If everything goes perfectly and without hassle, the GSA contracting process can take up to 6-9 months, where 120 days is required to review an offer by a GSA officer, and you need to prepare all necessary documents, which also takes time. Plus, there are varying elapsed times depending on the type of Schedule contract you apply for. For example, submission-heavy Schedules like (Schedule 56) can easily take more than a year to complete.
Generally, you typical GSA Schedule application process takes three steps:
- Register at GSA
- Submit all necessary information
- Wait for GSA to review your offer
Step one takes a few months if done from scratch, because you need to get a DUNS number and a NAICS, then you want to register with System for Award Management and complete the required training.
Step two can take anywhere from one week to one year (or even more). You need to submit a whole bunch of document to GSA before your offer can be reviewed. This includes your business information, financial statement, price proposal, a galore of technical information and so on. Additionally, product-based Schedules require you to submit the entire range of your products in a formalized way accompanied with a Market Rate Sheet to compare your offer with competition.
Step three is limited to 120 days, but if your offer is declined due to lack of information or mistakes, go back to step 2.
So, how long does the GSA application process take? The answer is: GSA contracting process can easily turn to a multiyear affair if not done properly!
How to shorten GSA Award time?
Is there a way to simplify GSA submission review and receive a GSA award earlier?
Yes. In fact, you have two options. Either do your best to collect and submit all the necessary information without errors to prevent declining of your submission and speeding up the entire process of getting a GSA Schedule. Surely, it takes effort: reading the GSA documents and guides, formatting the information to meet the GSA criteria and so on. Not an impossible thing to do, but still requires diligence.
The other way is to hire a GSA contracting consultant and delegate. How long would it take to get a GSA Schedule then? On average, 6-9 months, as stated above.