Getting Your Own GSA Schedule vs. Partnering with a Reseller
GSA Schedule | 6 Min Read
If your company has recently made the decision to start selling its products or services to the government through the General Services Administration's (GSA) Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program, an important next step is to consider whether you would like to obtain your own prime GSA Schedule contract, or if you would like to partner with an authorized GSA reseller.
While both routes can certainly generate significant value for your organization, it is important to consider the differences between the process of acquiring your own GSA Schedule versus partnering with an authorized GSA reseller.
As a prime GSA Schedule contract holder and an authorized GSA reseller, we can walk you through the process for both options so you have a better idea of what will work best for your company.
How Do I Get a Prime GSA Schedule?
If your company is currently researching the requirements to obtain its own prime GSA Schedule, the steps below provide an overview of how to acquire and maintain a GSA Schedule.
Review Your Company's Eligibility to Become a GSA Schedule Contractor
GSA is very firm in its requirement that you are an established and respected vendor who the government can easily and safely conduct business with. Some basic requirements your organization should maintain to sell through the GSA MAS program include:
- Being in business for at least 2 years. Please note this requirement can be waived for some IT contractors under GSA’s IT Springboard Program.
- Being financially stable as a company. In addition to needing experience selling your company's product(s) and/or service(s), you will also be required to show that you have sold your product(s) and service(s) commercially prior to selling them on a GSA Schedule contract.
- Maintain Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliance. Prospective vendors who intend to sell their products on a prime GSA Schedule contract must first confirm their products are TAA compliant.
Ensure your Organization is Registered on the Proper Platforms
This is a very important step in getting your own GSA Schedule contract. While preparing your offer to submit to GSA, your company is required to obtain registrations and validations such as a Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number and the System for Award Management (SAM) registration. Please note that by April of 2022, the federal government will stop using the DUNS number to uniquely identify entities registered in the System for Award Management (SAM).
Things to Consider Before You Get a Prime GSA Schedule
- It will likely take at least 6-12 months before a prime GSA Schedule contract is awarded to your company.
- Upon successfully being awarded a GSA Schedule contract, your organization will be required to manage contract compliance issues, add modifications to your GSA Schedule price list, and report sales.
- Obtaining your own GSA Schedule may impact your commercial business as far as sales discounting practices.
- Your company will likely need to invest in staff or a GSA Schedule consultant to administer, manage, and quote on behalf of your contract.
- Your organization will be required to sell a minimum of $25,000 annually through your GSA Schedule (after holding the contract for 24 months).
- You will be responsible for the Industrial Funding Fee, the fee used to cover GSA’s cost of operating the Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) program.
How Do I Partner with an Authorized GSA Reseller?
After reviewing the GSA Schedule requirements above, you may determine that your organization does not qualify, or is not ready to obtain its own contract.
There are other ways to sell through the MAS Program without having your own prime GSA Schedule contract. One way which your company can sell through a GSA Schedule without obtaining their own GSA Schedule contract is partnering with an authorized GSA reseller.
Below is a high-level summary of how to acquire and maintain a partnership with an authorized GSA Schedule reseller:
Provide the Authorized GSA Reseller with Required Documentation
So, your organization has made the choice to move forward with partnering with an authorized GSA reseller, now what? Depending on how the authorized GSA reseller chooses to report sales to the government, the required documents may change.
Generally speaking, to sell your solutions on an authorized reseller’s GSA Schedule, you will need to provide or adhere to the following:
- Commercial pricelist including product part number, product description, product commercial price, product county of origin, and product warranty as applicable.
- Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) program, as deemed applicable.
- Trade Agreements Certificate. All products and services offered on the reseller's GSA contract must be compliant with the Trade Agreements Act. See the following Winvale resource for more information on TAA compliant countries.
- Letter of Supply (LOS) which states that your organization will supply the authorized GSA reseller with sufficient quantities of the offered product(s) to meet the government’s needs for the duration of the contract period.
Things to Consider Before You Enter a Partnership with an Authorized GSA Reseller
Unlike acquiring your own GSA Schedule contract, partnering with an authorized GSA reseller has a completely different set of parameters in place that you should consider, such as:
- Contract management: Partnership with an authorized GSA reseller means that the GSA Schedule will be maintained by the reseller, which can save your organization time and money.
- Sales Reporting and Requirements: Sales reporting and requirements are required of the contract holder and not your organization.
- Compliance risk: Partnering with an authorized GSA reseller can drastically reduce the compliance risks of selling to the government because the reseller does not have to disclose the vendor's Most Favored Customer, Commercial Sales Practices, discounting practices, or financial statements.
- Time to obtain a GSA Schedule contract: Partnering with an authorized GSA reseller may result in your company adding its product(s) or service(s) to the reseller’s GSA contract within 30 days, significantly faster than acquiring your own GSA Schedule.
How to Partner with the Right GSA Reseller for Your Organization
While selling to the government via an authorized GSA reseller can certainly reduce cost, save time, and provide other benefits to your organization, it is important to determine what exactly your company will need from a potential reseller.
- Business Size Status: Would you like to work with a small business or large business, while entering a partnership with an authorized GSA reseller?
- Reseller Company Designation: What designation(s) does the reseller current hold? The government likes to utilize small business designations like Women-Owned Small Businesses or Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.
- Past Performance of GSA Reseller: How long has the reseller been selling to the government through a GSA Schedule, and have they had any past issues meeting or exceeding the requirements?
- Reseller Company Personnel: Does the reseller you wish to partner with specialize in selling your company’s solutions? Will the reseller need to provide sales personnel who will promote your product, perform demos, build a pipeline, and close the deal?
- Reseller Company Government Customer Base: What does the reseller’s successful government customer base look like?
Do You Need Help Selling to the Government through a GSA Schedule?
Whether you are ready to get your own GSA Schedule or partner with an authorized GSA reseller, Winvale’s team of experts are here to help.
Our unique experience both as a leading provider of government contract consulting across all industries and disciplines, as well as an authorized GSA reseller through our Channel Distribution for Public Sector Program, allows us to help you make the best choice for your company.
If you are interested in obtaining a GSA Schedule or learning more about partnering with Winvale as your authorized GSA reseller, please contact our team today for more information. For more government contracting resources, subscribe to our blog and newsletter for all the latest updates.
About Bradley Wyatt
Bradley Wyatt is an Account Manager for Winvale’s Public Sector Partner Program where he currently manages a diverse portfolio of Information Technology, Hardware, Software, and Services Channel Distribution Partner Accounts to accelerate their sales within the Public Sector. Bradley is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia and a graduate from James Madison University with his Bachelor’s of Science in Public Policy and Administration.