By: Stephanie Hagan on November 22nd, 2022
GSA Schedule Modification Best Practices
GSA Schedule | 4 Min Read
When you receive your GSA Schedule contract award, you are not entering into a binding document, but rather a contract that will live and breathe with your company. As we know, a lot can happen in 20 years, from technological advancements to changes in company personnel and updates to your products or services. This is where GSA Schedule modifications come in. When you make a change that affects your GSA contract, you will need to submit a modification in the eMod system. But as with any process related to your GSA Schedule, it’s not necessarily an easy or fast process. In this blog, we’ll cover best practices for GSA modifications so you are setting yourself up for success.
Types of GSA Schedule Modifications
Before we launch into best practices, let’s review what modifications are and the different types related to your GSA Schedule. Whenever you need to change something on your GSA Schedule such as your address, main Point of Contact (POC), or your pricing, you’ll need to submit a formal modification that must be approved by your Contracting Officer (CO). Here are the different types of modifications:
- Administrative: change of name, address, POC, etc.
- Additions: adding a product or service, adding a Special Item Number (SIN)
- Deletions: removing a product/service or SIN off your contract
- Price Increase: Economic Price Adjustment (EPA)
- Price Reduction: reducing your pricing
- Technical: product descriptions, titles, specifications, etc.
- Terms and Conditions: create/manage clause exceptions, business size, other changes
- Change of Name & Novation: changing your company name or novation
- Cancellation: cancelling your GSA Schedule contract
- Mass Modification (these are initiated by GSA and are accepted through the Mass Mod system, and therefore are not considered a general GSA Schedule modification)
Best Practices for GSA Schedule Modifications
Modifications can take time depending on the type and how backed up your CO is, so it’s not necessarily a breezy process. There are also several documents you need to prepare and submit depending on which mod you are completing. Naturally, the pricing mods and add mods are more complicated than administrative mods, and you’ll want to leave more time for these to be successfully processed and approved. So, let’s dive into best practices to help your CO facilitate evaluation and hopefully shorten the modification process.
Notify Your CO if You Have a High Priority Modification
If you have a high priority modification, or if it should be expedited to support a specific buyer, you need to notify your Contracting Officer immediately. If they are not aware of the urgency, then you may not have it approved in time. However, this doesn’t mean you can submit every mod with a high priority notification. As much as we want mods to be completed as soon as possible, the CO has several to get through. Expedited requests require evidence of a pending Task Order or closing Request for Quote (RFQ) and a request from the buyer.
Plan Ahead on All Mods
We cannot stress this enough—mods are not a speedy process unless they are simple administrative mods. If you have any experience working with the government, you know that things take time, and there’s no exact timeline. So, if you have an upcoming business opportunity and need to modify your contract accordingly, don’t wait to submit it. Plan ahead and submit as early as you can.
Use the Most Updated Documents
Each modification type requires a certain set of documents to be completed, and when GSA sends out solicitation refreshes, they sometimes update these documents. It’s important you make sure all the document you submit are the most current and the correct ones specific to the modification type. You can use the MAS Modification Guidance to help you decipher which documents to submit, and to make sure you work off the right ones. This guide should be your closest friend when it comes to modifications.
Provide Supporting Documentation with Price Mods
If you are submitting a pricing mod and the new price is significantly higher than your current price, providing a detailed explanation with supporting documentation for the CO may help accelerate the review process. Remember, your GSA prices generally need to be lower than your commercial prices, so when you propose a price raise it’s important to have information backing up the reasoning. However, with the current state of inflation, GSA is temporarily relaxing some pricing rules.
Consolidate Modifications When Possible
While you can’t really mix and match modification types under one request, GSA suggests you consolidate modifications when possible to hopefully shorten the processing time. This means submitting multiple additions under one add mod request, or multiple admin changes under one administrative mod request. It’ll be faster and less work for you, plus you cannot submit two different requests for the same modification type. For example, you can't submit two separate add mod requests at the same time (but you can submit multiple add mods under the same request). You can however submit more than one modification request as long as the modification type is different. So, you can submit separate add mod and novation requests at the same time.
Prepping Your GSA Schedule for Future Opportunities
We know keeping up with your GSA Schedule isn’t easy, and we hope these best practices will help you with your next modification. If you want to learn more about the modification process, check out our blog on how to submit a mod through the eMod System. Of course, you may not have the bandwidth or resources to do this on your own, and you don’t necessarily have to. Staying on top of your contract is more than just modifications, it includes sales reporting, paying the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) and preparing for Contract Assessments. All of these actions are important for future contracting opportunities as well as staying compliant with GSA's regulations. If you have questions about managing your Schedule or need help, our experienced consultants are here for you.