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How to Research Your GSA Schedule Competitors Blog Feature
Patrick Morgans

By: Patrick Morgans on August 1st, 2022

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How to Research Your GSA Schedule Competitors

GSA Schedule | Government Business Development | 5 Min Read

Whether you already have a GSA Schedule, are working on obtaining one, or are just considering the possibility, you may start to wonder what your competition looks like. Conducting business with a GSA contract has its advantages and in this case, that includes transparency regarding pricing and sales. Once you find out what your competition on the GSA Schedule is, you can look into what they are offering, what their sales look like, and more. This research should allow you to develop a more informed plan on taking advantage of the opportunities available to you on your own GSA Schedule.

In this blog, we’ll be running through some tools available to find the treasure trove of information on your competitors’ GSA contracts that is just a few clicks away. We’ll guide you through 5 of the most important websites that GSA Schedule holders can use to research their competition.

GSA eLibrary: The Contractor Directory

If you have a GSA Schedule, you are probably already familiar with GSA eLibrary because it contains important information about your GSA contract. GSA eLibrary is usually the first website you’ll want to stop at when conducting research on competitors with a GSA Schedule. You can look at it as the central directory for GSA contracts. As such, it works as a great first stop for finding out who your competitors are and what they offer. Not only can you search for specific competitors to find out if they have a GSA contract, you can also search by Special Item Number (SIN) to scope out who makes up your competition in any SINs you have or are looking to add.

From the Contractor Information page, you can find out a lot of information about your competitors like their contract number, SINs, Socio-Economic indicators, and whether or not they offer Cooperative or Disaster Recovery purchasing. You can also access links to their GSA Advantage! catalogs and pricelist, which will show you what they offer through GSA, their pricing, and some of their contract terms and conditions.

GSA Advantage!: An Online Ordering Site for Government Customers

Here at Winvale, we often call GSA Advantage! the Amazon of GSA. Like Amazon, GSA Advantage! contains a huge catalog of products that are available to government customers painlessly through this platform. If you offer products on your GSA Schedule, GSA Advantage! is where the information from the catalog files that you upload via SIP shows up to government customers. It’s the best place to go for those looking to find almost any product that is on a GSA Schedule. As you can expect, this makes it very useful for conducting research into your competitors’ offerings.

Products are collected by part number, so if you are a distributor, you can search by manufacturer part number to find the price of products you are planning to sell. You can also search according to the product name, description, manufacturer, or other keywords and use advanced searches where you can search within specific categories or SINs, set minimum and/or maximum price limits, contract numbers, and more. This allows you to get a granular look at competing products on competitors’ GSA contracts before adding or increasing rates on products or bidding on opportunities.

CALC: A Labor Category Market Research Tool

GSA Schedule holders can use the Contract Awarded Labor Category (CALC) tool to conduct market research on the labor categories and rates available through the GSA Schedule program. You are able to search by labor category title, vendor name, or GSA contract number. You can then narrow your results down by education and experience requirements, price range, place of performance, business size, large category, subcategory, and SIN.

CALC is very useful when determining how to price your labor categories because it provides both specific examples of your competitors’ rates for a labor category as well as the average. The fact that you can filter down to specific experience and education levels also means that you can more accurately compare to your own labor categories to get a feel for what prices GSA considers fair and reasonable. In fact, CALC is often used by Contracting Officers to determine whether to accept proposed labor category rates, so it’s always good practice to check CALC before submitting any new labor categories or rates.

Schedule Sales Query: Researching Spending and Industry Trends

The Schedule Sales Query (SSQ+) is very helpful if you are trying to get a more birds eye view of competition on the GSA Schedule. It can provide you with information on what is going on within a SIN, a Large Category, or the GSA Schedule program on the whole in terms of sales.

You can find not only aggregate sales numbers by SIN, Large Category, and the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program but also sales broken down by contractor. You can even build a report based on criteria you choose (SIN, contract number, etc.) that has all the information you need. There are also functions for analyzing trends by category, finding information on how many GSA contracts are meeting sales requirements, and counting the number of GSA Schedule holders by location. Overall, it’s a great tool for learning more about the GSA Schedules Program, especially for those still figuring out whether or not they want to obtain a GSA Schedule.

SAM.gov: Register Your Entity, Run Data Reports, and Discover Contracting Opportunities

If you’ve dealt with federal contracts in any way, GSA related or not, you probably already have some experience with SAM.gov. This website is not only useful for registering your entity with the government, but you can also run data reports through their DataBank. As a public user, you can run either standard or ad hoc reports. Standard reports look at specific criteria that is determined beforehand while ad hoc reports have their parameters set by the user. These reports allow contractors a look into where different federal agencies are spending their contracting dollars so that you can get a feel for your competitors and government spend in various categories. There are also static reports in SAM that you can access at any time. Of course, just as in your own registration, you can also check your competitors’ entity registrations for information on their business size, terms and conditions, and more.

Other Useful Tools to Research Your GSA Competitors

There are even more websites and tools out there for you to better gauge your competition on the GSA Schedule. For example, you can search for government awards (GSA or not) in USASpending.gov. The Federal Procurement Data System contains a list of contract actions for every entity. You can search FPDS by GSA Schedule number or contractor name to get a list of contract actions undertaken by a contractor. You can also find sales by award number if you are interested in where competition on specific opportunities went.

As you can see, there are many publicly available tools to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing with their GSA contracts. These tools will help you stay aware of your GSA Schedule competitors, which in turn will help you develop your business plan and stay competitive in the market. If you need any help finding out about your competitors and opportunities you may have on the GSA Schedule, you can reach out to Winvale and one of our consultants would be happy to discuss.

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About Patrick Morgans

Patrick Morgans is a Lead Consultant for Winvale’s Government Contract Services Department. He is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia and earned his Bachelor's of Arts in Government from the University of Virginia.