GSA Contracts: Minimize Your Competition within the Rules
Imagine your company sells widgets. Imagine also that you are one of a hundred companies that sell widgets. Although your widgets have unique characteristics that set them apart, realistically, any one of your competitor's widgets could do the job.
Now, imagine that a national customer is ready and able to purchase a million widgets every year for a minimum of five years and is asking for RFQs. You know that your company's widgets can fulfill the order at a reasonable price but you have to compete with 99 other companies to get the order.
What if you could significantly reduce the odds? What if you could eliminate 50 or even 80 competitors before the RFQ is even published?
Would that be something worth investing time and money into doing?
GSA contracts do exactly that for companies that have applied for and been approved as a GSA schedule contractor. In many areas, the federal government will not procure goods or services from vendors that do not have GSA contracts.
Or, conversely, many RFQs are available only to GSA schedule contract vendors which, effectively eliminates all competitors that have not taken the time to get on the GSA schedule. The GSA Schedules is the government's largest vehicle for procurement and accounts for a majority of government product and service spending.
Benefits Conferred on GSA Schedule Contractors
eBuy - Part of the federal government's GSA Advantage!© program the eBuy system is a marketplace for government agencies to purchase the goods or services they require. With few exceptions, the eBuy system is only available to venders with a GSA schedule contract.
According to the General Services Administration the following benefits are a part of eBuy and are only available to GSA schedule contractors.
- Maximizes the opportunities for contractors' participation by notifying them via email of new government requirements for their specific products or services;
- Saves contractors money by reducing the cost of finding government business opportunities and reducing lead time and cost to submit quotations;
- Provides an interactive capability for contractors to communicate requirements and quotations via the web and email;
- Helps contractors establish new business relationships as new opportunities are discovered;
- Provides a fast, efficient, and easy-to-use electronic Request for Quotation (RFQ) system that streamlines the acquisition process;
- Increases sales potential by making contractors more aware of new business opportunities;
- Provides valuable information on the federal marketplace, allowing contractors to expand their customer bases;
- Provides valuable information on state and local government requirements, allowing Schedule contractors participating in the Cooperative Purchasing Program and the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program to expand their customer bases; and
- Saves time, since business opportunities are sent directly to contractors via email and quotations can be sent electronically
GSA Advantage!© - GSA Advantage!© is the government's online superstore where federal (and for some schedules, state and local) agencies shop for products and services. Every product or service offered on GSA Advantage!© is supplied or provided by a GSA schedule contractor. Government agencies utilize GSA Advantage!© because it gives them access to federally negotiated discount pricing from GSA approved vendors.
Limit the Competition - Increase the Chance of Success
GSA contracts limit the competition by providing selling opportunities to your company that are not available to your competitors. Obtaining a GSA Schedule Contract is not a simple matter of filling out paperwork and hoping for the best. It is not a simple application process.
Obtaining a GSA Schedule contract requires planning, expertise, assistance and an investment in both time and money. However, the chance to sell to customers who purchase over $38 billion in goods and services annually through the GSA Schedule program, while your competitors sit on the sidelines, is priceless.
Can your firm benefits froma GSA Schedule? Download our free GSA Self-Assesment Checklist to determine if your firm is ready and can benefits from havings a GSA Contract.