4 Tips to Leverage the Q4 Spending Spree
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—if you look at the numbers, government Q4 (July through September) of each year are far and away the busiest months for government contractors. In recent years, Q4 of the government fiscal year has accounted for roughly 1/3 of all government contract dollars awarded throughout the year. This increase in spending can be attributed to an array of reasons including later award dates due to delays in budget availability, greater negotiation leverage, and adapting to potential new requirements that may factor into a particular procurement.
As a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contractor, it’s imperative that you prepare your GSA contract to take advantage of this spending spree. Below are 4 tips to help you and your team leverage Q4 spending and make the most out of it.
Tip 1 – Be Proactive with Your GSA Schedule
The rapid pace with which Q4 can go by can make it difficult to capitalize on the opportunities and contract dollars that are available through the GSA MAS program if you aren’t adequately prepared. Take the time now to evaluate your offerings and position your contract in a way that makes sense for your firm’s capabilities. Are there labor categories or products that you offer commercially that the government could potentially look to purchase through GSA in Q4? Consider an add modification.
Knowing where and how to find exactly what the government is going to be awarding contracts for and purchasing in Q4 is essential for preparation and proactivity as well. Utilize the tools that are available to you as a GSA contractor such as GSA eBuy, contract opportunities on SAM.gov, USASpending.gov, or other paid opportunity search tools that your company may have a subscription to such as GovWin, Bloomberg Government, and more to search for opportunities that are relevant to your offering.
Tip 2 – Check Your GSA Pricelist
While keeping your pricelist up to date and accurate on both GSA eLibrary and in GSA Advantage! is something that absolutely should be done year-round, heading into Q4 is a crucial time to ensure that your current GSA offering is up to date, accurate, and visible for government buyers. Having an outdated or non-visible pricelist can make it harder or even impossible for your company to capture purchases and contracts that will occur in Q4. Old or unpublished pricing is not something you will want to contend with as the final weeks of Q4 are winding down and your firm is vying for important contract dollars and Purchase Orders (POs).
The turnaround time for modifications typically increases during Q4, as it’s the busiest time of the year for GSA as well as contractors, so make sure you plan for a potentially increased review timeline on any modification you may need to submit, especially additions and price increases.
Tip 3 – Verify Your Status in SAM.gov
A crucial but not frequently considered aspect of contracting under the GSA Multiple Award Schedule program is the importance of keeping your registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) up to date. Not only does this registration house important information such as your company’s legal business name and DBA, address, corporate structure, NAICS codes, and more, it’s also the platform which government buyers will search for your banking information and make payment for contracts that have been awarded to your entity. As a GSA MAS contractor, you’re likely already aware that you must renew your SAM registration at least once per year, as it only remains active for 12 months after each renewal. You should be keeping SAM up to date on a rolling basis with any changes to ensure that it’s active and available if an agency needs to search and locate your information.
Tip 4 – Evaluate Your Options
If you’re a contractor who is entering Q4 without an up-to-date pricelist or potentially even without a GSA Schedule, all hope may not be lost! There are tools at your disposal that you may be able to leverage in order to make the appropriate updates to your contract or even possibly be awarded a GSA Schedule contract in that the required timeframe. Below are a few examples of possible avenues that contractors can take to help them along the path if they’re a little behind the curve.
- GSA FAStLane
- Evaluate GSA’s FAStLane Program to determine if your company may qualify for an expedited review time for modifications and offers. There are a few specific requirements to review to determine if you qualify so be sure to review the Eligibility Checklist that is published on the FAStLane landing page.
- Letters of Expedite
- If you have an existing relationship with a GSA-eligible buyer that is requesting to purchase through the GSA Schedules program, it may be a possibility to obtain and provide to GSA a request letter for an expedited review of your modification or offer if there exists an “urgent and compelling need” for a specific agency to procure from your firm by a specific date.
- Contractor Teaming Arrangements (CTAs)
- If your GSA MAS contract isn’t fully up to date with a total solution that fits an open opportunity under GSA, a possible solution may be a Contractor Teaming Arrangement (CTA) with a partner contractor. CTAs allow two or more GSA Schedule contractors to team together to provide a total solution to meet a customer’s needs. A CTA could be a potential solution for an existing contractor to be able to complement another firm’s offering and compete on orders for which each party may not independently qualify.
Taking Advantage of Q4 Spending
It’s important you not only make sure your GSA Schedule is prepared for Q4 spending, but your team is ready to search for and go after all the opportunities available to your company. This includes using the research tools we mentioned above like GSA eBuy, and SAM.gov, but also learning how to market your GSA Schedule so it’s more visible to government customers. For more information and tips on how to prepare your contract for the spending spree in government Q4, contact Winvale today.