Do You Use GSA eTools to Spy on Competitors?
GSA Schedule | 2 Min Read
Two of the oldest GSA eTools are also two of its most powerful when examining competition on the GSA Schedule Program - Schedule Sales Query (SSQ) and GSA Advantage!
Schedule Sales Query
SSQ is a website dedicated to providing contractor specific sales reports based on reported quarterly sales totals from GSA approved vendors. The website provides pre-formatted reports that allow you to zero in on competitors based on schedule numbers and company names. In fact, for vendors interested in establishing a GSA Contract, GSA encourages the use of this tool in analyzing competition and evaluating how much of a market there is for categories of goods and services through the program.
The SSQ website allows you to not only review sales by quarter and vendor, but it also allows you to take that one step further and review reported sales by Special Item Number (SIN). This is particularly interesting for newer SINs where competition may be limited. For example, you may find only a handful of vendors have an awarded SIN and sales are being driven through an even smaller subset of vendors.
You can use this knowledge to conduct further research into the kind of task orders that have been awarded to these vendors by searching on USAspending.gov or the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). This helps you identify which agencies a competitor has prior relationships with and/or is currently engaged with – good intelligence to have when crafting your market strategy.
GSA Advantage! is another valuable tool at your disposal when searching for competitors. The online shopping center has been a great success since it was established in 1996, growing at a rapid pace to where it now offers access to 28 million products, services, and solutions from over 18,000 approved GSA contractors. The system is used widely throughout government - currently exhibiting 800,000 registered users and receiving 500,000 visits per day.
You can easily search the eCommerce website to find product specific pricing offered by a particular vendor using its search features, which allows you to benchmark your product pricing against competitors quickly.
Services vendors can also download each competitor’s approved GSA pricelist which will list awarded services categories and rates. This is valuable information when considering services fees that have been awarded by GSA relative to your own.
For high level transactional data on GSA Advantage! the Vendor Support Center (VSC) provides quarterly and annual reports for download under the business opportunities section of that website. Again, this helps you to evaluate how similar vendors have done on schedule and supplements your overall analysis of the market.
Which eTool Should You Use to Analyze the GSA’s Schedule Program?
Both eTools – SSQ and GSA Advantage! – can be incredibly beneficial for you to use. Neither are mutually exclusive, in fact you can use both. After all, both sites are freely available for you to use online. Visit these sites today to strengthen your government strategy.
About Kevin Lancaster
Kevin Lancaster leads Winvale’s corporate growth strategies in both the commercial and government markets. He develops and drives solutions to meet Winvale’s business goals while enabling an operating model to help staff identify and respond to emerging trends that affect both Winvale and the clients it serves. He is integrally involved in all aspects of managing the firm’s operations and workforce, leading efforts to improve productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.