GSA Schedule Consultants: Who Are They?
A GSA Schedule consultant can help you navigate the complexities of federal contracting. GSA Schedules consultants know not only government contracting, but have a good understanding of GSA Schedules in general. During the term of the contract, they ensure compliance with all requirements, best practices for obtaining and maintaining schedule contracts and maximize the benefits of the contracts. A schedule consultant is not only involved in reviewing proposals. The consultants use a hands-on approach with each company they work with and each contract, which allows them to gain experience in situations that may not be routine. Hire a GSA Schedule consultant rather than working with a contracting officer who might have experienced a similar stressful situation.
Should You Hire a GSA Schedule Consultant?
The variety of avenues available to commercial enterprises wishing to sell to the government means they have numerous options. Many potential government contractors opt to sell their products and services through the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program.
In total, GSA MAS purchases total nearly $42 billion each year, representing about 21% of all federal procurement spending. Having GSA Schedules allows companies to take advantage of this continually expanding market. Having these contracts allows industries to more easily sell to federal entities as GSA has already determined that pricing for supplies and services is fair and reasonable as part of a contract award. Many government agencies prefer or are even obligated to procure products and services through pre-vetted vendors that can be found through the GSA Schedules Program.
Although the advantages of a GSA Schedule are obvious, the process of acquiring and maintaining a schedule can be confusing. The implementation process takes a lot of resources, but organizations are often unable to secure contracts or understand the impact they have on the entire organization. In addition to wasting time and money, it could also result in contract cancellations and legal issues.
Exactly what does a GSA schedule consultant do?
Your organization can receive a chance to succeed in the federal market as a result of working with GSA Schedule consultants. Consulting will guide you in determining what category of product or service to pursue, and in analyzing your commercial practices to translate them into GSA-specific formats.
Commercial Sales Practices disclosure and contract award basis are among the trickiest parts of any GSA Schedule proposal, there is no doubt about that. Normally, a GSA Schedule consultant handles this information almost every day and can ensure that your contract is both compliant with Federal Acquisition Regulations and beneficial for your company as well as the government.
Following the proposal, review, and negotiation phases, you have only completed 50% of the work for your GSA Schedule contract. To maintain your contract and remain compliant with the Terms and Conditions of your contract, you must pay close attention to the details. Nearly half of the time that GSA Schedule consultants spend maintaining contracts is not spent seeking out opportunities for clients or helping to award contracts.
As a result of SAM, GSA Advantage, the Schedules Input Program (SIP), and the FAS Sales Reporting Portal, chances are that a small business doesn't have the resources to do all of the maintenance in-house. That's where we come in. Clients can work with GSA Schedule consultants to modify their contracts to keep up with increased business demands. The GSA consults with clients regarding all mandatory mass modifications, advises on price reduction clause compliance, and manages communications with the GSA on behalf of the client.
Fees charged by GSA consultants
Until a few years ago, hiring a GSA consultant cost about $20,000 to $40,000. A business of this size would normally be unable to afford such an investment. For most companies, the typical fee for a quality consultant ranges from $6000 to $15,000 per year. Business owners with large budgets may have to pay 3 to 4 times as much.
It's also important to remember that a consultant's fee should reflect their expertise. GSA contracts can be obtained by virtually any consultant if your firm qualifies. However, working with a skilled and experienced consultant can save you a lot of time, ensure that your contract is audit-proof, and address the most important matter of all - future business growth. That's right. You can influence how successful you are at winning actual GSA contracts by what you do today.
Is it true that higher fees mean better GSA Consulting Support?
The amount of support you receive will not necessarily increase as fees increase. Like any other professional service, you can find reputable companies offering their services at different prices, and others are not so reliable. You may also find yourself paying for massive overheads but not receiving value equivalent to the overhead costs. As a general rule, you usually get what you pay for, but do your homework and find a good GSA consultant to help you.
GSA Schedule Consultants: What should you look for?
Taking into account the quality and credibility of the company providing GSA consulting services is more important than the price. Although you might not want to hire a large firm with expensive headquarters in Washington, DC, nor do you want a low-cost firm with limited experience with GSA schedules. An organization that simply churns out proposals without presenting price and discount disclosures or other critical information must be avoided. You don't want to be subjected to poor GSA audits because of a bad consultant because this is a significant contract for your company. GSA Consultants' reputation should also be carefully examined by companies.
GSA Schedule Consulting services include what types of services?
GSA Schedule consulting firms can assist businesses throughout the proposal process. Moreover, they will assist you when drafting changes to your contract. The GSA consultants assist businesses in ensuring compliance with the price reductions clause and intervene on their behalf when necessary.
The following are the types of services GSA consulting firms provide:
Process of initial application
The GSA Schedule team draws on their extensive experience to assess your chances of winning a contract. You determine your best product and service categories during the application process. Our consultants work with you to align your commercial practices with GSA standards.
Negotiation of contracts
After submission, there is usually a long waiting period. You begin the contract negotiation process shortly after hearing back from GSA. Negotiating in your interest is the way to go. With the help of a GSA Schedule consultant, you can effortlessly navigate the negotiation stage. GSA consultants can ensure that your contract offers you the greatest value.
Post-awarding of the contract
Even after your business takes off, Ideal GSA Contract consultants provide ongoing support. The GSA compliance requirements will be necessary throughout the contract. Maintaining compliance can ensure that your agreement is renewed. Consulting firms offer these services for an extra fee. To learn more about these services, you should talk to your GSA consultant.
The cost of the contract plays a crucial role in determining your budget. Aside from pricing, GSA consulting companies must have experience and credibility. With this experience, you can receive a greater value for the money you spend. Even though low-cost providers are affordable, failing proposals often result in you spending even more money.