What are GSA Schedules?
Table of Contents
GSA stands for the General Services Administration. This is a US Government Agency that oversees federal procurement (aka purchasing or buying). The term “GSA Schedule Contract” is known by many names:
- GSA Contract
- GSA Price List
- GSA Catalog
- GSA Certified
- Federal Supply Schedule (FSS)
- Multiple Award Schedule (MAS)
- GSA Number
- GSA Approved
Usually, when someone says “GSA Schedule” they are referring to a government purchasing program. And Contractors can be granted access by going through the GSA Contract process.
The GSA Schedule program has 12 product / service categories:
All About GSA Schedules
Let’s jump in a little deeper. GSA Schedule Contracts are long-term contracts with the General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program, which allow all federal agencies to purchase from you in a streamlined manner.
“GSA Schedules” are technically the industry-based categories for GSA Contracts. GSA Schedule Contracts help federal agencies buy goods and services. State and Local governments can buy through GSA as well, but are limited.
Can A GSA Contract Benefit Your Company?
Gain access to the exclusive GSA Marketplaces
Every GSA Schedule holder has access to exclusive GSA systems. The opportunities here are the purpose of pursuing a GSA Schedule. GSA eBuy and GSA Advantage are heavily used by federal buyers (~$33 billion a year). So, gaining access to these systems is a sizable advantage in the federal market. Getting a GSA Contract is a channel for federal sales to flow through, or a ""License to Hunt."" Billions are spent annually through GSA And VA FSS Contracts. All federal agencies can buy from the GSA Schedule Program, as well as State & Local Governments.
Validates your company in the eyes of Federal Buyers
In the eyes of a government buyer, a GSA Contract legitimizes a Contractor as a trusted source. You are not required to get a GSA Contract to conduct business with the government. However, there are many opportunities that you cannot even see without one.
Simplifies the Purchasing Process
Overall, the GSA Schedule program takes friction out of the buying process for government buyers. GSA schedules make the complex federal buying process much simpler. A Company with a GSA Contract is viewed as "pre-approved." This makes them more safe and reliable in a federal buyer's eyes. They also reduce risk for government buyers. Pricing is pre-negotiated. So, buyers know that determining fair pricing is also a step that hey can skip. Much of the boilerplate in a government award document is unnecessary with GS Contractors. This is because the Contract already built them in.
GSA Schedule Program Eligibility
Getting a GSA Contract has a few basic requirements:
- 2 Years in Business (exception for IT Schedule 70)
- Healthy Financials
- Offerings that match the scope of a GSA Schedule category
- TAA Compliance (Products only)
- Past Performance (project support documents)
Finding the Best Schedule
Getting a GSA Schedule Number is a great channel for Government Contractors to bid on and win contracts. There is some overlap among the list of GSA Schedules. So, a company can either have a clear category that fits them, or there can be multiple GSA Schedules.
Therefore, it is important to:
- Read the descriptions within the GSA List very well.
- Research your competition to locate which Schedule they were awarded, and
- Utilize the experience of a professional who knows the numerous scope issues that are “between the lines” within the Solicitation document.
There is nothing worse than wasting time and money because the GSA List was not studied fully.
Among the 12 GSA Categories to choose from on the list, you may want to pursue the GSA Schedule the highest volume of sales are found. However, this may shoot you in the foot. Since IT Schedule is such a large schedule (in number of vendors, and dollars spent), many Contractors don’t have a second thought about selecting any other Schedule fro the GSA List.
However, a specialized Schedule may better fit your services. This could allow you to present a more complete offering to the GSA, and be found easier by federal buyers who know the GSA List very well.
GSA Contracts List
There are 12 GSA Schedule Categories to choose from. These are industry-based categories that range from IT Services to Office Supplies.
See the full list below, and click the Category to learn more.
Structures, Facilities Services, Food Service Equipment, Facilities Supplies, Facilities Solutions, Facilities Maintenance and Repair
Furniture & Furnishings
Office Furniture, Flooring, Fitness Solutions, Signs, Household, Dormitory & Quarters Furniture, Packaged Furniture, Healthcare Furniture, Furniture Services, Miscellaneous Furniture
Human Resources, Background Investigations, Compensation and Benefits, Temporary Help Services, Social Services
Industrial Products and Services
Industrial Products, Packaging, Cleaning Supplies, Fire/Rescue/Safety/Environmental Protection Equipment, Hardware and Tools, Fuel Management, Machinery and Components, Test and Measurement Supplies, Industrial Products and Services, Maintenance and Repair
Printing and Photographic Equipment, Office Supplies, Audio Visual Products, Media Services, Media Products, Records Management, Document Services, Office Services, Audio Visual Services, Mail Management, Office Management Maintenance and Repair
Marketing and Public Relations, Financial Services, Legal Services, Technical and Engineering Services (non- IT), Business Administrative Services, Logistical Services, Language Services, Environmental Services, Training, Identity Protection Services
IT Hardware, IT Software, Telecommunications, IT Solutions, IT Training, Electronic Commerce, IT Services
Apparel, Complimentary Special Item Numbers (SINs), Personal Hair Care Items, Musical Instruments, Awards, Flags
Scientific Management and Solutions
Laboratory Equipment, Laboratory Animals, Search and Navigation, Medical Equipment, Testing and Analysis, Scientific Services
Security and Protection
Testing Equipment, Protective Equipment, Security Services, Security Systems, Security Animals and Related Services, Marine and Harbor
Transportation and Logistics Services
Motor Vehicles (non-Combat), Automotive Body Maintenance and Repair, Packaging Services, Package DeliveryTransportation of Things
Employee Relocation, Lodging, Travel Agent and Misc Services
GSA Information Technology Schedule
Information Technology Products and Services
GSA Information Technology Schedule (previously GSA Schedule 70) is the most utilized, with over $15 Billion in 2018. New programs like FASt Lane, and Startup Springboard have breathed new life into this heavily sought-after GSA Schedule.
There are many offerings under the GSA IT Professional Services Schedule: Software, Hardware, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, and many others.
Professional Services Schedule
The Professional Services GSA Schedule combines 7 subcategories into one GSA category. These include: Integrated Business Services, Financial Services, Advertising & Marketing, Language, Engineering, Environmental, and Logistics. With $8.2 Billion in sales in 2018, this is the second largest GSA Schedule Contract category.
You must have gone through the extensive GSA Offer review process and have an awarded GSA Contract. Once you obtain this, you can sell products and services to government customers through this program.
Typically, the process to get into the GSA program takes 6-9 months, sometimes longer for more complex cases.
The GSA list has 31 GSA Schedules (or main product / service categories), and 9 Schedules under the VA/FSS program. As of October 1, 2019, there will only be one GSA Schedule.
You must have gone through the extensive GSA Offer review process: (1) Prepare and submit documents (2) GSA review (3) Clarifications and Negotiations (4) Award.