5 Fundamentals for Managing a GSA Schedule Contract
What Is a GSA Schedule Contract and Why Is It Important?
The GSA Schedule program is a leading acquisition vehicle in the federal government, with approximately $50 billion a year in spending or 10 percent of overall federal procurement spending taking place through the program.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) establishes long-term, government-wide contracts with commercial companies to provide access to millions of commercial products and services at volume discount pricing. (U.S. General Services Administration). GSA Schedule Contracts, also known as GSA Schedules or Federal Supply Schedules, are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), long-term contracts under the General Services Administration’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program.
GSA Schedule Contracts were developed to assist federal employees in purchasing products and services. As a result, they contain pre-negotiated prices, delivery terms, warranties, and other terms and conditions that make the buying process easier and faster for federal agencies. (FedSched)
So, when selling to the government you want to make sure you manage your GSA Schedule to remain compliant and up-to-date. Here are five fundamentals to stay on top of your Schedule:
1. Registration and Resources
Being a GSA Schedule contract holder does not guarantee sales. You are responsible for generating revenue for your company, so it helps to know and understand processes, procedures and policies. Once you’ve become a Schedule contract holder, register with the Vendor Support Center to get started.
You will find training content, webcasts, events and more. Within six months of receiving your contract award, you must share your pricelist on GSA Advantage!®, GSA’s online shopping and ordering system. You will be assigned a GSA Procurement Contracting Officer, or PCO. It is required that you send your PCO two copies of your pricelist within in 30 days of receiving the award.
2. Customer Knowledge
Your next step is to identify your potential federal customer base. A few questions to ask:
• Who would be interested in my product or service?
• Are they eligible to use GSA Sources of Supply and Services?
• Where do I post new business?
Contractors on Schedules will have access to GSA’s eBuy, a resource for finding new business. Another online resource is FedBizOpps. Interested companies are able to learn about federal contracting opportunities using FedBizOpps.
3. Sales and Marketing
As stated before, your hard work determines your company’s revenue – not your presence on a GSA Schedule. Promote your business so that your prospective customers know who you are. Each company might have a different sales strategy or marketing tactic, so it’s important to create the one that fits with your company’s goals.
GSA suggests that you place the GSA logo on your company’s website and provide a link to your pricelist. Whether your company is a small business, veteran-owned, women-owned, etc., market your company as such. There are specific categories that federal agencies target to set a percentage of procurement dollars for assistance.
4. Keeping Your Contract
During the first 24 months of your contract, GSA requires your company’s revenue derived from GSA Schedule activities to be at least $25,000, and you must maintain an additional $25,000 in sales each year subsequently. If you do not meet certain criteria, your contract can be cancelled if you fail to meet the contract requirements below:
• Report sales and remit the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) to GSA. Sales reports and the IFF (currently 0.75 percent of total sales) are both due 30 days after the end of each quarter. Visit the 72A Quarterly Reporting System for more information.
• Participate in Contractor Assistance Visits (CAVs). These are site visits by GSA’s Industrial Operations Analysts (IOAs) that occur at least twice during a five-year contract period. CAVs are not audits; rather, they are intended to assist and educate contractors to get the most from their contract. The Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) will issue a Report Card with feedback on your compliance with the contract.
• Keep registrations and certifications up to date. These include Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and other certifications made when your company responded to a Schedules solicitation. Remember that most certifications will require an annual update. If you are a small business, be sure to update your size status and applicable NAICS codes annually.
Further details can be found in the “Steps to Success” guide found in the Publications section of the Vendor Support Center.
5. Maintaining Up-to-Date Information
Change is inevitable, from ideas and location to pricing and new products. As a result, your company might experience significant change after receiving a contract.
However, it is important to modify your contract to reflect the changes. GSA offers eMod, which is a tool to submit your updates. You always want to remain compliant. A strategic compliance plan could also help your organization when dealing with changes. If you’re not sure if you should modify, chances are you should likely do it anyway to prevent any issues along the way.
For more information on GSA Schedule Contracts and resources, visit the U.S. General Services Administration online.
*Tips shared are from GSA.gov.