The Order-Level Materials (OLM) Special Item Number (SIN) under the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contract (also known as the GSA Schedule) is a unique SIN. If you’re not already familiar with OLM, we’ll walk you through the overview below to see if your company could benefit from adding this specialized SIN.
- What is the Order-Level Materials SIN?
- What is the Purpose of the OLM SIN?
- How is the GSA OLM SIN Different from Ancillary or ODC SINs?
- How is the GSA OLM SIN Different from Open Market Items?
- OLM vs Ancillary vs Open Market Comparison Chart
- Special Procedures for the OLM SIN
- Who is Eligible to Obtain the Order-Level Materials SIN?
- Order-Level Materials Summary
What is the Order-Level Materials SIN?
The OLM SIN allows companies to offer supplies and services through their GSA MAS Contract that:
- Directly support a GSA Schedule order or Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA); and
- Are unknown or can’t be priced until the order level
The OLM SIN was first introduced in June of 2018 to select GSA Schedule categories. Since then, it has been expanded. However, it is still only available to companies that hold a GSA MAS Contract with a SIN under one or more of the 59 OLM-Eligible Subcategories. OLM is not applicable to VA Schedule Contracts.
What is the Purpose of the OLM SIN?
The GSA Schedule Contract vehicle offers buyers several benefits, including simplified ordering process, pre-negotiated pricing, and reduced administration. However, the GSA Schedule lacked some flexibility that other indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts allowed for.
Prior to the OLM SIN, companies could not include supporting products/services on the GSA Schedule that were defined and priced at the order level. Depending on the type of offering, this inability prevented some companies from providing a total solution through their GSA Contract, which potentially pushed buyers towards other contract vehicles.
The GSA OLM SIN is Intended to:
- Help the GSA Schedule better compete with other ID/IQs.
- Increase government purchases through the GSA Schedule.
- Ultimately contribute to a reduction in contract duplication.
How is the GSA OLM SIN Different from Ancillary or ODC SINs?
You may be wondering how the Order-Level Materials SIN differs from Ancillary SINs, which have historically been in place under the GSA Schedule. Like the OLM SIN, Ancillary SINs allow for supplies or services that are not covered under other SINs, but are ordered in conjunction with or in support of GSA Schedule orders and BPAs.
The difference between the OLM SIN and Ancillary SINs is that supplies and services under Ancillary SINs are known and can be priced when you receive your GSA Schedule Contract award. Supplies and services under the OLM SIN are unknown at the time of your contract award, and cannot be priced. Another difference is that while Ancillary SINs can be used under any order type (including Fixed-Price, Time and Materials, or Labor-Hour), OLMs can only be included as a Time and Materials or Labor-Hour Contract Line Item Number.
How is the GSA OLM SIN Different from Open Market Items?
Open market items are products/services that are quoted with a GSA Schedule order for the convenience of your buyer, but are NOT considered a GSA Schedule purchase. When you include an open market item with a GSA Schedule quote, you must clearly label it as open market. Open market items should not be reported with GSA Schedule Sales and should not factor into IFF payments.
Items quoted under the OLM SIN are considered a GSA Schedule purchase. Unlike open market items, contractors should include OLM sales in GSA Schedule sales reporting and should pay IFF.
If you have to pay IFF on OLM items, why wouldn’t you want to sell them as open market instead?
First of all, depending on how you negotiated your pricing, your buyer is technically paying the IFF and you are simply collecting and remitting it to GSA. Secondly, quoting open market items could disqualify you from competing for some RFQ’s. We’ve seen RFQ’s where the Contracting Officer has specified that all items must be GSA Schedule items; open market items do not meet this requirement. Finally, adding open market items to your order puts additional work back on your buyer, requiring them to complete extra steps. In addition to determining that the pricing of open market items is fair and reasonable (which is also required for OLM items), your buyer must follow all applicable acquisition regulations, including:
- Part 5 – Publicizing
- Part 6 – Competition Requirements
- Part 12 – Acquisition of Commercial Items
- Parts 13, 14, and 15 – Contracting Methods
- Part 19 – Small Business Programs
OLM vs Ancillary vs Open Market
- Firm Fixed Price (FFP)
- Time-and-Materials (T&M)
- Labor-Hour (LH) Contract Line Item Number (CLIN)
|Status at GSA Contract Award||GSA Schedule Item||IFF Applies||Priced At||Allowable
|OLM||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Order Level||T&M/LH||GSAR 552.238-82|
|Ancillary||Known||Yes||Yes||Schedule Level||FFP/T&M/LH||GSAR 538.270|
|Open Market||Unknown||No||No||Order Level||All||FAR 8.402(f)|
If your company holds the OLM SIN, you’ll be required to meet some additional requirements when you quote for OLM products/services. Unless you have an approved purchasing system, you’ll have to collect at least three quotes for each OLM item over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.
Who is Eligible to Obtain the Order-Level Materials SIN?
The OLM SIN is not a standalone SIN. It may only be used in conjunction with another SIN under an OLM Authorized Subcategory. There are currently 59 GSA MAS Subcategories that are authorized for OLM. That means, to be eligible to add the OLM SIN to your GSA MAS Contract, you must hold a SIN under one or more of these 59 Subcategories.
- OLMs are supplies or services acquired in direct support of task or delivery order placed against a GSA Schedule Contract or Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).
- OLMs cannot be defined or priced at the GSA Schedule level.
- OLMs cannot exceed 33.33% of the value of the order or BPA
- Unless you have an approved purchasing system, you must obtain at least three quotes for each OLM above the simplified acquisition threshold.
- OLMs should be included in GSA Schedule sales reports and IFF remittance.
Use of the OLM SIN has picked up over the past few fiscal years to reach over $200 million in annual sales. Overall, the OLM SIN provides buyers and sellers greater flexibility under the GSA Schedule. A product or service that wouldn’t normally fit within the GSA Schedule can potentially be included under the OLM SIN, provided it’s used in support of a GSA order.
Need help evaluating and updating your GSA Schedule Contract? Contact us!