COVID-19 continues to impact both individuals and businesses financially, and winning Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Bids can float a struggling company in these hard times. The world is on lockdown, but there is hope that soon, the world can start to go back to normal or at least a new normal. While the world seems to be ending, many businesses have been keeping their regular routines but with people just working from home. The government is no different, and companies still can bid and win federal contracts. This article will discuss ways your company can win federal supply schedule bids during this COVID-19 crisis.
What is the Federal Supply Schedule?
For people or companies that are new to Federal Supply Schedules, they may be wondering what they are. A Federal Supply Schedule is a long-term government contract with commercial companies. These long-term contracts are designed to give the government access to millions of products and services at a fair and reasonable price.
These schedules can be bided on by several different companies, where the winning company either provides the lowest price or the best value. The government agency that is asking for these services is also the government agency that ultimately decides who gets to provide these services. These schedules can also be very beneficial to companies that win them. Due to their long-term nature, these companies have the potential to stay profitable and grow.
Winning Federal Bids During COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed how companies go about winning bids for now, but to understand how to win a bid during the COVID-19 crisis, it is essential to first look at how bids are typically won. There are several different things that a company must do to win a bid.
For starters, they must draft a capabilities statement. This statement is typically anywhere between one and four pages long and talks about why your company is qualified for this job. Next, you should isolate your target market. This is important in any business but can be specifically essential when working with the government. You need to find ways for your company to be introduced to the GSA. The GSA wants to be introduced to you because a lot of the job boards are just formalities. A majority of the jobs that are being posted already have hired the company. Therefore, isolating your target market and going after it might be the only way you can win a bid. To get on the GSA’s radar, you must take advantage of several contract vehicles. You need to be registered with the System For Award Management Registration (SAM), the FedBiz Navigator, and the Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts. You should also capture management planning because the government likes to know what is going on at all layers. You also need to write up your proposal and make sure that you outline a plan for compliance issues. Finally, you need to nurture this relationship because this relationship could turn into a long term and profitable relationship.
Focus on Veteran Affairs
The COVID-19 crises changed how you go about bidding for these contracts, especially when you consider the Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Affairs was granted procurement authority under P.L. 85-804. This allows the agency to enter contracts without following the procurement procedures that you typically have to follow. So, this means that the Veterans Affair can enter contracts with private companies and does not have to follow any laws or regulations. This is huge for private companies, and they should try to work this system while they can.
Learn what Federal GSA Buyers are Purchasing
The COVID-19 crises have changed what Federal GSA buyers are starting to purchase. The government has started shifting toward needing more sanitizers and other cleaning elements to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This could potentially help your business better your bidding process because you could try to specialize in your bids to make yourself more competitive. The Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) has a list of items that the GSA is interested in knowing how a contractor could provide a list of items.
Keep Track of GSA COVID-19 News
Another way to help understand how your company should bid for schedules during this crisis is to understand the changes that are taking place at the GSA. Like most things in the world, the GSA has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The GSA is taking different measures to help ensure that the safety and health of staff are kept a priority. Many areas of the GSA have been affected, and if you are looking for more specific answers to your questions, you are encouraged to contact them, or you can visit their website, and there is a list of frequently asked questions that might answer your questions.
You should also start looking into which agencies are buying with COVID-19 funds. GSA ITC has started to offer support to agencies. This support includes helping when it comes to telework I.T. requirements and to identify companies to respond to COVID-19-related requirements.
However, federal agencies are not the only ones buying for COVID-19. Many states and local governments are also buying for COVID-19. GSA has outlined the available resources that are available for purchase to support state and local governments. While these states and local governments should purchase in accordance with FEMA, with many states declaring states of emergency, they can make self-determination of eligibility when it comes to making purchases.
COVID-19 has made people’s lives harder, and businesses are trying to stay operational and get through this crisis. Federal Supply Schedules can be a great way for a company to stay operational during this time of crisis. Under normal circumstances, there are several steps and rules that companies must follow in order to get these types of contracts. However, due to COVID-19, some of these rules are being loosened, especially when it comes to Veteran affairs. Companies should look into what agencies are needing to purchase and how they are responding to COVID-19. With this information, companies should look to capitalize on this situation. Companies should also not forget about the local and state governments that could also use the products and services that your company is offering.