Hiring a GSA Schedule Consultant vs. Acquiring a Schedule On Your Own
GSA Schedule | 5 Min Read
During my time at Winvale, I’ve gotten some very confused looks when I mention I work with government contracts. Friends sometimes assume that I work on top-secret contracts I can’t tell them about or that I simply push papers all day. And to be honest—neither of those are true.
Our specialty is helping our clients with all things General Services Administration (GSA). Working with GSA can be like learning a new language with all of the acronyms, and working with a GSA Schedule consultant is like having an interpreter there to help you better understand what’s going on.
To better comprehend the GSA contractor experience when done with a GSA Schedule consultant versus doing it yourself, let’s dive into what GSA Schedule consultants do, the process when done solo, and how GSA consultants can add value to your Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) experience.
What Do GSA Schedule Consultants Do?
GSA Schedule consultants are your guides to government contracting and GSA. They know about the requirements and regulations to sell to the government, strategies for acquiring a GSA Schedule, how to maintain contract compliance, and how to take advantage of your contract. GSA Schedule consultants also stay up to date with all changes occurring in the MAS program so you don’t miss anything important.
Since consulting services can vary depending on what firm you choose, we’ll give you an example of what we offer as a team of public sector consultants. At Winvale, we specialize in GSA in two key areas: Schedule acquisition and GSA contract maintenance. Whether you have a GSA contract already, or think it’s time for you to get started in the public sector, we offer services for both.
We work with our clients throughout the Schedule acquisition to not just fill out paperwork, but to educate each potential contractor on what Special Item Numbers (SINs) might be best for them, the requirements of having an MAS contract, and how to put your best foot forward with GSA.
GSA consultants take a hands-on approach to help contractors/potential contractors best utilize their MAS contract throughout the 20-year period.
Can’t I Do the Schedule Acquisition Process/Contract Maintenance Work Myself?
In short—of course you can. To get your own GSA MAS contract, GSA actually provides a decent amount of resources to potential vendors in order to prepare them to create their own MAS proposal. There are myriad resources out there, including our own post on GSA eligibility, that highlight the requirements needed to get your own GSA Schedule contract.
For contract maintenance, the same is also true: you can always find resources and educate yourself on GSA compliance requirements and how to submit modifications to your MAS contract. These just don’t always include the whole picture—having experience with GSA Contracting Officers and the MAS proposal process helps to fill in the blanks.
Submitting a MAS proposal requires a lot of experience with GSA and a lot of time when done without the assistance of a GSA Schedule consultant. Learning the ins and outs of all of GSA’s required documents takes a while to learn and if not done correctly, can lead to clarifications or rejection entirely.
GSA is not always looking at the contractors’ best interest and will reject MAS offers or modifications for small infractions just because they want to get them off their plate. When done without expert assistance—for example, a dedicated employee at your company without GSA experience—the process can be even longer than the up-to-12-month timeline that GSA details in the MAS Solicitation for offers to be reviewed.
Taking additional time and effort to put together MAS offers or modifications yourself costs your company:
1) Time away from their typical work responsibilities
2) Effort updating your MAS documents every time there is a change in GSA’s system
3) Lost opportunities for the awarded contract/modification
While doing the process can certainly be done without public sector consulting, it can lead to unnecessary frustrations for you and your business.
Benefits of Hiring a GSA Schedule Consultant
A GSA Schedule consultant is not going to complete the entire MAS Offer or modification for you. They are there to help you navigate the process of dealing with GSA Contracting Officers and the MAS acquisition/modification process. They are there to guide you and educate you to help you get the most bang for your buck with GSA pricing options.
You know your business better than the consultant does. You will work hand in hand with the GSA Schedule consultant to show GSA your pricing is fair and reasonable and that you are a competitive contractor the U.S. government should consider. A consultant’s job is to make sure your documentation is submitted with your best interest in mind, in compliance with MAS standards, and will pass through the MAS review process.
A GSA Schedule consultant helps to answer any and all questions about the proposal/modification process and helps to ensure contract compliance which can save you a big headache in the long run. We want to see your contract grow and change alongside your commercial business over time. The benefit of working with a GSA Schedule consultant is that you will have the expertise at hand to navigate the MAS process correctly the first time around, which leaves more time for your company to capitalize on GSA opportunities.
Is GSA Schedule Consulting Right for Me?
Winvale has a wide array of resources to help you decide if working through the GSA process yourself is worth it for your company, or if utilizing the services of GSA Schedule consultants would better serve your needs. To learn more about if consulting is right for you, check out our blogs “Why You Should Discuss GSA Consulting Before Managing the Process In-House,” and “Is GSA Consulting Right for You?”
You know your company best and only you can make that decision. However, if you think working with a GSA Schedule consultant would be best for you, contact Winvale today!