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How to Optimize Your GSA Schedule Pricelist Blog Feature
Matthew Lewis

By: Matthew Lewis on April 24th, 2024

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How to Optimize Your GSA Schedule Pricelist

GSA Schedule | Resources and Insight | 5 Min Read

If you have recently been awarded a GSA Schedule, you may be wondering what can you do to make sure your rates and offerings remain as competitive as possible? As a GSA Schedule holder, one of the most important aspects of maximizing the potential of your contract is having an understanding of best practices from a pricing standpoint. When can I raise my rates? When should I consider adding additional items to my GSA Schedule? How can I view my competitors’ rates? These are some of the questions GSA contractors should consider.

Choosing the Right EPA Clause for Your GSA Schedule

First, let’s dive into the rules around GSA pricing. As a GSA Schedule contractor, it’s important to know which Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) clause is currently awarded to your contract and how it works. If you see that your awarded EPA clause is 552.216-70, then that means that your proposed pricing is based on your company’s publicly available commercial price list. This means that you can request GSA price increases when your commercial prices increase.

If you see that your Schedule is based on I-FSS-969 (b)(1), then your price increases are based on a fixed escalation rate that are negotiated prior to contract award. Price increases are awarded on the 12-month anniversary of the GSA Schedule contract effective date. Contractors are not required to submit modifications under this EPA clause, as they occur automatically. Under I-FSS-969 (b)(2), price adjustments are based on an agreed upon market indicator before contract award. Any change you make to price will be based on the percentage change in the original designated market indicator (from contract award). Contract modifications must be submitted as you would with EPA clause 552.216-70.

Contractors must determine which EPA method is advantageous to the success of their GSA Schedule. If your prices are based on market rates as most service providers are, then it may make sense to have the escalation built in each year to ensure consistency and a guaranteed price increase yearly.

Most contractors who offer products use the EPA 552.216-70 method since their prices are often more likely to fluctuate and therefore should be based on their Commercial Pricelist. Keeping GSA prices current, and ensuring you have a favorable built in escalation is crucial for GSA contractors who wish to remain as competitive as possible on the GSA Schedule.

Adding Additional Offerings to Your GSA Schedule

Adding products, services, and Special Item Numbers (SINs) to your Schedule is another great way to enhance your contract offerings and cast a wider net for government opportunities for your business. If there is an item that you offer commercially that is doing well that is not included on the GSA Schedule, you should consider including that item on your contract.

Similarly, if there is a SIN that you currently don’t have on your Schedule, but you believe the scope of the SIN makes sense to add based on the products or service you offer, it would be advantageous to consider adding that SIN.

Using Competitors for Pricing Analysis

Having a general sense of what your competitors are bringing to the table in terms of both offerings and rates is essential for GSA Schedule holders. You can use this information to adjust your pricing to be more competitive, or consider adding an additional offering as mentioned above to match what other top companies are offering.

The first place to start for all offerings is GSA eLibrary. This site is essentially a directory for all GSA Schedule holders and you can search by Large Category, SIN, contractor name, or contract number. If you are selling under a particular SIN, you can quickly see a full list of who else sells in that category and investigate their profiles. Their GSA eLibrary pages include a lot of important information including any special socioeconomic designations, how many contracts they have, any other SINs they sell under, and most importantly, their price list. This is a great place to view every product/service they sell and for how much.

There are other tools you can use which we’ll discuss below.

Services Research

One of the best ways to do this for services is through GSA’s Contract Awarded Labor Category (CALC) tool. Through GSA CALC, contractors can use the tools offered by GSA to view and compare data such as:

  • Quick Rate for Hourly Labor Ceiling Rates: GSA Schedule prices represent not-to-exceed, ceiling prices, that are established with all order sizes, types, complexities, geographical regions, etc, taken into consideration. This function gives you the opportunity to see how many other contractors are offering similar labor categories or rates. Contractors are also able to filter the data using information such as title, minimum education, and minimum experience to further receive in depth information and analysis.
  • Quick Rate for BLS: This data source provides users with the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics wage rate data in an easily searchable format. The wage rates provided in this tool do not include indirect costs or profit/fee estimates, and users must estimate these pricing components in the application to develop a comparable hourly rate for cost estimation. This data source is a great resource when there is no prices paid data for a specific geography, or as a general comparison against prices paid data.

It's important to note that prices on CALC are not definitive and are based on GSA inputting prices. This tool is useful to use as an estimate to get a better idea of the price range, and if you want to learn more about a specific competitor you should hop on to GSA eLibrary to view their full price list.

Products Research

For products, GSA Advantage! is a useful site. You can search for specific products by keyword, SIN, contractor name, etc. Once you find the product you are looking for, you can see a list of the top 40 contractors who sell the same or similar products with a quick guide on their pricing including shipping information and their socioeconomic or green efficiency designations. If you want to search a specific competitor, you can learn more information about their offerings beyond price and possibly see any accessories or additions you can consider with your products.

GSA Schedule Best Practices

As with many practices not only in the government contracting world but in business in general, opportunities favor those who remain active and consistent. Keeping your GSA Schedule pricelist updated and having a general understanding of competitors and their offerings through the Schedule is crucial for any contractor who wishes to have success selling through the federal marketplace. If you have questions about your pricelist or other GSA Schedule maintenance tasks, our consultants would be happy to help you.

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About Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis is a Lead Consultant at Winvale. He is originally from Roanoke, VA and graduated from Roanoke College with a degree in History.