About GSA Schedule vs GSA Contract
The World's Biggest Customer
The most confusing aspect of a GSA proposal is the requirement to disclose your discounting practices. GSA uses the disclosures to negotiate a discount equal to or better than the best discount you have extended to your commercial customers.
GSA is an adversarial party when negotiating with you and you must convince them that the world's biggest customer argument doesn't apply to you.
To the small business owner, GSA may in fact be the world's most expensive market. The market is spread across thousands of agencies worldwide. Finding and selling end users in individual federal agencies requires significant business development and sales costs, and there can be a long lag time between submitting a proposal and making a profit.
The cost of making individual GSA sales may far exceed the average cost of a commercial sale.
What Is A GSA Schedule
A GSA schedule is an unfunded, five-year contract listing the prices the federal government has agreed to pay for a vendor's commercial products and services. The contract may be renewed for (three five-year periods resulting in a 20-year contract) if all renewals are executed.
A GSA schedule contract is an official federal contract but it is not funded and it does not have products or services to deliver immediately. Funding occurs when an order is signed by a federal agency.
Today, GSA schedules are the favored purchasing mechanism for most federal buyers and an ideal sales and closing vehicle for vendors. Large federal contractors can have GSA schedule sales exceeding $ 100 million annually.
To be an approved supplier under a GSA schedule, the vendor must go through an arduous application process. Negotiating fair and reasonable prices for the products or services to be delivered is the most important aspect of application process.
An order under a schedule is a request for products and/or services. Approved vendors under a GSA schedule use the prices listed in their GSA contract to price orders received from federal agencies.
Congress has granted state and local agencies the authority to purchase directly from the GSA schedule. State and local purchasing authority may be extended to other GSA schedules in the future.
Administrative costs for providing products or services under schedules are significantly lower than the costs of dealing with individual contracts.
The use of the GSA schedule system as a quick, efficient buying mechanism is steadily increasing.
GSA Schedule vs GSA Contract
A GSA schedule is an unfunded, long-term contract that lists the prices the federal government has agreed to pay for a product or service provider’s commercial goods and services. There are 62 categories of products and services from which GSA buys; those are known as “Schedules”. The Schedules apply to GSA’s three business lines:
-- About GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts, Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), and Multi-Agency Contracts (MACs) --
GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts, also referred to as GSA Schedule and Federal Supply Schedule contracts, are indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts that are available for use by federal agencies worldwide. GSA awards and administers MAS contracts pursuant to 40 U.S.C. 501, Services for Executive Agencies. Under the MAS Program, GSA enters into government-wide contracts with commercial firms to provide over 11 million commercial supplies and services. Agencies place orders directly with MAS contractors. Interagency agreements are not required when placing orders against MAS contracts. The Economy Act does not apply when placing orders against MAS contracts.