3 Tips To Maximize Your GSA Contract
There are some generic tips that every contractor should know in order to maximize their GSA contract, for example building relationships, marketing your business, and understanding the terms and conditions of your contract. These tasks are what is normally focused on, but I am going to focus on some things that many vendors don’t think about. In this economy every little bit of information helps. This will definitely improve your chances in streamlining the management of your contract and accumulating more revenue.
Updated Contact Information– This is a very small task but it goes a long way when dealing with your contract. As a former GSA contract specialist I can’t tell you how many vendors missed out on invitations to bid because either they have rehired a new point of contact to manage their government contracts or they have just changed their electronic system all together. To make it easier for you to understand let me explain how this works. When a Contracting Officer is ready to submit a solicitation under GSA schedules they issue it through GSA E Buy. In GSA E Buy the CO is not selecting vendors manually. GSA Ebuy is so streamlined that all the CO needs to do is enter a product description, naics code, or any information that would pull up all of the GSA contract holders that fall within the labor category required to fill their need. When the contact information is not updated the invitation doesn’t reach the right person. A large portion of those vendors miss out because their contact information has not been updated. Isn’t the main focus of a contractor having a GSA contract to increase your revenue? How can you increase your revenue when you cannot be contacted? So keep in mind periodically check to make sure your contact information is updated.
Attend Bid Matches– Attending bid matches is a great way to identify who your potential customers are going to be. One of the perks of having a GSA contract is that you can use it at every federal agency in the United States. When you are attending the bid matches you can specify on your capabilities statement that you have a GSA contract by– using the GSA logo, and documenting your GSA contract number on the capabilities statement. In order to locate bid matches you can start by looking at Federal Business Opportunities, www.fbo.gov.
Properly Document Line Items- One of your duties as a contractor is to properly document your GSA line items and Open Market line items. This process makes it easier for you to report your quarterly sales and will keep you out of trouble when the audit process is performed. Contract audits take place two times throughout your. The first audit is within the first two years and the last audit takes place between the fourth and fifth year of the contract. When the time comes you want to make sure everything is in place for a smooth audit process because you are graded and a report will be placed in your file if something is out of place. Documenting your line items can be a confusing at times, although GSA gives you a run down of what is expected of you as a contractor a lot of their instruction does not go into much detail. The best way to get more detail is to speak with the Contracting Officer that is assigned to your contract. There are a lot of ways that you can get caught up by improperly documenting line items. One quick tip to properly document line items is by documenting your invoices with the GSA contract number if the line item is a GSA sale and specifying the Open Market line items if the line item is an Open Market sale. I see vendors offering items to a customer below the GSA schedule pricing and classify it as an Open Market line item, which is incorrect. GSA considers any price at or below your schedule pricing a GSA line item so be careful.
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