Does your company hold a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contract? If so, you may have recently received an email from GSA regarding the planned transition to the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Catalog Platform (FCP). FCP was previously called the Common Catalog Platform (CCP) and has been in development since 2021.
What is the FAS Catalog Platform?
The FAS Catalog Platform is an application designed to streamline the process for submitting, modifying, reviewing, and approving GSA Contract modifications. FCP promises to benefit both industry and government with a modern, user-friendly interface and data-driven reports.
How Does FCP Work & What Exactly Will It Do?
The FAS Catalog Platform will integrate with several GSA systems, including eMod, GSA Advantage, and GSA eLibrary. When the platform is officially rolled out, you will still initiate modifications in GSA’s eMod system. However, for most non-administrative modifications you will then navigate to the FAS Catalog Platform from eMod.
Once in FCP, you’ll create the Action (i.e., product addition) and submit a Product File. The Product File consists of information required in the Price Proposal Template (PPT) and GSA Advantage. When you submit the Product File, the system will conduct a validation check for formatting and adherence to GSA rules.
FCP Actions Include:
- Product Additions and Deletions
- Changes to Existing Product Information
- Management of Temporary Price Reductions (TPRs)
- Advantage Seller Profile Updates
- Terms & Conditions File Updates
- Addition of New Advantage Photos or Updates of Existing Photos
If there are no errors during validation check, FCP will then generate a Compliance & Pricing (C&P) Report. When applicable, the C&P Report will provide compliance and pricing related flags at the line-item level. Before you submit your modification, you’ll have the opportunity to make changes based upon the C&P report. For example, as you review flagged line items, you can delete items, correct information, or add notes to justify your pricing and/or products.
With FCP, once a modification is approved, the updated catalog will be published automatically to GSA Advantage. Additionally, unlike the current system, you’ll receive an email notification when anything is published to Advantage.
Notably, the FAS Catalog Platform will replace the need for separate uploads to GSA Advantage. GSA Advantage uploads have long been a thorn in the side of GSA contractors. Upon award of a GSA MAS Contract and approval of contract modifications, contractors are required to upload their pricing and, if applicable, catalog to GSA Advantage. The Schedule Input Program (SIP) is the most commonly used method to complete this task. However, contractors can also opt to use an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to conduct the upload. Both options come with challenges. Whether you use SIP or EDI, if the FCP pilot is successful, the need to complete a GSA Advantage upload will become obsolete over the next year.
- FCP will integrate with eMod.
- For Non-Administrative modifications, you’ll initiate the modification in eMod and then submit a Product File through FCP.
- FCP will validate your Product File prior to submitting to GSA.
- FCP will also generate a Compliance & Pricing (C&P) Report. The C&P Report provides you with market research data that was previously only available to GSA Contracting Officers. You will have the opportunity to make changes and add pricing notes based upon the C&P Report before you formally submit your modification to GSA.
- Upon approval and signature of a modification, FCP will automatically publish the approved updates to Advantage, eliminating the need for a separate upload through SIP or EDI.
- The FCP pilot, which is only available to companies under the Office Supplies OS4 Special Item Number (SIN) 339940OS4, is live and is scheduled to last through September 2023.
- This month, June 2023, GSA released a “FAS Catalog Platform User Transition Form” to collect feedback from contractors.
- GSA plans to begin transitioning GSA Contractors to FCP in Fiscal Year 2024.
- GSA will create an FCP transition schedule based upon feedback from FCP User Transition Form.
How to Prepare for the FAS Catalog Platform
Unless you hold the Office Supplies OS4 SIN and are participating in the pilot, you will not likely be impacted by the FAS Catalog Platform until fiscal year 2024 at the earliest. That said, there are a few things you can do now to prepare:
- Ensure your list of Authorized Negotiators is current. This is something you should do periodically regardless of FCP.
- Following the approval of your next contract modification, submit a “full catalog replacement file” to move your catalog to GSA’s Authoritative Catalog Repository (ACR). There are some caveats to this. This is only applicable to product catalogs that have not submitted a “full catalog replacement file” since October of 2022 and do not have any active Temporary Prices Reductions. Read the GSA Interact post that discusses the catalog replacement file here.
- Review the FAQ, user guide, and training video at https://catalog.gsa.gov/help
Stay Tuned for Updates
Our team has been around long enough to remember previous attempts to reform the way pricing is submitted, processed, and uploaded to GSA Advantage. Financial and travel services providers who held a GSA Schedule around the 2011 timeframe may recall the Formatted Price List (FPL).
In 2016, GSA announced a similar pilot program, the Formatted Product Tool (FPT). If your company offered furnishings, floor coverings, audio/video solutions, or scientific equipment on the GSA Schedule between 2016 and 2018, you may be familiar with FPT. However, due to mixed feedback from users, the rollout of the pilot was delayed and eventually cancelled in September of 2018.
While previous attempts failed to survive beyond the pilot phase, GSA appears to be moving forward with the full transition to the FAS Catalog Platform. For updates on the FAS Catalog Platform, subscribe to our newsletter and join the Catalog Management Community on GSA Interact.