By the end of 2020 the 24 current GSA Schedules will move to 1. This one schedule will house 19,000 federal vendors selling over 10 million products and services with over $31B in annual federal sales.
Both industry and federal agencies are pushing for this move to streamline the purchasing process in order to make all lives easier. GSA is also pushing the move as they think it will increase sales for the schedule system.
The average small business with a GSA Schedule has approximately $1MM per year in Federal Sales off their schedule. The move to a single schedule should push this needle north of this figure.
Advantages for Federal Small Business Vendors:
1. Consolidates terms and conditions into one set of rules across all schedules.
2. Reduces maintenance burden for multiple schedules.
3. Is expected to open state and local government marketplace via 1122 Program. The 1122 Program currently gives these governmental agencies the right to buy goods and services from certain schedules.
4. Selling goods and services from a single schedule affords firms a greater opportunity to combine items and therefore sell solutions which generally leads to higher profits for firms.
5. Establishes a unified online marketplace for simplified acquisition threshold purchases, that being those purchases under $10,000. This should help to increase online sales for small businesses. This online presence is important because regardless of industry a recent study conducted by LinkedIn Insights found “that buyers complete 70% of their purchase before contacting a salesperson.” This figure is for industry however it is unlikely that this behavior is different for governmental buyers.
The GSA has stated that the migration from old 24 schedule system to the new single schedule system will have little to no effect on firms looking to join the schedule system and therefore should not base their decisions on joining the GSA based upon waiting. However the benefits from merging the schedules should begin to take hold over the course of the next two years.