How to Be a Successful GSA Contractor

Part 1: GSA Contract Assessment

Your GSA Schedule Contract, now officially referred to as a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contract, can play an integral role in your company’s success in the federal market. In order to foster sales, it’s important to maintain an up-to-date GSA Contract and an understanding of how to best utilize that contract. In part one of this two part series, we’ll discuss how to assess your GSA MAS Contract and explain how regular contract assessments can directly impact your sales.

How Often Should You Assess Your GSA MAS Contract?

An outdated GSA MAS Contract puts your sales team at a disadvantage. Best practice is to keep your GSA Contract up to date with any changes and, at minimum, conduct an annual contract assessment. More frequent assessments may be needed if your company is heavily product-based or has recently undergone changes. Distributors may even need to make monthly updates to keep up with changing product lines and pricing.

When Should You Assess Your GSA MAS Contract?

The timing of your GSA Contract assessment should be dependent on your business and sales cycles. GSA Contract sales and total federal sales consistently peak during the fourth quarter of the government fiscal year. However, depending on your industry, the government fiscal year-end may not be your busiest time of year. Plan to conduct a contract assessment at least two months prior to your busy season to allow time for updates if needed.

GSA MAS Contract Assessment Checklist

Your GSA Contract assessment should review the seven items listed below.

GSA eLibrary Information & Points of Contact Correct

GSA’s eLibrary website can serve as a resource for agencies looking to verify your contract information. While you shouldn’t rely on customers finding you on eLibrary, government buyers can use the website to search for potential vendors. Make sure the information they find, including your phone number and email address, are correct. If needed, submit an administrative modification to make corrections.

Pricing Current & Competitive

Your awarded GSA pricing is a ceiling price. While you can provide a discount to GSA Schedule buyers, you cannot charge more than your established rates. Take the time to review your pricing annually or when changes occur in the market. Submit an Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) modification to adjust your pricing as needed.

GSA will approve reasonable price increases, but there is typically a cap on the percentage increase they can accept. This is important because if you’ve neglected to update your pricing for five years, you may not be able to make up for lost ground. Stay on top of pricing updates to avoid being saddled with a contract that is not profitable.

While you don’t want to lose revenue due to pricing that is too low, you also don’t want to miss out on sales because your pricing is too high. Keep in mind, many government buyers are trained to be savvy consumers. If you offer products, buyers can easily use GSA Advantage to compare pricing, product minimums, and delivery terms to find the company that offers the best value.

Take the time to periodically review your rates against competitors. Use GSA Advantage to compare product pricing and the Contract-Awarded Labor Category (CALC) tool to compare labor category rates. If needed, submit an Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) modification to reduce your pricing to a competitive range.

Offerings Current

Do you have products on GSA Advantage you no longer offer? Have you added new products or services since obtaining your GSA Contract? Provided you meet GSA’s requirements, you can expand your GSA Contract at any time, but don’t wait until the last minute to do so. Deletions are considered Rapid Action Modifications that can be completed quickly. However, it can take well over a month to add products, training, or labor categories to your contract. You risk your buyers looking elsewhere while you prepare your modification request and await GSA’s review and approval.

Appropriate SINs

Are you up to speed on the newest Special Item Numbers (“SINs”)? Since the consolidation, there are now more than 300 Special Item Numbers (SINs) available to all GSA Contractors. Keep in mind, the SINs you hold determine the RFQs you have access to in eBuy. It’s important to offer your products and services under the most appropriate SINs in order to avoid missing out on potential opportunities.

Prior to the consolidation, if your company offered products or services across different industries, such as IT and management consulting, you had to obtain two GSA Schedule Contracts. Now that all SINs are under one GSA Schedule, you can submit a modification to add a SIN that may have previously required obtaining a new contract. Explore all the GSA MAS Categories and SINs here.

GSA periodically introduces additional SINs based upon industry/customer feedback and/or market research. Some new SINs allow for products and services not previously available under the GSA Schedule, that your company may be able to take advantage of. New SINs can also be created to help buyers easily identify and connect with companies that offer high-demand, specialized solutions.

Some of the most recent SIN additions include:

  • SIN 562910RMI Environmental Remediation Services – Multiple IndustriesSIN 541713, Research and Development in Nanotechnology
  • SIN 541714, Research and Development in Biotechnology (except Nanobiotechnology)
  • SIN 541715AIR, Engineering Research and Development for Aircraft, Aircraft Engines and Engine Parts
  • SIN 541715APM, Engineering Research and Development for: Other Aircraft Parts and Auxiliary/Equipment, Guided Missiles and Space Vehicles, Their Propulsion Units and Propulsion Parts
  • SIN 541330EMI, Engineering Services Related to Military, Aerospace Equipment, or Military Weapons, the National Energy Policy Act of 1992, Marine Engineering and/or Naval Architecture
  • SIN 541720, Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
  • SIN 561110 – Office Administrative Services
  • SIN 541612LOB – Human Resources Line of Business

Price List/T&Cs Document Up to Date

Don’t forget, when GSA approves modifications that impact your offerings, pricing, or contact information, you are responsible for updating your price list accordingly.

Additionally, this year, GSA contractors were tasked with updating their price lists to reflect the new, consolidated MAS Contract SINs by March 31st. If the price list posted on your GSA eLibrary page references legacy SINs, your GSA Contracting Officer will most likely require you to update this to the new SIN structure before you are allowed to make any other updates.

Advantage Up to Date

If GSA approves modifications that impact your products or pricing on GSA Advantage, you must then upload your newly approved catalog to Advantage. Keep in mind, any changes to GSA Advantage must first be approved by GSA through the modification process.

Mass Modifications Accepted

While modifications are changes you make to your contract, mass modifications (mods) are changes that GSA makes. Whenever GSA issues a solicitation refresh or any other Schedule-wide changes, you’ll receive a mass mod from GSA. Log in to the portal at https://mcm.fas.gsa.gov to confirm you’ve acknowledged all mass mods. If you have any outstanding mass mods, you’ll most likely need to address them before GSA will allow you to take any other action, including making any additions or pricing changes.

Need Help Assessing & Updating Your GSA Contract?

Our GSA Contract experts here at FEDSched have been helping companies assess, update, and manage their GSA Contracts since 1986. Contact us to discuss how we can help your company get the most out of your GSA Schedule Contract.

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