MAS Prospective Contractors: Read Me First
What is the MAS Program?
The GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program is the federal government's premier contracting program for commercial products and services. Through the MAS Program, GSA establishes long-term, governmentwide contracts with negotiated ceiling prices between commercial suppliers and the federal government (and in some cases state and local entities).
While the MAS Program offers no guaranteed sales for individual contractors, it opens the door to federal contracting opportunities exceeding $39 billion annually.
If you are deciding whether or not GSA MAS is a good fit for your company, it is important to understand the basics.
GSA has established the evaluation criteria that is used to determine if a prospective contractor is eligible for award in the MAS solicitation. Two of the criteria are 1) financial responsibility and 2) past performance.
- Financial Responsibility
You must provide two years of financial statements, unless you are eligible for the Startup Springboard program, which allows offerors who are newly formed entities (less than two years old), lacking two years of corporate financial statements, to provide financial documentation that demonstrates the offeror's financial responsibility in lieu of submitting two years of financial statements.
- Past Performance
You must have two years of measurable past performance. Experience related to three or more previous federal contracts, with ratings available in Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) is acceptable. Offerers who are newly formed entities (less than two years old), lacking two-years of corporate experience may use company executives' and key personnel's professional experience to substitute for two years of corporate experience under the Startup Springboard program.
Research the federal procurement marketplace to target federal agencies and departments that have historically purchased your product and/or service. Agencies are required to report all contract actions with estimated value in excess of the $10,000 into the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). FPDS helps you identify:
- Who is buying your product or service in the federal market.
- How much they are buying.
- Who your key competitors are.
- What contracts are set to expire that can become potential opportunities.
Questions to consider during market research include:
- Does market research show that federal, state, and local governments are buying the types of products and/or services that your company wants to offer?
- Do you have the resources to market your commercial products and services after the award of the contract?
If MAS is Not the Right Choice for Your Company at this Time
Other Paths to Selling to the Government
The GSA Schedule can be a powerful tool for suppliers; however, you do not need a Schedule contract to do business with the government. To gain federal experience, you can pursue subcontracting opportunities and open market opportunities through SAM.gov. If your company is new or does not have experience working with the federal government, consider gaining that experience first.
For contractors who are looking for ways to reach the government market beyond the MAS Program, the Commercial Platforms program provides an option to partner individually or collectively with three commercial e-marketplace platforms (Amazon Business, Fisher Scientific, or Overstock Government). Full details and links to each site are available on the Commercial Platforms site.
The award of a GSA MAS contract does not guarantee future sales. However, contractors are required to achieve sales under the contract of at least $25,000 during the first 24 months and $25,000 annually thereafter.
Each Schedule contractor must market their products and services to prospective customers who are authorized to purchase through the MAS Program.