Federal Buyers like all buyers like their suppliers to fall within a given range. If the supplier is to inexpensive it can give them pause because they are not sure if the qualifications match their objective. If the quote is too high they are not providing the best value to the federal government.
The GSA therefore provides both federal contractors as well as federal purchasing officers many methods for conducting market research to make sure suppliers fall within a correct range. One of the more advanced tools is the GSA CALC+ tool for determining rates for various labor categories. In 2019 there were over 30,000 federal users of the CALC tool and therefore its prowess as a federal market research tool should not be overlooked.
Link to Calc Tool: https://calc.gsa.gov/
I conducted a simple search using the Calc tool because I wanted to demonstrate the difference on GSA Schedule IT70 between Years of Experience and the Degree the individual obtained in terms of labor rates. (See table below)
|Years of Experience||Associates Degree||Bachelor’s Degree||Master’s Degree|
Logically it is demonstrated from the table that in general the federal government is charged more for individuals with more experience as well as a greater level of education attained.
Pro Tip: Pay close attention to experience and degree and provide additional labor categories accordingly in order to make your firm’s labor categories more competitive.
You can also dive deeper into the Cacl tool to find more exact matches for labor categories for all GSA Schedules. If we take a closer look at a range of category within IT70 we will find how labor categories are broken up. For the following example I used those with a Bachelor’s Degree and 2-3 Years of experience.
|“Web Designer” Specific Labor Category Name||Number of Firms Using this Category||Average Labor Rate|
|Web Developer I||7||81.00|
|Web Developer II||5||88.00|
|Web Programmer I||4||103.00|
|Web Programmer II||4||103.00|
|Web Designer II||3||101.00|
|Senior Web Designer||2||175.00|
|Web Designer/Developer I||3||101.00|
|Web Designer/Developer II||3||101.00|
As we can see form our listing the three most common terms used are “Web Designer”, “Web Developer” and “Web Developer I”. Unless the term “Webmaster” is a well-defined category using this term for someone doing web development work would likely be a mistake.
Pro Tip: Make sure the labor categories match the most common industry labor category terms or you could find yourself in a labor category by yourself.
The GSA Schedule Calc tool is a powerful tool that can aid in developing your overall labor rate strategy for your GSA Schedule Contract.