Federal Marketplace (FMP) Strategy Spring 2020 Release

GSA’s Federal Marketplace Strategy Spring 2020 Release delivers a mix of policy, process, and technology project updates and improvements to modernize and simplify your buying and selling experience. Check it out and share your feedback by joining our FMP Community of Practice.

Journey Maps

Supplier Journey Map

As a supplier, you go through a series of interactions in different phases to sell solutions in the federal marketplace.

GSA is listening and making improvements to your experience with us and in the federal marketplace! With each release, you learn about what GSA is doing to improve the experience in different phases of the acquisition journey.

Customer Journey Map

As a customer, you go through a series of interactions in different phases of your buying experience for the acquisition of goods and services.

GSA is listening and making improvements to your experience with us and in the federal marketplace! With each release, you learn about what GSA is doing to improve the experience in different phases of the acquisition journey.

Project Improvements

To support the governmentwide COVID-19 response, GSA has created guides and tools to help federal agencies, and state and local governments, get the materials and services they urgently need to continue mission-critical work. We’ve also developed and adjusted acquisition policies.

COVID-19 buying guides are available across several key areas:
  • Building screening services
  • Cleaning products and services
  • Telework and IT

GSA’s COVID-19 Acquisition Resources Hub synthesizes important COVID-19 emergency acquisition resources for federal, state, and local partners. This makes it much easier for you to identify an existing governmentwide solution, vehicle, or contract before making an open-market purchase.

For more information on GSA’s COVID-19 response, including information on federally occupied spaces, visit GSA's COVID-19 webpage.

Improvements for Buyers

Improvements for Suppliers

  • Suppliers under MAS contracts for certain Federal Supply Classes (FSCs) are able to submit modifications to temporarily add non-TAA compliant products.
  • Suppliers can refer to the CAAC Policy for National Defense Authorization Act implementation, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 that allows for accelerated payments to contractors that are small businesses, and to small business subcontractors by accelerating payments to their prime contractors.

New Look for GSA Advantage!

GSA Advantage! makes it easier to find the products you need with enhanced search features and improved data quality. The improved design is mobile-friendly, simpler to navigate, and more consistent with modern U.S. Web Design standards. Best of all, the core functionality remains largely unchanged, so shoppers will have an easier time finding what they want without sacrificing familiarity.

Improvements for Buyers

  • Updates that include more page layout options, clearer website headers, a new grid layout for search results, more high quality photos, and easier-to-find Help have made it easier to search, compare, and buy products and services at best value. The revamped GSA Advantage! is now a more engaging and seamless shopping experience.

Improved Country of Origin Labeling Helps Buyers Comply with Trade Agreements Act (TAA)

GSA has standardized the terminology and processes for labeling products’ country of origin.

Suppliers using applications such as Schedules Input Program (SIP) or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and GSA Advantage! had inconsistent labeling systems when designating a product’s country of origin.

Today, all of these applications now use consistent terms, which will improve accuracy of product data and help with Trade Act Agreements (TAA) compliance, while reducing confusion with the Federal Trade Commission distinction “Made in America.”

Improvements for Buyers

  • Consistent labels and field names on the GSA Advantage! product detail page make it easier to understand the Country of Origin and whether a product complies with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA).

Improvements for Suppliers

  • Previously, several different terms including “country of origin,” “production point,” or “Made in.” were all used to describe country of origin for product descriptions on GSA Advantage!. Today, the single phrase, “country of origin” applies across all input systems, making it easier to describe products.

FPDS contract data reports are now available at beta.SAM.gov. While FPDS remains the authoritative source for contract data reports, users should begin using the beta.SAM.gov Data Bank to run standard, static, administrative, and ad hoc reports. Later this year, contract data report functionality will be decommissioned from FPDS and will only be available at beta.SAM.gov.

Learn more about the changes, and stay informed about what’s happening on beta.SAM.gov by visiting IAE Interact.

Improvements for Acquisition Workforce

  • The improvements implemented during this transition provide a more modern and robust reporting experience, making it easier to obtain data needed to better manage federal spend and provide special reports to Congress and other groups.

Improvements for Suppliers

  • You told us that ad hoc reports were capped at 30,000 rows of data, requiring multiple runs to get important information. And that our reporting tool was outdated and too complicated.
  • Today, with FPDS reports at beta.SAM.gov, we’ve increased the maximum number of rows per ad hoc report from 30,000 to 150,000. Additional key improvements include:
    • Reports can now span 12 years instead of five.
    • Report structure can now be easily shared (attributes, metrics, etc.).
    • Additional data fields are available for creating ad hoc reports.
    • A report creation “wizard” can help me create a new ad hoc report.

GSA’s Assisted Acquisition Service (AAS) is expanding its use of new acquisition authorities to bring innovation into the procurement process.

The Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) procedures help agencies procure emerging technologies to improve services for citizens and make them more cost effective for taxpayers.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program helps meet Federal research and development (R&D) needs by engaging with small innovative businesses. GSA can help buyers access cutting-edge technology through the use of SBIR Phase III contracts that help commercialize innovations.

Visit our Procurement Innovation Resource Center (PIRC) to learn more about how we promote innovation in procurement.

Improvements for Buyers

  • Greater access to innovative acquisition authorities makes it easier to find and work with companies producing innovative commercial products in the Federal marketplace.

Improvements for Suppliers

  • The SBIR program helps small businesses and new technologies thrive by streamlining the process of bringing products and services to public and private markets.
  • The CSO program makes it easier for start ups and smaller companies to offer innovative products and services to the federal government.

The Federal government has adopted Category Management as a broad-based, strategic approach to ultimately buy goods and services smarter, and more like that of a single enterprise. GSA provides a wide range of Category Management resources to our buyers, including improvements to the Government-Wide Category Management (GWCM) Awards Exploration Tool. The Awards Exploration Tool is a data reporting and export tool, containing award-level information such as Level 1 and 2 Category, Contract Name, and Spend Under Management (SUM) tier.

The Awards Exploration Tool is now available for Public use on the Public Dashboards page. In addition to providing transparent, exportable Category Management data to government data analysts, the tool also helps industry partners identify expiring contracts - and potential business opportunities - by filtering for Dept/Agency/Office, Obligation Classification, Award Details and Vendor Details. As part of the release to the public, the Awards Exploration Tool includes the following upgrades:

  • Improved layout that highlights summary data and totals, and better organizes filters.
  • New filters added, including NIA code and small business set asides
  • New data elements, including Managing Agency and NIA codes
  • Expanded expiration date range filtering

Want to understand Category Management and what GSA is doing a little better? Explore some of the following resources:

Improvements for Buyers

  • Easier access to contract data gives more visibility into agency spend under management (SUM) and Tier 0 spend, which helps agencies meet their BIC and SUM goals
  • Grouped filters, new filters, with new user enhancements based on customer feedback like grouped filters, new filters, and search with summarized data allows users to
    • More easily research and understand their agency’s category and Spend Under Management (SUM) data.
    • Identify opportunities to transition tier 0 spend to more preferred vehicles in the category, i.e., Best in Class (BIC), tier 2, or tier 1 contracts and make smarter decisions about more efficient spend moving forward.

Improvements for Suppliers

  • The improved Awards Exploration Tool makes it easier to look at federal spend data and look for opportunities in an agency’s requirement pipeline. Improvements to the tool allows users to better analyze expired contracts and high volume tiered contract vehicles.

Improved MAS Modification Guide

GSA has developed a single MAS Modification Guidance document, along with Price Proposal templates that replace legacy guidance and templates. This guidance includes all modification types available in eMod and is meant to ensure that contractors are aware of the information needed to successfully prepare and submit modification requests to their Contracting Officer/Contracting Specialist (CO/CS). The MAS Modification Guidance is final and ready for use by contractors that have accepted the MAS Consolidation Mass Mod. This guidance can be found on the Contract Requirements and Modification Guidance webpage on GSA.gov under the “Modifications and Mass Modifications” accordion.

Improvements for Suppliers

Responding to feedback gathered from our RFI, we

  • Came up with easier ways to find resources needed to complete a modification request properly. This includes developing a single, easy to find MAS Modification Guidance document that is updated on a regular basis.
  • Replacing outdated templates and using fewer overall - and writing easier to follow instructions on how to use them.
  • Offering opportunities for feedback on the draft MAS Modification Guidance RFI, and to attend MAS Modification Guidance training.

Improvements for Workforce

  • Equipping Industry with the consistent modification guidance needed so modification requests can be processed.

MAS Consolidation Resources

Industry partners and customers continue to provide feedback and questions related to MAS Consolidation. In response, additional resources are continually added to share the impacts of Phase 2 and 3 of MAS Consolidation.

Improvements for Buyers

  • Regularly offered MAS Consolidation status updates that provide insight into coming changes and what they mean for your day-to-day tasks as a customer of the MAS program.
  • Additional buyer-centric training courses related to the MAS Consolidation have been offered, including:
    • FCL-GSA-0220 MAS Consolidation Overview on February 25, 2020
    • FCL-GSA-0220 MAS Consolidation Overview on March 11, 2020
    • FCL-GSA-0220 MAS Consolidation Overview on April 8, 2020
  • Upcoming courses on MAS Consolidation are available for registration through the FAS Acquisition Institute Events page.
  • Access to the MAS Consolidation Customer Brochure, Customer Fact Sheet, and Customer FAQs with more detailed information about MAS Consolidation.

Improvements for Suppliers

Easier access to updated supplier-specific information about interacting with the new MAS contract including:

  • How to use the MAS Price List Guide and SIP/EDI Instructions to help with updating your GSA Price List in accordance with clause I-FSS-600 Contract Price Lists after signing the MAS Consolidation Mass Modification (mass mod).
  • For contractors with multiple MAS contracts, the Add SIN Guidance provides information needed to ensure they are not prematurely starting Phase 3 of MAS Consolidation (targeted to begin August 2020) or duplicating their offerings without justification.

GSA’s IN-depth Feedback through Open Reporting Methods (INFORM) pilot program ran through FY19 and improved the post-award experience. Both industry and the GSA acquisition workforce perceived the pilot favorably. Industry found that the enhanced notification letter more readily met their needs and they had greater insight into GSA’s selection process.

In April 2020, GSA began expanding the INFORM effort and testing it to scale. INFORM 2.0 allows more industry partners to participate, broadening the FY 2019 pilot to up to 300 acquisitions, up from 50 last year. The dollar threshold of eligible procurements will also increase. This expansion provides more of our industry partners with the opportunity to share feedback before a permanent policy is established, and offers information that may improve future bid submissions.

Learn more about how GSA is improving the post-award experience:

GSABlog

GSA PIRC

Improvements for Suppliers

  • Extending the pilot that provides enhanced post-award communication gives more opportunity to learn why you did or did not win an award. This additional information, which offers additional insight into GSA’s selection process, is offered to suppliers who may choose to use it to improve future submissions.

A number of agencies use GSA’s Forecast of Opportunities Tool to share a consolidated list of contracting opportunities with small businesses early in the acquisition process. More agencies are signing up to use the Tool over time. A highly sought after bulk upload feature was recently added to make it easier for agencies to upload their opportunities to this site.

Visit the Forecast of Contracting Opportunities webpage to learn more or if you are interested in announcing your small business opportunities using this Tool.

Improvements for Acquisition Workforce

  • The new bulk upload feature of GSA’s Forecast of Opportunities Tool makes it much easier - and efficient - for agencies to publish upcoming contracting opportunities for small businesses. Now, all opportunities can be placed in a single CSV file, uploaded, and then instantly published in the forecasting tool.

GSA has embarked on a multi-year effort to develop a catalog management solution which will eventually replace legacy processes and systems with a new, modern interface. The envisioned one-stop-shop will make it easier for vendors to manage their product and service data, while enabling our workforce to process catalog submissions and modifications more efficiently. This will result in higher quality, compliant data that will be more readily accessible to customer applications such as GSA Advantage! While laying the foundation for the new long term comprehensive solution, GSA is working interim catalog management enhancements to offer more immediate value to our stakeholders.

Improvements for Workforce

  • A single source of quality catalog data will provide an easier and more efficient way of reviewing and approving products and services, and improve cycle times for bringing them to market.

Improvements for Suppliers

  • The future state catalog management solution will offer a modern user experience that makes it easier for suppliers to manage their catalog data and better represent their offerings to buyers.

Improvements for Buyers

  • Improving the accuracy of descriptions and images for GSA’s product and service offerings will make it easier for buyers to find what they are looking for, and make purchases with confidence.
Last Reviewed: 2020-07-29