How to upload your GSA Catalog to GSA Advantage

GSA Advantage Requirements

Once your company secures either a GSA Schedule or a VA Contract, you are required to upload your approved GSA price list or catalog onto a government e-commerce website called “GSA Advantage”, so that your products and services are made available to federal buyers. As a GSA / VA Contract holder, you are responsible for keeping your GSA Advantage catalog and pricing up to date. Any GSA contract modification such as product or labor category additions, deletions, or price changes, should be uploaded to GSA Advantage in a timely manner. If you are also registered on the DOD FedMall, your catalog will need to be updated on that platform to reflect any changes that have been made on GSA Advantage.

Upload your GSA Catalog via EDI Call 201.567.6646 or provide your details for a free consultation.

GSA Advantage Uploads

There are 2 way to upload GSA catalogs to GSA Advantage: One way is via SIP Software, which is provided by GSA, and the other through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

GSA’s SIP

SIP is the most common way to upload GSA catalogs. There are two major reasons for this: 

-Affordability: SIP is free

-Accessibility: SIP could be downloaded directly from the GSA website.

Despite the above benefits, SIP is not necessarily the easiest way of getting your Government catalogs to GSA.

Some of the reasons that make people look for alternatives to using GSA SIP Software are:

-Usability: SIP GUI is not intuitive

-Lack of Support: 

-Data integrity and error validation: It is extremely complicated, and time consuming to test your catalog’s data integrity within SIP, as well as to validate your catalog’s compliance with GSA requirements

-Performance: it takes hours or days to upload catalogs

-Size Limitation: SIP is not able to handle catalogs over 200K

-Inability to upload catalog modifications: You can only upload full GSA catalogs or temporary prices with SIP. It does not allow to upload individual modifications (only new products or only products to be changed or deleted). It has become quite common for GSA contracting officers to request that contractors upload only products that they are looking to have approved for modification. Contractors that using SIP are often stuck with response files, because the program does not support it. 

GSA catalog uploads with EDI

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners. EDI is widely used by GSA to communicate catalog and order information between the Government and GSA contractors. To utilize EDI for your business with the GSA, you have to choose a service provider that offers this functionality to serve your need. 

With EDI, you will be able to upload complete contract catalogs, as well as applicable modifications such as:

-New Product Additions

-Product Deletions

-Economic Price Adjustments

-Temporary Sale Price 

EDI Solutions for uploading GSA Catalogs

There are 2 main providers of EDI Solutions for uploading GSA catalogs to GSA Advantage. One is offered by Price Reporter, while the other one by Sensoft.

Price Reporter’s GSA Catalog Upload Portal

Price Reporter provides several services to serve GSA contractors needs including GSA contract administration, GSA order management and GSA catalog uploads.

Price Reporter’s GSA Catalog Upload Portal will enable you to:

-Complete your GSA Advantage catalog upload.

-Update your GSA Advantage catalog(s) via EDI with all changes that were recently approved by GSA.

-Prepare FedMall and IntraMalls catalogs.

-Instantly update your temporary sales prices.

-Perform ETS and TAA compliance checks.

-Keep history and backups of all uploaded GSA contract modifications and catalogs.

-Import Data from GSA’s SIP Software. 

-Import from Sensoft’s easy SIP data.

-Upload images from archives or links form the web.

Sensoft Easy SIP

Sensoft is the oldest service provider that offers GSA catalog upload to GSA Advantage via EDI. According to Sensoft’s website they have completed GSA Advantage uploads for more than 5,000 GSA and VA contract holders and uploaded about half of all the products currently present on the GSA Advantage website. As any EDI catalog management solution, Sensoft Easy SIP allows contractors to upload their entire GSA catalogs, as well as individual catalog modifications. To compare Sensoft Easy SIP with other GSA catalog upload solutions, please review the comparison table below. 

Comparison of methods to upload GSA Catalogs onto GSA Advantage

Price Reporter GSA Catalog Modification PortalSIP SoftwareSensoft Easy SIP
Catalog Upload to GSA AdvantageYesYesYes
Catalog Modification Upload to GSA AdvantageYesNoYes
FedMall CatalogYesNoYes
IntraMalls CatalogYesNoNo
Conversion from SIP dataYesN/ANo
Data Validation with Auto FixYesNoYes
Initial Upload Cost for 100K productsFreeFree$450
Initial Upload Cost for Terms and ConditionsFreeFree$150
Budget to upload 100K products for 1 yearFreeFree$1.340
Catalog size limitationNo Limitation200,000 products2,000,000 products
Notification when New catalog is published on GSA AdvantageYesNoNo

If you already downloaded SIP Software, but have failed to successfully compete your GSA Advantage upload, our experts are here to assist you.

Should you have questions on how to prepare your price lists for upload to GSA Advantage more effectively, please call us at 201.567.6646

SIP vs EDI Catalog Upload

In a world of the GSA, using the right terminology is paramount, but using the right tools is just as important. If you are in the process of getting or have a GSA contract you may have heard of the terms SIP and EDI being floated around. Ever wondered what they stand for and their importance to you? You’re not alone!

Let’s start with EDI.

“EDI” stands for electronic data interchange and is a standardized way for companies to exchange information or business documents in a paperless environment. This sounds very modern and environmentally friendly, and you’re not wrong, but what might surprise you is how long it’s been around.

EDI’s roots date back to 1948 and it was largely developed by US Army Master Sargent Edward Guilbert (Ed) to combat the logistical nightmare of moving more than 2 million tons of food and essential supplies into West Berlin (otherwise known as the Berlin Airlift.)

The first standard manifest system was born over the next 13 months to enable Ed to send shipping manifests via telex, radio-teletype, and telephone quickly and effectively. In the early 1960s, whilst working for Du Pont, Ed developed a standard set of electronic messages for sending cargo information between Du Pont and Chemical Leahman Tank Linesstandard.

By the end of the 1960s, so many companies were using this standard that the Transportation Data Coordinating Committee (TDCC) was formed. In 1975 the TDCC published its first EDI specifications – this is said to be the first iteration of modern-day EDI. With the development of the Internet and dot com bubbling up in the late 1990s, EDI protocols and exchanges were modified to embrace and cater to the ever-evolving world of online shopping.

This brings us to 2022. That long list of groceries you ordered online and the notifications you received regarding their whereabouts was made possible by the dedication and determination of people like Ed.

“SIP” stands for Schedules Input Program. SIP software is a program that can be freely downloaded from the GSA SIP download page. SIP’s primary goal is to provide a reliable and faster method to assist you, as contract holders, with uploading your catalog to GSA Advantage electronically. SIP can also be used to merge contracts and SINs via the SIP Merger tool as required for “MAS Consolidation”.

SIP is definitely faster than the previous method of uploading your catalog – much the same way as cycling is faster than walking- but it also introduces several new obstacles that can often frustrate even the most hardened of wills.

The main problems that contractors take issue with are the difficulty of using the application, the upload times for a catalog any larger than 5000 line items, the poor error handling characteristics, and the numerous built-in limitations (click here for a more comprehensive list).

From the GSA side of things, a white paper published by ACT/IAC Acquisition Management pointed out the high Federal Supply Schedules administrative costs “… requiring several GSA employees to work nearly full time helping contractors submit their SIP data …”.

There must be a better way of uploading your catalogs, and there is! In my opinion, using EDI to upload your catalogs is the way forward and EDI should be treated and embraced like any other technology.

You and your company can save hundreds of hours over the lifespan of your GSA contract by using the right tools.

I leave you with this question: Anything SIP can do EDI can do better, so why cycle when you can drive?

If you want help with your GSA Catalog Uploads and how your GSA Advantage catalog prices compare to your competitors or how we can help you merge your Schedule Numbers (MAS) then visit us at PriceReporter.com.

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