A GSA Contract is a long-term tool for federal buyers to buy directly from contractors while cutting down a huge part of the bidding method and paperwork involved. The requirements of a contractor for acquiring a GSA contract include a minimum of two years of business experience, suitable financial systems for tracking GSA sales, financial solvency, past sales and experience related to GSA Schedule, wage determination and compliance with Trade Agreement Act factors.
There is a rigorous method to obtain a GSA Schedule Contract, which includes registrations, schedule placement, considerations of terms and conditions, document preparation, pricing negotiations financial review and review of past performance. Preparing documentation is a technical part of the procedure and it involves several hidden details. About ninety percent of document submissions are rejected because of the main deficiencies.
Although the process of submitting and acquiring a GSA Schedule Contract is almost free, most of the companies choose to hire a consultant to complete the process on behalf of them. The charges for these services generally vary from one consultant to another. The prices may seem to be a huge expense but if you plan to get it done in-house, it will cost you even more and without an understanding of legal aspects of the contract, you may open your firm up to the liability of non-compliance. Moreover, many firms are man-handled in pricing negotiations, leaving them with a contract, which binds them to costs with razor-thin margin.
Once a GSA Contract get awarded, the contractor will have a five year ‘License to Hunt’ in federal marketplace with three options for renewal—this means a twenty year contract in effect. Every company that acquires a GSA Contract has a Contracting Officer for reviewing the office package. This person is the long-term point of contract after a GSA Contract gets awarded. Once a contractor obtains a GSA Schedule Contract, they should meet a sales requirement of at least $25,000 annually and obey the terms of the contract or else the contract can be in danger of cancellation.
Maintaining the contract is very essential. Since products get discontinued or prices change a GSA Schedule Contract is adjusted accordingly. This is mainly because the prices and products are publicly posted and federal buyers may purchase from GSA Advantage directly. There is an easy and quick method for modifying a GSA Contract, where a trivial document package is submitted to the CO, demarcating the changes and updates that should be done, which generally takes a few weeks for approval.
So, obtaining and maintaining a GSA Schedule Contract is not a simple task. However, quite often the rewards outweigh the prices. Any firm wanting to work dexterously and learn to navigate the process of bidding may benefit from the contract and gain access to the biggest customer on world, the Government of the United States.