If you’re new to the topic, or perhaps a little rusty, the General Services Administration (GSA) administers a purchasing program called the GSA Multiple Award Schedule program. The GSA Multiple Award Schedule Program awards commercial companies GSA Schedule contracts to sell their products or services to federal agencies at a discounted price. As previously discussed on this blog, a GSA Schedule contract, or simply a GSA Schedule, is a little bit like being part of an exclusive selling network which allows you to agree upon set prices, terms and conditions with the GSA. This simplifies the buying process for different agencies and allows you to sell to the Federal Government through established long-term contracts. With that said, let’s discuss the 5 W’s of GSA Schedules!
Dan Tangherlini, GSA’s Chief Administrator, announced his resignation yesterday after nearly three years as the head of the federal government’s procurement arm. Appointed by President Obama in April 2012, Tangherlini was tasked with leading the GSA out of the midst of an employee spending scandal. Taking over an Administration that had suffered a severe hit to its credibility within the federal government, Tangherlini led a three year transformation to bring GSA to its much healthier current state. Highlights of Tangherlini’s accomplishments during his tenure included:
The GSA sends out GSA Schedule cancelations every day, but not all companies get their GSA Schedule contract canceled. What did they do differently? And, more importantly, what should you do to grow your government sales in the future?
Government contracting is a very competitive and complex marketplace, predominantly due to its high profitability potential. Companies of all sizes, from small micro-firms with one employee to large conglomerates with thousands of employees, have succeeded in selling products and services to government agencies at the federal, state, city, county and municipal levels.
In order to be successful, your organization first needs to understand the basics of government marketing.
When assessing the IT competency of organizations, many executives tend to believe their IT sectors are meeting their organizational objectives. The majority of executives believe that simply possessing an IT service is the key to reaching those objectives. This misconception could not be further from the truth, as a study found that less than half of the respondents rate their IT management processes as “excellent” or “good.”
If you are an IT government contractor – this is for you! Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) are required to be FedRAMP certified by June 2014. Current deployments of cloud-based services in use by Federal agencies must be compliant with FedRAMP guidelines by June 2014. Commercial providers that offered cloud-based services to the Federal government or in the acquisition process prior to June 5, 2012, must have a FedRAMP P-ATO. Government agencies have to move one system to a cloud provider within 12 months of project start, and two more systems within 18 months of launch, by the end of 2015.
Expiring government contracts are a great way for government contractors to compete for government business. These are viable opportunities that are currently being funded. When reviewing an expiring contract, make sure to review and understand six specific contract areas:
On December 10, 2013 the congressional budget negotiators reached a compromise on 2014 Defense spending. The compromise allows for more clarity in defense spending for the current and next fiscal years (FY2014 and FY2015).
Government agencies are ditching their old habits and implementing new service desk software in hopes of more cost effective solutions to consolidate and optimize their help desk. The Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) based in Ohio, “The Buckeye State” was established to maintain applications for roughly 2,000 employees and provide customer support for over 10,000 customers. These customers ranged from county employees, developmentally disabled children and their parents, and service providers across the state.
If your company has ventured into traditional government procurement, you are probably well aware of the downfalls of the procurement processes. For years, traditional public sector procurement processes have been criticized for being slow, inflexible and for limiting the purchases of goods and services from a select amount of vendors by government agencies. These issues with traditional government procurement processes still persist today.
To combat these downfalls, many organizations have devoted resources to improve the processes and overcome hurdles that are detrimental to government innovation and efficiency. If you currently are involved or interested in selling to the government, you should be aware of some of the improvements that are occurring in the government procurement process.
The State of California is now implementing a redesigned Request for Proposal (RFP) and IT planning process to prevent backtracking and speed up the deployment of new projects. Traditional government RFPs with long timelines, complex rules, and tight guidelines around liability has discouraged some of the most innovative IT companies from entering the government marketplace. To help amend these restrictions and find better ways to procure technology, North Carolina plans to test products before purchasing them in the state’s new innovation center. This initiative will ensure that products can actually fulfill the statement of work and meet budget requirements.
BidSync, a provider of eProcurement solutions, has created a vendor management portal to consolidate the entire procurement process called FastFWD. From soliciting vendors, receiving bid notifications, managing contracts and requesting purchases, this tool provides government agencies with greater ability to manage and grow their networks of qualified vendors, while reducing the amount of time and manpower needed to manage these relationships. FastFWD utilizes new startups to launch new projects and solve old problems from the lack of early engagement with vendors that have led to restrictive or limited solutions. To learn more about the improvements being made to the procurement process, read “5 New Approaches to Government Procurement.”