The GSA Application Process: How Long Will It Take?
GSA Schedule | 2 Min Read
[This article was last updated on September 25, 2020]
If you are reading this, you are probably researching your options to be a part of the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program. Maybe you have read about its numerous advantages and how getting on a GSA Schedule substantially streamlines the federal contracting process for commercially successful companies, but how long is the GSA application process itself?
Unfortunately, there isn't an exact time that can be given. Obtaining a GSA Schedule contract is a complex process that requires documenting, pulling, and preparing large amounts of information in a precise way. This includes prerequisite registrations (such as with the System for Award Management or better known as SAM), company information, past performance reports, ratings, customer reviews, and more.
While we do not have an exact answer for you, we can discuss the estimated timeframe based off our clients' experience and factors we have learned that can shorten or lengthen the timeline.
How Long Will it Take to Get a GSA Schedule Contract?
If you are familiar with GSA rules and regulations, it can take about 6-12 months from submission to award. If you are not familiar with the GSA world and you submit a proposal on your own without the help of a consultant, the process could take at least a year, if not longer. The timing also depends on what type of Large Category you are looking to get on.
Some Large Categories, such as the Industrial Products and Services (Large Category E) can be heavily product-based and can require more effort. This is because you might have a larger catalog of items, and it can take longer to add each item to your contract. These types of offers could take a year from submission of materials to GSA to the actual award.
On the other hand, Large Category F Information Technology (formerly known as Schedule 70), often has an expedited time, sometimes taking only six months from submission to award.
What Factors Influence the Time it Takes to Get a GSA Schedule Contract?
Knowledge of the Requirements and Regulations
If you have done your research and you know what to expect, you're more likely to speed up the process. It's simple--if you understand what is needed from GSA on your MAS offer and what requirements your company needs to fulfill before it can apply, you can eliminate confusion and mistakes.
Complexity of Your Offer
As mentioned before, if you are trying to go after multiple Large Categories or you have a larger catalog of solutions it can take longer for your contract to be awarded. We recommend to our clients to go in with a slimmer, solid MAS offer that points toward their strongest capabilities. It can speed up the offer process and minimize your chance of being rejected.
The GSA application process is by no means an easy task. If you are unsure where to start, how to create your MAS offer, or what regulations you need to abide by before you can obtain a contract, it can slow down your timeframe considerably. Working with a consultant who is a subject matter expert in all that is expected from GSA, will ensure the fastest and most efficient timeframe for acquiring your GSA Schedule contract.
Do You Need Help Getting Your GSA Schedule Contract?
If you are new to GSA contracting or simply want the best support for your contract, it is strongly suggested you partner with a consultant. By hiring a consultant, you will eliminate the guess-work and stress from an already consuming process. While this is of course a monetary investment, you will see the return in a timely contract award and peace of mind by being supported by someone who has experience, expertise, and a proven-track record of winning GSA contracts for clients.
If you have any more questions about the GSA application process or you want to take the first step in beginning your GSA endeavor, contact one of our consultants at Winvale today.