Some of you might be wondering about how the various Federal agency purchase and the procedures that must be followed.. While obtaining a GSA contract involves a lot of time and effort, once it is established, the procurement process is relatively simple. This is because contracts such as the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program are in place.
Features of GSA
GSA Schedules or Federal Supply Schedules are long-term contracts for the procurement of products and services at pre-negotiated prices. The contract conditions do not restrict either the delivery period or the quantity. Therefore, federal employees can purchase indefinite quantities.
The delivery terms and other conditions connected with the products and their warranty are included in the GSA Schedule contract. In this way, the acquisition process is streamlined.
Although normally, GSA Schedule contracts are used to sell products and services to the Federal Government, some special programs allow local and state governments to use GSA Schedules for specific goods and services.
Any business, educational institution or a non-profit organization can apply for a GSA Schedule and start offering their products or services to Federal agencies once it is awarded.
A MAS is a Multiple Award Schedule, which means that. any company or an indefinite number of companies can obtain a contract. Since multiple company award condition ensures competition, there is hardly any chance for an unreasonable price or other terms and conditions.
A GSA Schedule Contract can be used Government-wide, which means that any Governmental agency can purchase from you; including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, FEMA or the Department of Energy.
Benefits of GSA MAS
- Simple and shorter Sales Process: A GSA Schedule contract ensures that long and time-consuming purchase procedures can be reduced.
- Reduced Pool of Competition: By obtaining a GSA Schedule, you can minimize your competition by exposing yourself to a new market.
- Open to all Federal Agencies: With no restriction on the beneficiaries, any Federal agency can take an advantage of your products or services.
- Wider Market Share: Gaining exposure to a $45 billion market is attractive for any business.
If you think that your business or organization can benefit from a GSA Schedule, you should apply, but only if you meet the following criteria:
- Business Experience: Your business must have been established at least two years ago.. An exception may apply for IT businesses applying for Schedule 70.
- Financial Status: Your business must be profitable and have generated a minimum of $100K for last two years, consecutively.
- Compliance with Schedule: The products and services that you would like to offer must fit the description of the Schedule for which you are applying, as indicated by the GSA.
- Trade Agreement Act: Your products must be in compliance with the provisions of the Trade Agreement Act, if applicable.
- Past Performance: If you are already on the Schedule, your past performance should have been satisfactory.
In a nutshell, GSA Schedules are beneficial for both Federal agencies as well as for the vendors that sell to them.. As a matter of fact, in the past five years, sales made to the Federal Government by small businesses have increased by about $1.5 billion.