSA Schedule Contract.
Tips to Get Your GSA Application Approved
As established, securing a GSA MAS Schedule is no walk in the park. However, it is not impossible. The following are steps and tips that potential contractors can consider to get a GSA Schedule proposal approved:
- Understand and compile the information and required documents before sending an offer;
- Review product and service offerings and specialized category requirements;
- Finish required training;
- Complete and send an offer via the eOffer/eMod system; and
- Wait as a GSA contracting representative reviews and evaluates the GSA offer.
Moreover, getting a GSA MAS contract approved can be streamlined into three steps:
Preparing the Offer
The first step in making a GSA MAS offer is to get ready. Before submitting your offer to secure a GSA MAS contract, you must research and be familiar with MAS solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 first. Furthermore, preparing for the proposal also includes:
- Undergoing training to have a better grasp of the GSA MAS Schedule contract vehicle;
- Completing all registration requirements; and
- Accurately identify SINs that best suit the products or services offered.
Constructing the Offer
Constructing an offer encompasses two significant steps: accomplishing GSA forms and assembling necessary information and documentation. Offerors must collate and fill out documents relating to their company’s finances, experience, products or services offered, and a comprehensive history of their business dealings.
Finalizing the Offer
In finalizing an offer, offerors can opt to use eOffer, a platform that enables filling out the information, downloading and uploading pre-made templates, signing, and submitting complete proposals.
For this step, it is important to note that GSA contracting representatives cannot access the data within the eOffer portal until the offeror finally submits their offer. Only after submitting an offer can a contracting representative review the proposal. Throughout the review process, offerors must work closely with their assigned contracting representative to raise and clarify questions and issues, correct errors and inconsistencies, negotiate pricing, and reach a compromise against other essential aspects of the offer.
If the GSA MAS offer gets awarded, the offeror can now sell their products or services to different government buyers.
The GSA Application procedure is no easy feat. However, the wealth of benefits included in a Schedule contract overrides the challenges. True enough, the process will be difficult but not impossible. Demonstrating an excellent knowledge of the business, researching ahead of time, and ensuring the company’s readiness to take on this task will significantly increase the chances of securing a GSA MAS Schedule.
Find out if you qualify for GSA contracts!