I know there are some of you who understand and know about GSA schedules and how they work, but there are a few who are still struggling with questions.  I have been receiving a lot of questions regarding what a GSA schedule is and how it can benefit a business so I have decided to address this question for those who are interested.

Normally when vendors pursue federal opportunities they set out to obtain a federal contract.  GSA has given that terminology, “federal contract” a new name by calling it a GSA schedule.  It’s also referred to as a Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), schedule contract, multiple award schedule all of these terms refer to a federal contract.

The GSA schedules program is unique and it creates leverage for your business in the federal community.  It provides pre negotiated, pre priced products and services to all government agencies.  The program is different from the federal contracts offered through other agencies because it was created to be  a one stop shop for all participants by supplying the end user with the product or service, while paying the contractor for supplying the product or service, and GSA gets a small cut for bringing together the sale.  The way the program is put together it provides quick and easy steps for a contractor to make a sale and create repeat revenue, it’s just that easy- it’s what they call a streamlined process.

There is some skepticism about how the process works to accumulate revenue.  GSA contracts can grow your business but just like any other contract you have to work the program in order to see results.  I like to look at it this way they want you to make a sale because if you don’t get paid they don’t get paid.

The contract is an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) direct federal contract, which can make you a prime contractor. The process does not happen with a single application there are some areas that are very trying, the more difficult part of the program is the review and negotiation portion.  Although the agency has set requirements to pre qualify and streamline the program there is still the three to nine month process for review, modifications, and negotiations.  This is mainly the reason why vendors hire consultants to assist them because they don’t have the time nor the knowledge to complete the process.

Once you have gotten through all of the red tape and agreed upon the rates, terms, and conditions of your contract that’s it.  You don’t have the stress of having to renegotiate price each time you submit a proposal to any federal agency, you have already done that within your GSA contract.  Another perk to having a schedule is once you become a GSA contract holder your information is registered in their database where other federal agencies have access to invite you to participate in federal bids through GSA E Buy.  This process cuts down the competition by only inviting GSA schedule holders.

So as you can see there are some benefits to the program but you have to be sure that it’s suitable for your particular product or service.  If you have interest in pursuing the GSA schedule program and would like assistance I want to help.  Visit me by clicking here and telling me in what way I can help your achieve your goals with a GSA contract.

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“Ilene Giles is an expert with GSA contracts and its process and she has helped contractors worldwide in winning more federal business faster and easier with a GSA contract. Get her FREE CD “Top 3 Things You Should Know When Applying for a GSA Contract” at www.GSAProposalMaven.com