President Trump has made it no secret that he plans to spend a lot improving the nation’s infrastructure. With the transfer of powers completed and the new administration officially in place, changes to how the Government approaches procurement and focus on new/different initiatives will follow. While the details are still being parsed, we can assume that this will include everything from the proposed border wall in addition to repairing and building new transportation, utilities, and structures as well as changes to how the Government approaches procurement. But what are some things that you should be thinking of to stay proactive? Let’s take a deeper look at the top 3 trends we expect to see over the coming years.
Less money = more competition.
As Government agencies look to procure products and services over the next few years, they also will be faced with budget cutbacks. This means we can expect an increase in the use of contracting vehicles such as GSA and a reduction in sealed bidding and contracting by negotiation. Thus, anticipate GSA purchasing growth as buyers look to get the most bang for the buck with taxpayer money. How can you take advantage? Think of expanding your targeted Federal Agencies to diversify and grow your market share. Look for strategic partnerships to become more competitive within the market place. And look at new Schedules and/or SINs that might provide a different platform for your products and services. Most importantly, if you aren’t yet on a GSA Schedule then now is the perfect time to capitalize on the approaching changes by obtaining a GSA contract.
A focus on American made products and services.
We expect an increased focus on American made products and American hired services. This is what President Trump refers to as “Buy American, Hire American.” While the Buy American Act (BAA) is not a requirement of current GSA Schedules, start looking at ways to increase your marketing and position with US made products and services. As we’ve previously covered, TAA Compliance is the current standard, meaning that you must agree that each “final product” that you sell has been “substantially transformed” in the United States or in a signatory country designated by the TAA. But how can you set yourself apart from other GSA contract holders? Look to highlight your American made products and local workforce. What is the potential local economic benefit from the Government purchasing from you? Buy materials and components that are manufactured in the US. Even increase the use of the US flag on your marketing materials to highlight your focus on American made and American hired. While not currently a requirement of GSA contracts, thinking proactively can help you set yourself apart from the competition.
SINs primed for growth.
With infrastructure spending being a major priority, the focus is squarely on construction. But what does construction actually mean? FAR 2.101 defines it as:
“Construction” means construction, alteration, or repair (including dredging, excavating, and painting) of buildings, structures, or other real property. For purposes of this definition, the terms “buildings, structures, or other real property” include, but are not limited to, improvements of all types, such as bridges, dams, plants, highways, parkways, streets, subways, tunnels, sewers, mains, power lines, cemeteries, pumping stations, railways, airport facilities, terminals, docks, piers, wharves, ways, lighthouses, buoys, jetties, breakwaters, levees, canals, and channels. Construction does not include the manufacture, production, furnishing, construction, alteration, repair, processing, or assembling of vessels, aircraft, or other kinds of personal property (except that for use in subpart 22.5, see the definition at 22.502).”
With massive plans for a border wall and focus on infrastructure spending, demand for engineering, construction, and professional services should see a healthy increase. As such, we expect to see an increase in demand in the following Schedules: 56 (Buildings and Building Materials/Industrial Services and Supplies), 51V (Hardware Superstore), 84 (Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire, Rescue, Clothing, Marine Craft and Emergency/Disaster Response), 03FAC (Facilities Maintenance and Management), and 00CORP (Professional Services Schedule – PSS). Contractors who specialize in construction management engineering services under SIN 871-7 (Construction Management and Engineering Consulting Services Related to Real Property) may also see an increase in future government spending.
Have further questions about obtaining or growing your GSA Schedule? We can help you navigate the changes to Government procurement and find the best solutions for your business. Give us a call at 202-296-5505 or [email protected] for more information.
Donald Trump image courtesy of Gage Skidmore