What Are the Requirements to Partner with a Reseller On a GSA Schedule?
With over 11 million commercial products and services sold to government buyers, it’s clear the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program is a great business opportunity for companies. What’s not so obvious though, is the other ways to sell through a GSA Schedule without acquiring your own contract. One of the ways to do this is partnering with an authorized GSA reseller.
There are several advantages to partnering with a GSA reseller on a GSA Schedule to sell your products and solutions to government agencies. For one, the partnership makes it easier for partners to extend their reach to government customers and win larger bids. For some companies, partnering with a reseller is the fastest and most-cost effective way to sell to the government.
However, even though partnering with a GSA reseller has less requirements than holding your own GSA Schedule contract, you still need to follow certain rules. The reseller will require an agreement to be signed between the reseller and partner. In this agreement, regulations are put in place to protect the reseller’s obligations with GSA along with the reseller commitments to the partner.
As a GSA reseller ourselves, we know all the ins and out of the requirements, so we’ll cover everything you need to know and what you can expect.
Requirements to Partner with a GSA Reseller
1. Following GSA Schedule Contract Terms and Agreements
If you partner with a GSA reseller, you will need to comply with the applicable terms and conditions of the reseller’s GSA Schedule contract. The terms and conditions will control the sale of the products or services available. All quotes and purchase orders to government customers are subject to the terms of the agreement.
You will also need to comply with all other laws and regulations governing the manufacture and sale of your products and services to the U.S. government.
During the agreement term, you will use the GSA reseller as the exclusive GSA Schedule contract holder for sales to government customers. You cannot sell duplicate products or services on any other GSA Schedule contract without prior agreement from the reseller.
You will need to provide all information necessary for the GSA reseller to represent your products and services for sale identified in a Letter of Supply, attached to the agreement.
The GSA reseller is required by GSA to sell only the products/services awarded under their contract. Products/services not part of the contract are not allowed to be identified as being part of the GSA contract. They will be considered open market on the quotes to the government customer.
2. Reporting Product/Service Information and Updates
Throughout your contract, you will need to notify the reseller of any upgrades, updates, or discontinuation of any of your products. All the information submitted to the reseller and subsequently GSA need to be accurate for:
- Contract items award and pricing
- Labor Categories and descriptions
- Order Specifications
- Manufacture locations
- Delivery terms
However, authorized GSA resellers do not have to report all your financial information to GSA including your Most Favored Customer (MFC), Commercial Sales Practices, discounting practices, or financial statements.
3. Following Cybersecurity Requirements
As a partner with a GSA reseller, you need to comply with certain cybersecurity requirements. Anyone who does business with the government is at risk for cyber-attacks and should mitigate this risk.
You will need to declare you will be compliant with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) protection. The CUI program is an effort between Executive branch agencies to standardize protection practices across departments and agencies. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with GSA’s CUI policy to ensure you are in compliance.
You also must be properly FedRAMP and CMMC certified (if working with the Department of Defense). FedRAMP, which stands for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, is a government-wide effort to standardize security assessment, authorization, and monitoring for cloud products and services. CMMC, or the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, a new set of Department of Defense cybersecurity standards that may affect your reseller’s GSA Schedule contract.
Requirements for GSA Schedule Contractors
If you decide not to partner with a reseller and obtain your own GSA Schedule, there is a step by step process.
There is no quick sign-up to acquire a GSA Schedule. It may take several months to a year to complete the process. You must have the at least the following qualifications to sell to the government through a GSA Schedule:
- Be in business at least 2 years
- Products/Services must be Trade Agreement Act (TAA)Compliant
- Products/Services must also be sold commercially
In addition, you will need to complete the following:
- Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number
- Get assigned a North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code
- Register your business in the System for Award Management (SAM) - you must have the above in place before you can register in SAM.gov
After you have determined you are eligible to sell to the government through a GSA Schedule, you will need to prepare and submit a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) offer. Once reviewed by a Contracting Officer and they decide to move forward, you will go through negotiations and clarifications before you are awarded your GSA Schedule.
Although having your own GSA Schedule can open several doors for your business, it’s not right for every company. GSA contractors have a lot of responsibility, and you should make sure you have the bandwidth to keep up with the maintenance and compliance of your GSA Schedule. That’s why there are alternative options to selling on the GSA Schedule, like partnering with a GSA reseller. It eliminates a large portion of the requirements and the compliance, so your company can still participate in the GSA MAS program.
Do You Want to Learn More About Partnering with a GSA Reseller?
We know the regulations and requirements we just listed can seem a little overwhelming at first. If you would like to learn more about partnering with a GSA reseller, check out a few of our blogs to help you determine if partnering with a reseller is the right choice for your business, and what the benefits are to partnering with a reseller on a GSA Schedule. If you need more information on how to choose the right GSA reseller, we have a guide that will help you decide.
If you’re interested in partnering with a GSA reseller or learning more about your options to sell to the government through a GSA Schedule, Winvale is here to help.
About Leslie Crowley
Leslie Crowley is an Account Manager for Winvale’s Public Sector Technology department where she manages partner accounts under Winvale’s GSA MAS Large Category F contract. Leslie has vast experience building new business, securing customer loyalty, and forging strong relationships with external business partners.