Keeping on with the theme of things you can think about this week to get ready for the New Year, ask yourself, when was the last time you modified your GSA contract? If you cannot remember, then GSA may be contacting you soon.
GSA wants to ensure that all its contracts are up to date. If you have not modified your contract in the last two years, then GSA may just force the issue by removing your GSA Advantage catalog and preventing your access to eBuy. They do this to make sure you keep your contract up to date. Lack of recent modifications may also result in less than stellar grades on your next GSA audit (euphemistically known as Contractor Assistance Visits). Aside from the GSA sticks, several carrots exist that should motivate you to modify your contract, not the least of which is updating to current pricing so you are not stuck at old, less profitable pricing. Remember, there is a limit to how much of an increase in any one year, so just because you forgot to increase your pricing by, say, 4% for the past 3 years, doesn’t mean you will be able to get a 12% increase this year.
Product additions and deletions are another important GSA modification as technology advances and product become obsolete. Be sure to plan your product changes well in advance so that you don’t disappoint federal buyers with the news that you can no longer deliver a product that is still on your GSA contract and you cannot offer the replacement product for another 30 days or more while you await approval of your modification
And what about the expansion of your business into new technical areas. Some firms may have started off with providing one service under one SIN, but since have expanded into other areas requiring different SINS. For example, a management consulting firm may be listed for consulting service under MOBIS contract (Schedule 874), but later develop off the shelf training programs. Such programs require the addition of a training SIN to your current contract so you can offer these new courses to your Federal clients.
While the above changes have a significant impact on your Federal business development, you must not forget about the more mundane yet essential GSA contract modifications:
- Change of contract administrator
- Change of fax or phone numbers
- Change of Web URL
- Change of email address
- Change of authorized negotiator
- Change of (addition/deletion) authorized reseller
- Deletion of a SIN number that is no longer being used.
Plan for 2011 Modifications Now
We encourage you to call us to briefly plan of this year’s modification so that you can avoid the unpleasantness mentioned above and can start reaping some of the benefits of updating your GSA schedule items. We urge you to avoid waiting till June or later to submit modification requests. Many vendors submit modification requests at that time in anticipation of end of fiscal year spending and the backlog and delays can be significant. If you want to get your share of end of year spending in August and September, plan now so you can avoid those delays.
And one final suggestion, if you contract is due to expire sometime this year, then get everything in order and do your modifications early, as you are precluded from doing some modifications during the Option to Renew period.