Coming up with a foolproof GSA Schedule proposal is no easy work. Companies who want to secure a GSA Schedule Contract may opt to develop a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) proposal by themselves. However, most stories of this beginning do not usually have a happy ending. More often than not, companies who put up their proposals end up getting a painful rejection notice. Although they can still submit another proposal, having to face rejection after putting in time and effort can be very frustrating.
With that in mind, here are some tips to consider to avoid future GSA Contract proposal rejections.
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Eligibility Criteria & Requirements of GSA
The GSA heavily screens and evaluates potential GSA Schedule contract holders. Once hopeful contractors get awarded a GSA Contract, they get added to the GSA Advantage! list, the online network for government contracting. Before making it on the list, however, contractors must first qualify by adhering to the eligibility criteria and requirements set by the government:
- The contractor’s company gets registered correctly – GSA only works with accurately and officially registered organizations.
- The contractor’s company must be existing for at least 24 months – Not only must your company exist for at least two years, but it must also demonstrate its profitability for the last two consecutive years.
- The contractor’s company is independent of GSA or federal agencies. It is illegal to award a GSA Schedule Contract to a company related to an officer, the GSA, or any federal agency.
- The company’s products must comply with the Trade Agreements Act – Each part, detail, or unit of the company’s services or products must be coherent to existing TAA regulations.
- The company possesses good references from previous clients – Another determining factor for eligibility is the Past Performance Evaluation. This evaluation involves curating references and testimonials from previous clients submitting a GSA Schedule Contract proposal.
Are You Fully Aware of the GSA Schedule Proposal Process?
Although consultants know the ins and outs of submitting a solid GSA Schedule proposal, many companies who opt to go through the proposal process alone are more likely just going with the flow. As already established, this story does not usually pan out as expected.
Among the top reasons why GSA Contract proposals get rejected are that contractors tried doing it all by themselves or hired an inexperienced consultant to help them throughout the process. Contractors must beware of consulting companies that charge costs under $10,000 for a GSA Schedule proposal. They are likely to be scams or may not be a full-service firm that will take responsibility for the entire proposal process.
GSA Schedule consulting costs can be overwhelming, especially to small companies. However, turning to full-service consultancy firms usually makes all the difference. Heeding expert advice in submitting or re-submitting a MAS proposal to GSA may be the best option. However, when this is not a viable option, there are resources available to help contractors know the right processes, GSA documents, and the resources they will need.
Here are some of the correct and most current GSA resources to bookmark and visit when submitting or re-submitting a proposal:
- SAM.gov — SAM.gov houses the most up-to-date MAS Solicitation. For this site, it is important to read and follow the instructions under “SCP-FSS-001 Instructions Applicable to All Offerors” to increase the chance of submitting a successful proposal.
- Roadmap for New Schedule Offerors — On this website, GSA streamlines the instructions needed in submitting a MAS proposal. Additionally, this site contains the most current GSA templates too.
- GSA eLibrary — The GSA eLibrary is essential to ensure that contractors present a “Fair and Reasonable.”
- Vendor Support Center and Vendor Education Center — The Vendor Support Center connects contractors to various GSA websites they will need, together with the appropriate GSA Point of Contact (POC) to consult when in need of assistance. Moreover, the Vendor Education Center offers practical training that enables an accurate transfer of the information regarding the GSA proposal process to contractors.
- GSA eOffer — This is where contractors will submit or resubmit their GSA Contract proposal.
Getting the right resources is vital in creating a successful GSA Contract proposal. After all, being fully aware of the entire GSA Schedule proposal process takes companies a step further to securing a GSA Contract.
How can You use Information from Your Previous GSA Schedule Proposal?
Frustrating as can be, having a GSA Schedule Contract rejected is not entirely for nothing. Going forward, contractors can use the information they have pulled together from their previous proposal paired with new data gathered from different resources to devise a better, more solid GSA Schedule Contract proposal.
While receiving a rejection letter can be painful, a shift in perspective can make contractors realize that the actual rejection letter can be pivotal in coming up with a better proposal since it paints a good picture of why the GSA rejected the proposal in the first place. With the guidelines and noted inadequacies stipulated in the rejection letter, contractors can decide what needs to be updated, changed, or added to rectify the GSA Contract proposal.
If contractors decide to hire full-service consultants in their resubmission process, contractors must send them all the initial documents they have submitted in the first proposal. Doing this will help consultants streamline the resubmission of the MAS proposal.
What to do Next for Your GSA Schedule Proposal?
Having a GSA Schedule proposal rejected can be disheartening even to try again. While it may feel like getting back at square one, the chances of getting a second proposal approved increases significantly with the help of a skilled and experienced GSA Schedule consultant than trying to resubmit a proposal alone.
Contractors who find themselves not ready to come up with another proposal but still have the heart to support the public sector can consider partnering with a reseller. Doing this can help contractors expand the customer base while getting a clearer picture of how they can fare better once they try submitting a GSA Schedule Contract proposal again.
Receiving a rejection notice after putting in time and effort in coming up with a GSA Contract proposal can be frustrating. However, it is never too late for contractors to put up a better proposal. With the right resources and consultants, securing a GSA Schedule Contract is not at all impossible.
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