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What is the GSA Schedules Program?

1. Contracts to provide supplies and/or services directly with customers at stated prices for given periods of time.

2. National (worldwide) account agreement to sell products and/or services at pre-negotiated fair and reasonable prices, along with specific terms and conditions.

3. Volume discount pricing on a direct delivery basis.

4. Best value selection to meet government needs at the lowest overall cost (the price of the item plus administrative costs). 

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GSA Pro's and Con's

Pro's

Synopsis Requirement in the Commerce Business Daily (CBD) Removed.

Five-Year Contract from date of award, plus three five-year options to extend.

Allows you to sell direct and control discounting and promote margin.

Allows Dealer-Agents to sell off your schedule and allows you to control pricing and margins.

No Maximum Order Limitations (orders can and frequently in the millions).

You do not need a Letter of Supply if you sell a bundled solution (any combination of hardware, software, or services).

Allows Spot Pricing (special pricing per client per PO, without ramifications to other clients).

Allows Bundled Solutions of Hardware, Software, and Services (you must demonstrate that each component of the bundle is reasonably priced to other MFG's, VAR's, and/or Dealer's to the federal government).

Best-Value Procurements (evaluated on price, availability, prompt payment, warranty, life-cycle cost, trade-ins, technical support, etc). 

Legislation provides access for State & Local Governments (IT only).

Requirement eliminated to provide Cost basis of your products, if you are a MFG or offeror of said products (but in the absence of this, you must provide price reasonableness).

You must demonstrate that your products are Commercially available and are made in a Trade compliant country.

Allows Consulting Services (site surveys, programming, database conversion, etc).

You can combine Open Market (non-GSA items) on a GSA PO (you must denote these items and generally the amount should be less than 51% of the total PO amount).

You must offer an hourly repair rate at your facility (or third-party maintenance and repair contractor) from Monday-Friday, 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.

Allows Leasing of hardware and software.

Blanket Purchase Agreements strongly encouraged (BPA's are recommended when an agency has determined a requirement for a specific product to be delivered over a period of time. GSA benefits by receiving a standard vendor, better pricing than GSA pricing, and they save the costs associated with competing orders each month. You benefit by getting most if not all of the agencies requirements for your products and/or services, although at a lower margin.

Teaming Allowed (allows an agency to combine multiple IT requirements from multiple GSA vendors on one PO). Your firm and the other contractors determine who is the Prime and Sub.

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Con's

You are subject to an audit within three-years of the final payment of your final PO (do what you say and say what you do).


No guarantee of sales and desired that you sell $25,000 a year ($25,00o in first 24 months).


You must establish consistent Commercial discounting practices and indicate the base discounts, quantity and/or dollar volume discounts, and any other concessions offered for each class of customer (to include but not limited to: Commercial, State & Local, National Accounts, Distributors, Resellers, VAR's, Educational). You must notify GSA when your firm always gives a better discount and/or overall best value to any of these class of customers (this does not include one-time or occasional special deals).


You must state that you have or have not deviated from the Commercial practices that you disclose (provide brief explanation of any special discounting).


You must maintain an order entry system that captures all GSA sales and report sales quarterly.


You must submit permanent price reductions within fifteen (15) days of the effective change date.


You cannot raise your prices for any line item for twelve months.


You must upload your GSA products data to GSA's Advantage WWW Site via Electronic Data Interchange within 45 days after receiving GSA's EDI Vendor start-up kit and within five (5) days of any approved modification.


You must accept Government Credit Card for orders under $2,500 and encouraged to accept credit cards for orders over $2,500. You are liable for Express and Implied warranties only and are not liable for consequential damages.

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Why have a GSA Schedule?

1. Preferred government purchasing program.

2. Has terms/conditions/clauses incorporated.

3. Most-favored customer status pre-negotiated.

4. Products are Trade Compliant.

5. Satisfactory Customer Satisfaction Survey.

6. Satisfactory Financial status.

7. Makes them feel good.

8. Easier to document their contract files.

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Sampling of GSA Schedules:

1. Document Conversion Services.

2. Energy Management Services.

3. Human Resources Services.

4. Information Technology (HW, SW, Maint, Repair, IT Services, Leasing, Rental, Training, etc).

5. Logistics Management (LOGWORLD).

6. Management and Organizational Business Improvement Services (MOBIS).

7. Professional Engineering Services.

8. Publications.

9. Law Enforcement/Fire Fighting.

10. Clothing.

11. Temporary Services.

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Where to start:

1. http://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/elib/eLibrary.jsp

2. Download the solicitation and attachments.

3. Read the basic requirements and see if you can provide/document past performance (for services) and/or price reasonableness and obtain Letters of Supply.

4. Decide if your firm is willing to commit resources, time and money with the federal government and if they have patience for results .

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Basic GSA Requirements

1. Need to be registered in www.sam.gov

2. Need to complete Vets-100 compliance form.

3. Many schedules require Customer Satisfaction Survey by Open Ratings (D&B).

4. Products/services must be commercially available.

5. Provide standard commercial sales practices by Special Item Number (SIN).

6. Feds need to be your most-favored customer that you sell direct to.

7. Products need to be trade compliant.

8. Need to accept credit cards under the micro-purchase threshold ($2 , 500) and encouraged to accept credit cards over $2,500.

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Summary:

1. Get on a contract vehicle - keep it current (mods for adds, deletes, increases).

2. Determine what makes you unique “ Best Value ”

3. Seek Blanket Purchase Agreements .

4. Seek Teaming Agreements (for products/services you do not offer).

5. Seed your competition – know your competition .

6. Know agency budget, mission, use of your services, procurement preferences .

7. Sell “ Solutions ” not products.

8. Spend monies on advertising (email marketing, direct mail, trade shows, publications).

9. Know the rules and regulations (Federal Acquisition Regulations).

10. Stay contractually compliant .

11. Have lots of patience .