WHAT CAN BE SOLD TO THE FEDERAL AGENCIES TROUGH THE GSA

sold to the federal agencies through the GSA

What is the GSA?

The GSA, or the General Services administration, serves the purpose of facilitating supply of products and services to US government offices, provides federal employees with transportation and office space, and implements government-wide cost-cutting programs and other administrative activities.

Check if you Qualify to be a GSA Contractor

The GSA Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) Program, commonly known as the Federal Supply Schedule or the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), is a long-term government-wide contract with commercial businesses, that allows the government to purchase millions of commercial items and services at fair and reasonable costs. By becoming a GSA schedule contractor, one opens up an immense opportunity for growth and development, and gains access to hundreds of GSA customers.

Who can buy through GSA?

All federal agencies, as well as State and municipal governments, including tribal governments and educational institutions described under 40 U.S.C. 502(c), can purchase commercial items and professional services, via the Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) Program.

What type of products and services do government officers buy?

Many potential GSA Schedule contractors are wondering whether what they do in their respective line of business can be utilized by the government, and what the chances are that the federal procurement officers will actually experience the need for their products or services in the near future.  

It is assuring to know that GSA customers come from a wide variety of segments and that the GSA marketplace is basically a reflection of the commercial market, with regards to the type of commodities and professional services that are offered. 

What can I offer to the various federal agencies, being an authorized GSA vendor?

As we mentioned previously, the federal buyers are out to procure a huge variety of products and services. Government ‘s needs are basically the same as those of the buyers in the commercial sector. 

In other words, anything that is purchased by companies or individuals for their abundant needs, gets offered and sold through the GSA marketplace, as well. Be it food catering, personal fitness training, logistics and trucking, IT and finance, construction and engineering, restaurant or office supply, furniture and building maintenance, and endless other fields; the federal agencies need it all…

Below is an excerpt from a gov’t online source, listing all the main categories and their pertinent subdivisions on the GSA marketplace:

Facilities

Facilities Maintenance and Repair

Facilities Services

Facilities Solutions

Facilities Supplies

Food Service Equipment

Structures

Human Capital

Background Investigations

Compensation and Benefits

Human Resources

Social Services

Information Technology

Electronic Commerce

IT Hardware

IT Services

IT Software

IT Solutions

IT Training

Telecommunications

Office Management

Audio Visual Products

Audio Visual Services

Document Services

Mail Management

Media Products

Media Services

Office Management Maintenance and Repair

Office Services

Office Supplies

Printing and Photographic Equipment

Records Management

Scientific Management and Solutions

Laboratory Animals

Laboratory Equipment

Medical Equipment

Scientific Services

Search and Navigation

Testing and Analysis

Transportation and Logistics Services

Automotive Body Maintenance and Repair

Motor Vehicles (non-Combat)

Package Delivery

Packaging Services

Transportation of Things

Furniture & Furnishings

Fitness Solutions

Flooring

Furniture Services

Healthcare Furniture

Household, Dormitory & Quarters Furniture

Miscellaneous Furniture

Office Furniture

Packaged Furniture

Signs

Industrial Products and Services

Cleaning Supplies

Fire/Rescue/Safety/Environmental Protection Equipment

Fuel Management

Hardware and Tools

Industrial Products

Industrial Products and Services Maintenance and Repair

Machinery and Components

Packaging

Test and Measurement Supplies

Miscellaneous

Apparel

Awards

Complementary Special Item Numbers (SINs)

Flags

Musical Instruments

Personal Hair Care Items

Professional Services

for more information, visit: www.gsa.gov/masprofessionalservices

Business Administrative Services

Environmental Services

Financial Services

Identity Protection Services

Language Services

Legal Services

Logistical Services

Marketing and Public Relations

Technical and Engineering Services (non- IT)

Training

Security and Protection

Marine and Harbor

Protective Equipment

Security Animals and Related Services

Security Services

Security Systems

Testing Equipment

Travel

Employee Relocation

Lodging

Travel Agent and Miscellaneous Services

How to sell to the government

As one can see, the above listings are pretty much all-encompassing, and so almost anyone would have something that would fall into at least one category, and perhaps more.  Now, as far as the potential selling volumes, current demands for certain segments over the others; this is a part of the strategical approach a vendor would have to adopt, in order to actually be successful. 

Obviously, everyone wants to be able to sell more, at the highest profit margins possible, and so naturally, that is when competition kicks in. Unless a vendor offers something truly unique, there will be other companies on the GSA marketplace doing something similar, and perhaps exactly the same. This is why one constantly needs to keep on their toes and watch out for what the competitors are up to. 

Just like in the commercial sector, one needs to be sharp and diligent, when pricing their products or services, describe them clearly and accurately, in order to enable GSA customers to search for them easily and conveniently. Once again, the crucial point to mention over and over, is that pricing will be one of the decisive, if not the single most important factor, for the buyers when making their purchasing decisions.

The good news is that there are tools and methods available within the Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) Program , for the vendors to utilize in their quest to be more competitive. When it comes to products vs. services, products are easier to search up within the publicly accessible data that contains all the items being offered on the GSA, within every category. The criteria utilized includes part numbers, SKUs, descriptions, manufacturer, sellers’ and buyers’ info, date and volume for each particular transaction. Vendors are strongly encouraged to perform such research and analysis, in order to stay on the edge and ensure a decent sales flow.

When it comes to products, things work a bit different; since services are often described uniquely by individual vendors, and do not have SKUs and part numbers assigned to them, they are more difficult to compile into a workable, concise intelligence report. Moreover, it is customary for services to be obtained by federal buyers through what is called the eBuy portal. The eBuy is a type of GSA’s procurement vehicle,  where solicitations are constantly posted by the purchasing agencies via RFI (Request for Information), RFP (Request for Proposal), and RFQ (Request for Quotation). GSA-authorized vendors are granted access credentials to view such solicitations within their niche segment and are at liberty to respond with their proposals.

In order to win such tenders, one has to satisfy the terms and conditions posted by the procuring agency within the text of solicitation, and come up with attractive pricing for the required services. 

The eBuy is where the longer, high volume service contracts are acquired, so vendors are expected to actively participate in the bidding process, when striving to secure an adequate business pipeline. 

Establishing a GSA Schedule BPA is another effective method of ensuring a smooth sales order flow.

BPA stands for Blanket Purchase Agreement and is a streamlined technique of creating “charge accounts” with approved vendors to satisfy expected repeated needs for materials or services. BPAs should be established for organizations in charge of supplying materials for their own operations as well as for other offices, installations, projects, or functions. The use of BPAs does not absolve an agency of its responsibility to keep commitments and expenditures within available finances and carried out in accordance with established procedures. 

Market your schedule

Every GSA vendor should constantly be aware that getting on a GSA Schedule, albeit a crucial step to landing government business, is just a start. The GSA market is a fairly complexed and competitive place, and so all possible efforts should be made to stay on top of the game when it comes to knowing what to sell and at what prices. 

Market analysis revolves around what other vendors are offering within one’s category, exactly what products and professional services currently sell well, due to being in high demand and should therefore be added to one’s contract, and what government agencies are likely to buy them, as well as how high one’s existing prices rank on GSA Advantage. 

GSA marketing does not have to be terribly complicated or time-consuming. Making market research systematized and meaningful necessitates a fundamental conceptual knowledge as well as the appropriate tools. Price Reporter’s market intelligence service provides a comprehensive and analytical analysis that considers a variety of industry partners and their services, existing and future procurement patterns, as well as the unique circumstances of the GSA vendor seeking the report. For optimal effectiveness, here are some market intelligence tools and alternatives that can be used either independently or in combination:

1. Create Opportunity Reports: Include information on top-selling products, such as part numbers, manufacturer names, total sales volume, supplier information with internal SKUs whenever possible, and product name, so that a vendor can easily add these things to their catalog.

2. Apply opportunity reports:  determine strategically which goods to add in order to increase sales volume.

3. Competition Reports: detect and pull live pricing information from GSA Advantage, display a vendor’s price rank, including total sales for each item, rival pricing, and total annual volume of sales for a specific item.

4. Optimization: Using the information from competition reports, suppliers can improve their pricing by either raising or lowering their minimum margins, placing things on temporary sale if necessary, and ensuring that they remain in the highest price rank on the GSA Advantage.

The GSA can be complex and challenging. However, with the proper navigational tools at one’s disposal, it can be a highly rewarding endeavor. 

For more information on how the aforementioned techniques can be adapted to your business, as well as any other question concerning GSA contracts, go to www.pricereporter.com, and our experienced consultants will be glad to help. 

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