How to Prepare GSA Schedule Proposal : Key Steps and Best Practices
Are you a private business looking to get into federal contracts to expand your operations? The General Services Administration provides you with the opportunity to work with the Federal government on Government contracts.
However, in order to work with the GSA you have to receive the GSA Schedule. In order to get the Schedule you have to submit a proposal to the General Services Administration. This might seem simple but it is a complex process and oftentimes, vendors do not know the entire process for your GSA approval.
In this blog, we will guide you on the best ways for your GSA proposal preparation. We will provide you with the best steps for achieving your GSA Schedule along with the mistakes you might want to avoid during the process.
What is a GSA Proposal?
The US Federal Government established the General Services Administration in 1949. The main purpose of the GSA is to ensure an efficient and smooth procurement process of goods and services for Government agencies. Before, we can show you the best method for your GSA proposal preparation; we would like to show you the benefits you will receive from your GSA Schedule.
The GSA works with commercials vendors along with the Federal and the State agencies across the country. The GSA Schedule ensures that the Government agencies are receiving the standard quality of products and at the best possible prices. Because of this, it ensures that the Government agencies are able efficiently function.
Having a proper GSA schedule allows you to remove any red tape between your business and the federal government. It allows the government agencies to streamline the process for purchasing services and products for their operations. This is done by removing the long process of bidding. As a result, it allows you to improve the efficiency of your operations.
Additionally, by applying for a GSA Schedule, you will also have to align the costs of your products and services to the pricing standards of the GSA. This is crucial because it allows the government agencies to buy your products at the best possible and competitive prices. Therefore, during the process of your GSA proposal preparation it is important that you provide accurate pricing information.
Therefore, the GSA proposal can be defined as the document that you need to provide to the Federal Government. This document will contain all pricing information of the products and services that you are offering to the Federal Government.
How to Prepare your Proposal?
The GSA Schedule is a certification that shows that your business has the ability to provide the Government with quality products and services. Therefore, you need to submit an immaculate proposal to the GSA. The following are the steps that you can take for the process of GSA proposal preparation:
Checking Your Eligibility
The GSA has a very stringent policy for accepting a commercial proposal. Hence, before you start the process for your GSA proposal preparation, it is important that you first check the eligibility for your business.
One of the most important criteria for your business to be eligible for the GSA schedule is that your business is able to clear the business size criteria of the Small Business Administration (SBA). This is because the GSA schedule are awarded to small businesses so that they are able to compete with the bigger companies.
After you have cleared the size criteria of the SBA, you also need to clear the following requirements:
- More than 2 years of business operations.
- Product and Service quality standard of the GSA.
- Pricing standards of the GSA.
After you are able to clear the preliminary eligibility criteria, we can now move to the next step.
Identification of the Schedule
During your GSA proposal preparation stage, you need to choose under which GSA Schedule you would like to register your business. This is because the General Services Administration provides different schedules for different types of businesses. For example, if you have a IT company that provides IT solutions. Then you need to register your business with the IT Schedule of the GSA.
It is important to note that each schedule of the GSA provides different benefits to the commercial vendors. Hence, you have to be vigilant of the products and services you are offering and align your GSA proposal accordingly.
The General Services Administration has one of the most stringent policies for pricing of the products and services. It is one of the most complex stage of your GSA proposal preparation process.
In this step, you will have to provide the GSA with the prices of your products along with the justification of those prices. Based on the prices that you provide, the GSA will then evaluate whether you are able to match the pricing standards set by the Administration and is on par with the Federal Acquisition Regulation 15.
The GSA appoints a Contracting Officer (CO) that will evaluate the documents that you submit to the GSA as part of your proposal. This CO will compare the prices that you have set, with the prices of your competitors.
Furthermore, the GSA CO will compare the price of your products with similar products available for the Agencies in the Federal marketplaces. After the review, if the officer finds that your prices do not match the standards then they are likely to reject your GSA proposal.
Therefore, during your GSA proposal preparation, you need to conduct a lot of research in the market for the best pricing of the products. However, you need to submit the pricing of your products with the help of supporting documents. The following step shows you the documents required for your GSA proposal.
Submitting your GSA Proposal is a highly bureaucratic process. Because of which, it involves the submission of various documents relating to your business operations. Therefore, while preparing your GSA proposal you need to make sure that you collect the right documents that will be submitted to the GSA.
In the previous step, you had determined the prices of your products and services. In this step, you need to complete the documentation for the pricing you have set for your products.
However, in order to submit your pricing information, you need to submit them in a Price Proposal Template (PPT) that is set up by the GSA. You can visit the official website of the GSA to download your own PPT, which you can fill up with the prices of your products and services.
In order to justify the prices that you have set for your products and services you need to submit a Market Rate Sheet or Commercial Price List along with your proposal. If you are a service provider then you submit the Market Rate Sheet and if you offer products, then you need to submit a Commercial Price List.
Furthermore, you also need to provide the GSA with the pricing information for your commercial operations. This means that you need to submit the prices that you have set for your products that are to be consumed by non-governmental entities. It compares the pricing of your products for government and non-government customers. This ensures that your business is able to provide the Most-Favoured-Customer (MFC) prices to the government agencies.
The Proposed Price Template (PPT) contains a section in which you have to specify the labour within your organisation. This requires you provide the GSA with detailed information regarding the job description as well as the experience of the labourers.
If you are company that aims to provide products to Government agencies, then you need to provide the GSA with documents on product specifications. This typically includes, providing a product list along with the detailed descriptions, size and shape, categories and so on.
The last step for GSA proposal preparation process is selecting the Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) clauses that will apply to your GSA Schedule. The EPA allows commercial vendors such as yourself to negotiate and adjust the pricing of your product or services. However, while submitting your GSA proposal you must remember that you can only increase your prices after 12 months of being awarded the Schedule.
The GSA provides you with two clauses that you can follow for your Price adjustments:
- EPA Clause 552.216-70: According to this clause, you can only increase the price of your products and services if the commercial prices of your products increase.
- EPA Clause I-FSS-969 (b)(1): According to this sub-clause, the prices of your products will increase at a rate that is set before awarding you the contract.
- EPA Clause I-FSS-969 (b)(2): According to this sub-clause, the price of your product will increase based on the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of the marketplaces.
The most important part of preparing your GSA proposal is preparing the documents of your business. These are the proofs that the GSA Contracting Officer will utilise to verify your business. Therefore, it is important that you take your time in this stage and be sure about the information that you provide in the documents. Based on the documentation the selection and rejection of your business for the GSA proposal is dependent.
You now have the knowledge you need to create a GSA schedule proposal for your business. Commercial vendors are given access to the GSA schedule as a tool to enable them to conduct business with the state and federal governments. Additionally, using the instructions in the post will help you prepare your GSA proposal quickly. This leads to a simpler and less complicated GSA Application process.