How Can I Expedite My GSA Schedule Proposal?
Resources and Insight | 4 Min Read
Once you’ve submitted your GSA Schedule proposal, you are probably excited to get it awarded and start selling your products or services as soon as possible. Unfortunately, perhaps the hardest part of the Schedule acquisition process is waiting. Although this can be frustrating, GSA needs some time to process and review your GSA Schedule proposal to make sure it’s worthy of award. GSA can take anywhere from around three months to a year to complete the review of your GSA Schedule proposal, depending on several factors.
This means you’ll need to wait some time, but if the months drag on and you’re sitting at almost a year with little to no movement, it may be best to take some measures to get the process moving along such as submitting a Letter to Expedite. First, however, we’ll start with 3 ways you can prepare your offer so it goes through as smoothly as possible.
1. Fully Prepare your GSA Schedule
In terms of getting your offer turned into a GSA Schedule, the best action you can take is making sure that your GSA Schedule proposal is prepared to meet standards in the first place. You should be thinking about anything that might cause GSA to pause awarding your GSA Schedule and find a way to either correct it or explain it within the initial proposal, so GSA will not reject your offer.
You'll want to make sure to avoid common sources of rejection so your offer doesn't fall prey to them. By getting ahead of the questions, you can avoid delays such as a rejection of your initial GSA Schedule proposal, or excessive time spent on clarifications and negotiations. Make sure you have read relevant sections of the MAS Solicitation, researched Special Item Number (SIN) and Large Category specific requirements on the Available Offerings and Requirements page, and prepared all necessary documents before you submit in eOffer. You will also want to make sure that you are using the most updated templates available so that all required information is provided.
2. Stay in Contact with GSA
Once you have submitted your GSA Schedule proposal, you can begin contacting your assigned Contracting Officer (CO) to check in regarding the status of your offer. It's good practice to introduce yourself to the CO once your GSA Schedule proposal has been assigned for review.
After that however, you should give them some time review the offer. You should be open to contacting them to check in on the status of your offer, but not too often, as your CO will not enjoy being pestered as much as anyone else. Contracting Officers have a busy job and must deal with proposals from multiple contractors at the same time. You want to show that you are on top of things, so you should always reply promptly to any correspondence from your CO. This will help your proposal remain at the top of your CO’s mind.
However, what do you do if you have trouble getting a substantial response in the first place? For example, your Contracting Officer may be swamped and slow to review your GSA Schedule proposal. At that point, it may be best to reach out to your Contracting Officer with a Letter to Expedite if you are able to obtain one.
3. Send a Letter to Expedite
A Letter to Expedite is used when a company has submitted a GSA Schedule proposal, but the review period is moving too slowly to meet procurement opportunities. This is a letter from a Procuring Contracting Official at a federal agency that would like to purchase from a prospective contractor’s GSA Schedule.
It should be on official agency letterhead and directed to the reviewing CO at GSA. The letter should lay out why the purchasing agency wants your company to get a GSA Schedule in the near future in order to meet the agency’s procurement needs. It should also be specific and include information on what the agency would like to purchase and by when. This ties government procurements needs to the award of your GSA Schedule and makes a concrete connection to your offerings.
The time frame provided in the Letter to Expedite gives your reviewing CO an idea of when your GSA Schedule proposal will need to be approved in order to meet government procurement needs. With the knowledge that a GSA sale is all but guaranteed, GSA will want to approve your GSA Schedule proposal in time for the sale so that GSA can receive the Industrial Funding Fee. As a result of this, higher dollar value opportunities are better because they show an urgent and compelling need.
It’s important to note that a Letter to Expedite does not guarantee a faster turnaround time, but it should at least display the need by government purchasers for your offerings. This is the best proven way to move your GSA Schedule proposal up the review pile. Not all prospective contractors can procure one, however. Procuring Contracting Officials from an agency must already intend to purchase your products or services once your Schedule is awarded.
After Submitting a Letter to Expedite
Once the Letter to Expedite is submitted, you should stay in contact with the reviewing CO, but it’s really in GSA’s hands at that point. If you feel that something is wrong and that the GSA Schedule proposal process has been going on far too long, you may want to escalate to one of your CO’s superiors at their GSA branch office.
Staying On Top of Your GSA Schedule Proposal
You should bear in mind that it can take about a year for GSA Schedule contracts to be awarded even under normal circumstances, so be careful not to burn any bridges out of impatience. If you take the steps mentioned here, you are largely already doing what you can to speed up the GSA Schedule proposal review process.
If you need advice on the GSA Schedule proposal process, you can reach out to Winvale and our experienced consultants will be happy to assist you in preparing your offer and ensuring that you get your GSA Schedule awarded as efficiently as possible.