How Do I Get a GSA Schedule Contract?
GSA Schedule | 4 Min Read
Having a GSA Schedule contract opens up a whole new marketplace and customer base for your business. Billions of dollars go through GSA contracts each year and there are millions of GSA contractors, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for you to win government business and even team up with other contractors on bigger awards. The GSA Schedules program is a great way to break into government sales, but it can be a confusing and lengthy process if you’re not familiar with the requirements. If you want to know where to begin, check out the steps to getting on a GSA Schedule below.
Step 1: Decide if a GSA Contract is Right for Your Company
It's important to first determine if you are eligible to submit a GSA Schedule offer before beginning the proposal process. Below is a list of requirements to keep in mind:
- Must have financial stability
- Must have been in business for at least two years (unless you qualify for and can provide alternate information through the Startup Springboard Program).
- Must be able to prove that proposed products/services have been sold commercially
- Must be compliant with the Trade Agreement Act (TAA)
- Must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and active SAM.gov registration
If your company meets the above requirements, then you are ready to begin the proposal process. There is a great deal of required documentation that must be submitted with a GSA proposal. The proposal is separated into three main sections: administrative, technical, and pricing. We'll briefly cover what each section means below so you have an idea of what the process looks like and what kind of information you'll need to provide.
Step 2: Complete All 3 Sections of the GSA Schedule Proposal
The administrative section gives GSA a background of your company. This includes documents such as financial statements, the employee handbook, the company organizational chart and SAM.gov registration. Additionally, the administrative section consists of two required training courses called Pathways to Success and Readiness Assessment, which prepare you for acquisition and maintenance of your GSA Schedule. For more information on the administrative section, check out our blog, "How to Prepare Your GSA Schedule Proposal: The Administrative Section."
The technical section of the proposal gives GSA a deeper look into your company’s experience and technical expertise. GSA wants to know more about the products and/or services you offer and how they have been received by past customers.
The technical section requires corporate experience and quality control narratives, which highlight your company’s skills and abilities as well as organizational functions. The technical section also includes descriptions of past projects completed and a customer ratings report called the Past Performance Evaluation. If you have done work with the government before, you can also submit your Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) ratings. For more in depth information on the kind of documentation you need to complete, see our blog: "How to Prepare Your GSA Schedule Proposal: The Technical Section."
The pricing section is the bulk of the proposal and can be the most difficult to navigate. Offerors must provide pricing support for all proposed products or services that support the company’s commercial price list or market rates. If offering labor categories, you must provide detailed descriptions of functional responsibility, education, and experience. In addition, you must disclose all commercial sales practices, commercial prices, and GSA proposed pricing. The pricing section itself can include up to 15 different documents upon submittal. If you want to learn more about the pricing section, check out our blog, "How to Prepare Your GSA Schedule: the Pricing Section."
Step 3: Navigating GSA Schedule Proposal to Award
Once the proposal has been submitted, GSA can either reject the offer due to insufficiencies or request clarifications. If the assigned Contracting Officer feels that the offer is sufficient, they will aim to negotiate for lower prices. Once negotiations have concluded, a Final Proposal Revision (FPR) will be signed, and the contract will be awarded. This step can take up to several months, so it's important that you remain patient throughout the process. To learn more about what GSA does when they review your offer, see our blog, "How Does GSA Evaluate Your GSA Schedule Proposal?".
Need Help with Your GSA Schedule Offer?
Submitting a GSA proposal can be a complicated process that requires a great deal of GSA knowledge and experience. If your company has a robust team with government experience and the bandwidth to handle all that comes with a GSA Schedule, you might be set on your own. However, a lot of companies need help trying to make sense of the process from the GSA Schedule offer process, to negotiations, and even handling Schedule maintenance post-award, so they look into hiring a GSA consultant.
If you want to learn more about the GSA Schedule acquisition process, check out these blogs:
- The GSA Schedule Acquisition Process from Start to Finish
- 5 Reasons Your GSA Schedule Proposal Could Be Rejected and How to Avoid Them
Winvale has highly experienced consultants who have worked on proposals for nearly every category on the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). If you want to learn more about what services you may need, or if you have any questions, we would be happy to help you.