By: Isabel Sabie on March 1st, 2021
GSA to Implement the Verified Products Portal (VPP)
GSA Schedule | 4 Min Read
Whether you are a current or prospective GSA Schedule contractor, it is vital you remain aware of any upcoming changes to the federal procurement process. A source for many important changes is the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Marketplace Strategy, which aims to refine and improve the federal marketplace by reducing barriers and improving access for federal buyers and sellers.
One of the key initiatives of this strategy is catalog management, in which GSA seeks to streamline the management of data associated with the millions of products and services offered through the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program. In the interest of reducing burdens on manufacturers and resellers, GSA will be rolling out the Verified Products Portal (VPP) in April 2021, a manufacturer and reseller facing portal that will capture and house important supplier information.
All About the Verified Products Portal
The Verified Products Portal (VPP) is designed to host authoritative product content and supplier authorization information. It will rely entirely on data supplied by participating GSA manufacturers and resellers.
This current rollout is preceded by a November 2020 prototype, in which a number of manufacturers were selected to create VPP accounts and input key information. This included Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Clover Imaging Group, and National Industries for the Blind. In the months since, the GSA has continued to onboard a limited number of manufacturers and resellers.
Now, GSA plans to have a full-scale launch of the program in April 2021.
After the launch, GSA Schedule contractors will be able to register with the VPP, and will be able to provide key information, such as:
- Supplier Authorization Details such as their authorized resellers, product lines, and Doing Business As (DBAs)
- Product Category Details such as the product’s brand name and manufacturer part number
- Product Descriptions/Images including if the product is remanufactured, high and low resolution product images, and product features
- Supply Chain Attributes such as Country of Origin (COO) and EnergyStar Labels
- Pricing Information (optional) such as a threshold for which the authenticity of the item is questionable and date of upcoming price increases
What the VPP Means for GSA Manufacturers and Resellers
While participation in the Verified Products Portal is currently optional, it’s clear that GSA will use the information in the VPP as the final authority when it comes to determining a reseller’s capability to sell certain products. When the VPP is implemented, GSA will refresh the MAS Solicitation.
Resellers will be required to check the VPP to see if their manufacturer is a participant. If the manufacturer is a participant, then the reseller will have to upload a copy of their dashboard results to eOffer. GSA will then utilize the VPP to verify that the reseller is authorized to supply the products they are proposing. If the manufacturer is not a VPP participant, then the reseller will be required to upload a copy of their dashboard results as well as a Letter of Supply to eOffer.
If you are the manufacturer yourself, then you’ll need to upload a statement to eOffer clarifying that you are the manufacturer. No Letter of Supply is needed.
How GSA Contractors Can Benefit from the Verified Products Portal
The Verified Products Portal will provide several benefits to GSA manufacturers and resellers. By allowing manufacturers to input their own data, manufacturers will be granted greater agency over the products they sell. They can ensure that their products are accurately represented to their customers. Manufacturers will also be able to authorize and deauthorize products and resellers in near-real time to protect against supply chain risks and ensure product and reseller authenticity.
The VPP will also reduce the burden on resellers to provide Letters of Supply and product specifications. Overall, the VPP will be used to standardize contractor catalogs, and will be able to eliminate variability among identical products. The VPP will also allow federal workers to identify unauthorized products both pre- and post-award more quickly.
Stay Up to Date on GSA Changes
If you are a GSA manufacturer or reseller, it’s vital that you keep an eye on the implementation and development of the Verified Products Portal, as it will affect how you do business in the federal marketplace. Manufacturers will have to decide if they participate in the VPP, and if they do so, it will be extremely vital that they keep their product data accurate and up to date.
Big changes like this can be confusing and overwhelming, and it’s important that you and your business stays informed. Here at Winvale, we’ve made it our mission to stay at the forefront of any upcoming changes in the federal marketplace. If you want to stay up to date on any future changes you can subscribe to our blog and our monthly newsletter. If you want to find out how these changes could impact your business, contact us today.