By: Isabel Sabie on September 15th, 2020
How the Disaster Purchasing Program Can Help Grow Your GSA Sales
Government Business Development | Resources and Insight | 5 Min Read
Currently, the U.S. is dealing with the destruction caused by Hurricane Laura while Hurricane Sally makes landfall in the Gulf of Mexico. As the states attempt to recover and rebuild after these devastating storms, the country is also working to stay ahead of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, causing government spending to rise on federal, state, and local levels.
In order to acquire the goods and services that are necessary to rebuild in a quick and efficient manner, many government agencies are purchasing items from commercial businesses through the General Services Administration (GSA) Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program. This program is an essential part of ensuring the government’s response to disasters is successful, cost-effective, and timely.
Due to the relevance and importance of this program, it’s important for current and prospective GSA Schedule contractors to be aware of how this program functions and how it can impact your sales. As consultants, we at Winvale are here to help you understand your options and inform you of how the Disaster Purchasing Program can increase your GSA Schedule contract sales.
What is the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program?
Typically, the only entities eligible to purchase products and services under a GSA Schedule contract are federal and executive agencies, along with a handful of nonprofits and international organizations. However, when the President of the U.S. declares a national disaster or emergency under the Stafford Act, the GSA Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program allows state, local, and tribal governments to join this list of eligible entities that can purchase off a GSA Schedule.
Through this program, GSA facilitates the process of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery for state, local, and tribal governments. Having quick access to the goods and services on GSA Schedules can be highly beneficial for agencies trying to respond to a disaster or emergency. When these entities purchase from GSA Schedule contractors, they have access to goods that are guaranteed to be the best value with pre-negotiated prices that are already determined to be fair and reasonable.
What Goods and Services Are Typically Purchased Under the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program?
The Disaster Purchasing Program applies to any disaster that is declared under the Stafford Act, whether they are manmade or natural. A current list of disasters can be found on FEMA’s website. The goods and services purchased by federal, state, and local governments under the Disaster Recovery Program can vary wildly depending on the type of disaster. These goods that are purchased include, but are not limited to:
- Cleaning Equipment
- Power generators
- Temporary housing and home supplies
- Flood pumps
- Medical Supplies
The type of services that are typically purchased include, but are not limited to:
- Construction Services
- Emergency Training
- Trash removal services
- Distribution and transportation services
What Does this Program Mean for Government Contractors?
Many states have already benefited from having quick access to best value products and services in their attempt to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Since the pandemic is ongoing with no clear end in sight, federal, state, and local governments will continue to need commercial vendors to supply them with the necessary supplies and services so they can mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
This is where you, as a current or prospective GSA contractor, can help. If you have opted into the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program, your solutions will be available to the state and local governments seeking assistance.
As you can see, this program is not only beneficial for state and local governments, but also for many GSA contractors who sell relevant products and services. When state and local governments have access to GSA Schedules, GSA contractors have more contracting opportunities available to them.
Participation in this program is entirely voluntary for GSA contractors, and contractors may decline an order for any reason within a five-day period (within 24 hours for a credit card order). You must manually opt-in for the program, you are not automatically enrolled.
How Do I Know if I Am Signed Up for Disaster Recovery Purchasing?
Contractors can easily check GSA eLibrary to see if they are signed up for Disaster Recovery Purchasing. Contractors who have opted in will have this logo next to their categories: . When federal, state, and local governments check GSA eLibrary and GSA Advantage! they can quickly see which contractors have selected to take part in the program. All contractors who have opted in will also appear in the disaster relief section of GSA Advantage!.
How Can I Sign Up for Disaster Recovery Purchasing?
Contractors who opted out of the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program can easily sign up via a Terms and Conditions modification that is completed in the eMod system. Once your modification is approved, you should update your GSA Advantage! pricelist via a SIP upload as soon as possible, and at least within 30 days of modification award, to indicate that you are a participant in the Disaster Recovery Program. GSA eLibrary will be updated to include the symbol next to your categories once the SIP upload is approved.
The Future of Disaster Recovery Purchasing
While many commercial marketplaces fail during times of economic uncertainty, the GSA MAS program is part of a bustling and stable marketplace. With states looking to rebuild and recover in the wake of natural disasters and an ongoing pandemic, it’s certain spending through the Disaster Recovery Program will continue to climb, and contractors will see an influx of new business opportunities.
If you are interested in signing up for the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program or learning more ways to increase your GSA Schedule contract sales, don’t hesitate to contact the Winvale team today.