Navigating the New Vendor Support Center
Resources and Insight | 5 Min Read
The new Vendor Support Center is here—as part of their initiative to make outdated sites easier to navigate, GSA has recently modernized the Vendor Support Center (VSC). While the Vendor Support Center has always been an important resource for GSA contractors, the update to the site allows contractors to find educational information in a more structured and efficient way. This blog will cover what the VSC has to offer and how you can use this resource to your advantage.
What is the Vendor Support Center?
The Vender Support Center (VSC) is an online resource that provides an extensive wealth of knowledge of the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). It’s considered a primary information tool for prospective and current GSA contract holders to analyze the federal market, report sales, and upload catalog information to GSA Advantage!. This site is a plethora of information—don’t let it go to waste. One of the newer additions was adding a dynamic search function so you can now search for keywords, making it easier to find exactly what you want without digging too hard.
Resources for Getting a GSA Schedule
The first tab on the Vendor Support Center is labeled “I Want a Contract.” Under this tab, you will find the following headings: Types of Contracts, Getting a GSA Contract, and Education. You can use these sections to figure out what contract vehicles are available to you in the federal contracting space and what you need to know about getting involved in the MAS program.
Types of contracts – Through this section, prospective contract holders can explore the different categories of contracting vehicles available and understand their limitations and requirements to find the right fit for their company.
Getting a GSA Contract – This section contains information about the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program and how to prep a GSA Schedule offer.
Education – This section is where you can find tools and resources that can help contractors become better informed on several GSA-related topics and programs. If you are learning more about the GSA Schedule, you should take a close look at this section. It includes common acronyms and abbreviations, all the MAS solicitation refreshes, a list of the MAS industry newsletters, and important training information. It also features the MAS office hours schedule, a monthly event where you can listen and engage with MAS industry experts.
Resources for Managing Your GSA Contract
The “Managing My GSA Contract” tab has various headings that can help contract holders learn about several aspects of contract management. If you already have a GSA Schedule, this section can be a crucial learning center for you. Maintaining your GSA Schedule comes with a lot of responsibility including sales reporting, modifications, and uploading your pricelist into GSA Advantage!.
The following headings are grouped under this tab and their functions:
Register My Contract – This section allows contractors to register their contract with the VSC which enables them to participate in GSA eBuy and upload their price list on GSA Advantage! using the Schedule Input Program (SIP).
Lookup Tables – This section is where you can find SIN-specific specifications, legacy SIN information, authorized Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) vendors, designated country codes, and a list of prohibited manufacturers.
Check File Status – In this section, contractors can log-in to view the status of uploaded catalog file submissions.
Contractor Profile – By clicking this heading contractors can log-in to update their company information.
Contract Compliance – This section defines matters of compliance. There are several topics identified which include invoicing requirements, labor qualification compliance, scope compliance, and Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliance.
Contract Management – This heading covers specific documentation that makes up GSA contracts, defines the Small Business Subcontracting Plan required by large businesses, and provides information about subcontracting. This section also contains information about the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) and identifies the contractor’s main points of contact and their roles.
Contractor Start-up Kit –This section provides instruction on how to upload products and services on GSA Advantage using the Schedule Input Program (SIP).
EDI & cMXL – This section defines and explains how to navigate and use the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software.
Electronic Catalog – This section highlights essential components included in the electronic catalog for GSA Advantage!.
FSS Terms and Conditions Price List - In this section, the FSS Terms and Condition price list is defined, and each element is identified.
GSA Advantage! – This section defines the purpose and functions of GSA Advantage! and provides the requirements and instructions for uploading an electronic catalog.
GSA Advantage! Purchase Order Portal – This section has a link that navigates you to GSA Advantage! Purchase Order Portal which grants contractors quick and easy access to purchase orders received through GSA Advantage or eBuy.
GSA Ebuy – This section defines GSA Ebuy platforms as a component of GSA Advantage! and explains its principal objectives.
Mandatory Order Status - This section can help contractors understand the steps they should take to provide status information to GSA Advantage! for customers.
Market Research – This section helps contractors to discover who qualifies for purchasing through a MAS contract and advises different marketing tools they can use.
Modifying My Contract – This section identifies the specifics of contract modifications.
Schedule Input Program (SIP) – This section offers information about the Schedule Input Program. Here, contractors can download the SIP software, get helpful guidance and tips about the program, and find instructions.
Reporting GSA Schedule Sales
The third and final main tab on the Vendor Support Center is the “Contract Sales” tab. Once you have your GSA Schedule, you will need to report your sales either quarterly or monthly depending on whether you opt into Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) or Transactional Data Reporting (TDR).
This tab contains resources necessary to report and analyze contract sales, including:
Reporting Sales – This section clarifies what is considered a reportable GSA contract sale. It is also helpful for learning how to report sales, find sales reporting links, and for other reporting considerations.
Analyzing my sales – In this section contractors can find valuable tools which make it easier to analyze sales such as the Schedules Sales Query Plus (SSQ+) and the Advantage Spend Analysis Program (ASAP).
Stay in the Know with GSA Updates and Improvements
Whether you are a current or potential contract holder, the VSC is a one-stop shop for all things related to GSA Schedule contracts. As we mentioned before, the updates to the Vendor Support Center (VSC) website have made it easier for contractors to navigate more efficiently by also including a dynamic search bar.
If you have a question about any terms or phrases related to GSA and government contracting, you can search for any term which will bring you directly to related information found on the VSC website. We suggest you familiarize yourself with this site and use it to your advantage.
To stay updated on the other website changes or announcements GSA is making through its Integrated Award Environment (IAE) initiative, subscribe to our blog and our monthly newsletter. If you have questions about getting on a GSA Schedule or managing your current Schedule, reach out to one of our consultants.