What GSA Schedule is Best for Your Company?

What GSA Schedule is Best for Your Company?

How to Determine What GSA Schedule best fits your business profile?

So, you’ve read tons of articles, blogs and forums on GSA, and finally decided to give it a try and pursue a GSA Schedule contract. Now, the question is: what GSA Schedule should you choose? Which one is the best for your business? Let’s see.

Check if you Qualify to be a GSA Contractor

Introduction

What does GSA stands for?

General Services Administration or GSA is a federal agency that manages acquisition of all federal, state and municipal agencies in the U.S. Whenever some governmental organization needs to either purchase some product or hire services, it needs to do this via GSA, using a special acquisition vehicle called the Schedule.

GSA Schedule is a contract between the government between the GSA and the vendor. The contract describes what the vendor sells to the government, quality criteria, terms and conditions of delivery, prices, discounts, special conditions, labour rates, etc. 

Whenever the government wants something, it places a solicitation on one of GSA acquisition platforms (eBuy, GSA Advantage) – essentially, a GSA catalogue, where GSA contract holders can search up opportunities and respond to solicitations by placing bids. Then, a GSA contract specialist reviews bids and awards one of GSA approved contractors with a GSA Schedule contract.

Getting a GSA Contract

We’ve covered the process of getting a GSA Contract in these articles:

Basically, getting a GSA contract is a long road where you complete the following milestones:

  1. Register the business. You need to get a DUNS number and register at SAM.gov.
  2. Pass the obligatory GSA training. This will teach you the basics of GSA scheduling.
  3. Choose the GSA Schedule that matches your business best of all.
  4. Conduct market research and discover what the government needs.
  5. Find opportunities and place bids.

As you can see, once you have completed the obligatory part, the very first thing you need to do is to determine the best fitting Schedule for your company. How to do this?

What schedule is best for your company?

Types of schedules

Before starting schedule selection, you should understand what types of schedules are available.

All Schedules are organized by specific supply and service type. Currently, before GSA MAS Consolidation is completed, there are 24 Schedules organized into 9 categories (plus 16 VA Schedules). Each legacy Schedule contains a number of subcategories – SINs. The comprehensive list of legacy schedules can be found here.

When MAS Consolidation 2020 goes in effect, the entire Schedule system will be tied to NAICS codes making it simpler for vendors to submit GSA Schedule applications, and find contracting opportunities, and for government contracting specialists to publish solicitations and quickly find contractors for each job. But for now we can use the legacy schedule system to illustrate the principle of finding the best one for you.

Picking the best schedule

Schedules cover everything the government currently needs or may look for in the future. The nine main categories are:

  • Facilities and Construction,
  • Human Capital,
  • Industrial Products & Services,
  • Information Technology (IT),
  • Medical,
  • Office Management,
  • Professional Services,
  • Security & Protection, and
  • Travel, Transportation, and Logistics

When you submit your GSA application, you can select multiple SINs to pursue. Should you do this? Picking the right SIN is not always an obvious task, but applying for every GSA Schedule or SIN available is not the smartest decision, either.

In general, even legacy Schedules are more or less related to NAICS codes. Your business has one or more NAICS codes assigned to it, so the closer the selected SIN to your business profile, the better. But what if your company offers services in IT, hardware and security? What if you legitimately offer products on the commercial market that could easily match 6-7 SINs on the government market?

If your business activity covers multiple MAS categories, you would be better off sticking to just one, when pursuing a GSA contract. The reasons are multifold:

  • GSA wants the best for the government. Jacks-of-all-trades excel at nothing, so the government tends to award more precise fits first.
  • You must provide proof of your competence as well as past performance records for every Schedule category. This is a significant requirement, and failure to prove your skills in just one category will lead to a declined proposal in all categories.
  • You may not have enough resources to compete in many SINs and Schedules.
  • Contracting officers rarely place solicitations that require two or more SINs for a reason, i.e. to avoid procuring from a Jack-of-all-trades.

The rule of thumb when selecting a proper Schedule category is: always choose the Schedule where you perform best. That means best in terms of financials, in past experience, of your team’s and your partners’ competence, professionalism, and so on. The most optimal GSA Schedule for your company is what looks most attractive to the government, and the government always wants high quality, fair prices, and zero problems.

If you perform equally well in two or more categories, select the one where competition is weaker to increase your chances of winning the bid.

Finally, if you really feel confident, you can pursue various multiple different Schedules and/or SINs. But in this case you better submit multiple individual applications to GSA rather than just one with all the SINs that you are considering.

Questions? Feel free to contact Price Reporter.

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Comments
  • I don’t think everyone can really figure it out on their own. I read three articles… and got a persistent headache. Now I understand why your company exists and why you need it.

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