Common GSA Proposal Mistakes

Common GSA Proposal Mistakes

A GSA Schedule contract is a big game for many companies. “How do I get a GSA Contract?” is the very first question leaders of those businesses typically ask. And 80% of them eventually start asking another one: “What have I done wrong?”

In this article, we cover the most common GSA proposal mistakes that prevent vendors from getting a GSA schedule and result in their GSA proposal rejected.

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#1: Incomplete proposal

When you do business on the commercial market, missing some document is rarely a big problem. The other side can easily reach you out again to request what’s missing. Not so with the government. If you submitted an incomplete proposal, it is simply rejected. Better luck next time.

How to fix:

Make sure you’ve read and understood the entire solicitation and filed every document mentioned there to your GSA proposal. Also, in some rare situations the solicitation itself may not mention something you will need to submit (that’s not your fault). So, it is always worth asking your assigned contracting officer.

#2: Your prices are not competitive (according to GSA)

The government wants to be your most favored customer (MFC). This means you must specify the best prices in your Price Proposal and be ready to prove them. Failing to do that is a common reason of rejection.

How to fix:

How do GSA contracts work? GSA publishes a solicitation and collects bids. Then it compares them and chooses the most preferable of them. This means two things: your prices must be fair and competitive in comparison with other bidders. And your prices must be the same or lower as you offer to your commercial customers. If a GSA procurement officer feels that your prices fail to satisfy both requirements, your proposal is rejected.

#3: You didn’t provide a convincing Past Performance report

If your Open Ratings (PPE) report is negative, your offer is rejected automatically.

How to fix:

Scoring a positive (over 90 points) Past Performance Evaluation report can be challenging by itself. GSA requires at least six customer references, but more is better. The tricky part here is: you should gather references beforehand, because your past customers may not respond to Duns & Bradstreet’s inquiry within the allowed 13 days, and you fail to collect the required minimum of six positive references. The result is rejection. So, make sure to warn your clients and make sure they pass the survey.

#4: GSA Schedule compliance mistakes

To win a GSA Schedule contract, your company must be compliant to certain regulations. Some of them are:

  • TAA compliance
  • scope compliance (you must only sell products within your GSA contract that are part of your Schedule)
  • labor qualification compliance (the personnel of your company must meet the minimum qualification requirements).

How to fix:

The only way to avoid being rejected due to incompliance is to do your homework. Make sure to read FAR regulations, visit the GSA Vendor Support Center, and never hesitate to soak any information on GSA contracts from the industry leaders. Understanding ins and outs of the GSA contracting process will help you get awarded successfully.

Finally, you can always hire a company that offers GSA contract services. A professional agency can typically sort out any GSA proposal issues faster than you’d have done yourself.

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  • It is more convenient to hire an agent who can help prepare everything necessary for the GSA contract. It’s too big a chance to make a mistake.

  • What market criteria does the government use to assess the competitiveness of prices in the offer? Do we mean internal competition among GSA vendors or general market competition?

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