From Eileen Kent: Why Get a GSA Schedule?

GovExec.com just published an article regarding how agencies are saving money and resources by purchasing through GSA Schedules and utilizing GSA’s team to help them procure products and services.

GSA, the General Services Administration, has several responsibilities or mandates:

  1. To handle outreach to businesses in the commercial marketplace.  To negotiate FAIR AND REASONABLE pricing with these businesses and to give contractors a hunting license (a GSA Schedule contract) to sell their products and services to the government at these fair and reasonable prices (or below through spot discounts).  Winning a GSA Schedule contract is not easy but, with a little help, you can get the application into GSA so you can get in the field and start selling to agencies.

  2. Managing and auditing those companies who hold GSA Schedule contracts to make sure contract holders follow all of the rules and to ensure the appropriate products and services are sold through the appropriate Schedule.

  3. Collecting the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) from GSA Schedule holders. With the exception of medical-related contracts, the IFF is .75% (less than a penny per dollar). The IFF for medical equipment and medical service contracts is .50%. Since GSA is a self-funded agency, it has to bring in revenue so it collects a small funding fee from the contractors to offset the management of the program. GSA Schedules constitute about $39 billion in federal contracts, which equates to the collection of $293 million in IFF collected per year. If you want to research how much your competitors sold through their Schedule contract, click here. Note that this is not the only way the government can purchase your products and services, but it’s an indicator of your competitors' success selling through a Schedule contract.

  4. GSA also offers their project management teams and contracting teams (Federal Acquisition Services) to the agencies if they need extra assistance. This “saves" the various agencies time and money and frees them up to work on other projects. GSA charges the agencies for this services. In essence, the decision makers build in a percentage on top of the project, but it depends on the scope and the amount of the project. When you think about it, GSA is going to invite GSA Schedule holders to the procurement first and foremost.

  5. GSA markets and sells its services and contract vehicles to other agencies. GSA invites more than 10,000 agency contracting officers from all over the country to attend the GSA Expo each year to attend classes on how to buy products and services on GSA schedule.  There is also a huge vendor exposition with about 700-1,000 GSA Schedule holders in a trade-show setting marketing selling their products and services. GSA’s booth is usually 100ft x 100ft. It is the largest booth by far on the trade show floor, as one would expect.  GSA also offers training to contractors wishing to get on schedule. As one can imagine, the Expo is the largest event of the year and it shouldn't be missed.  If you cannot get a booth, attend and bring a lot of business cards.

  6. GSA manages all of the federal buildings, including the court houses.  Public Building Services (PBS), a sub-agency of GSA, is the landlord, leasing agent, building manager, facility manager, security manager and construction manager of the federal buildings. If you sell energy solutions, building supplies and materials, cleaning products and cleaning services or the like, you’ll need to know all of the regional and service centers of GSA. For political reasons, PBS considers GSA Schedule holders more seriously than those who do not have a contract.

  7. GSA hosts small business events in your back yard.  The purpose is (i) to invite as many small businesses to the Schedules program as possible, (ii)  to make sure all primes have GSA schedule partners, and (iii) to ensure that GSA is meeting its small business goals. GSA's small business officers work especially hard to connect small businesses that are already on Schedule.

  8. GSA has Customer Service Directors in each major city, training the agencies how to buy utilizing GSA Schedules. These people are basically sales and marketing experts reaching out to the agencies and enticing them to use GSA Schedules and GSA’s project team to buy products and services rather than to use their own contracting vehicles. If you are on a GSA Schedule, it is highly recommended that you get to know these marketing experts, because they know your customers in the “field.” GSA Customer Service Directors will spend time with GSA Schedule holders more often than having to train newcomers about the game. Their primary purpose is to find agency leads and projects. If YOU are a GSA Schedule holder and you have a client agency who doesn’t know how to use YOUR GSA Schedule to purchase your products and services, give this person to the local Customer Service Director. That’s a LEAD for them!

Having a GSA Schedule is essential to any business wanting to sell to federal agencies. Even if the agency decides to use another purchasing vehicle to procure products and services such as yours, they’ll at least take a second look at you because you have passed GSA muster through the application process.

$39B+ is being procured through GSA Schedules and you’re not even seeing the opportunity through the public bid sites. Don’t wait.  If you want to save a lot of time and pain trying to figure out how to fill out the GSA Schedule application, hire Fedmarket to help your company prepare its proposal and get its ticket to the contracting game.

Fedmarket's GSA team has been helping companies – large and small – obtain their GSA Schedules for more than eight years and we can help you in a variety of different ways, based on your time and budget constraints. 

Need more information? Contact me, or call us directly at 888 661 4094, Ext. 2.

Pick your date and location and sign up for Fedmarket’s GSA eLab today. On Day 3, you will have a completed GSA Schedule proposal in hand.

  • January 17 - 19, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV
  • February 7 - 9, 2012 in Bethesda, MD
  • March 6 - 8, 2012 in Bethesda, MD
  • March 20 - 22, 2012 in Chicago, IL

>> Register online for your GSA eLab seat now.

Visit Fedmarket

For inquiries, call 301 652 9504. Press 2.


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