Prospective Schedule Contractors - Is the Schedule a Good Fit for Me?
The GSA Multiple Award Schedule Program, also referred to as the "Schedule", is the premier contract vehicle for the federal government. The Schedule Program is a long term governmentwide contract between commercial suppliers and the federal government.
Suppliers give federal, and in some cases state and local buyers (including tribal governments and some educational institutions), access to millions of commercial products and services at negotiated ceiling prices. Schedule purchases amount to approximately $36 Billion per year.
Holding a Schedule contract can open doors for businesses, but it requires effort and commitment on your part to succeed.
Are you thinking about pursuing a GSA Schedule contract?
Here is what you need to know.
Research the federal procurement marketplace to identify what federal agencies and departments have historically purchased your product and/or service. This helps you develop a targeted approach. Agencies are required to report in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), all contract actions with estimated value in excess of the micro-purchase threshold. FPDS is a valuable tool for you to research the federal procurement marketplace.
Use FPDS to identify
Who is buying your product or service in the federal market,
How much they are buying,
Who your key competitors are, and
What contracts are set to expire that can become potential opportunities
Use your four-digit Product Service Code (PSC) to filter the tool for potential opportunities. PSCs describe products and services in a more granular fashion (i.e. event management services, cloud storage and services, etc.). The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code classifies the business segment, while your PSC outlines the specific products and services that federal agencies have purchased.
Your PSC will help you filter FPDS data more directly.
Prepare a marketing plan to do business with the federal government. Develop a marketing and sales strategy for how you will find opportunities and win federal business. Use the information that you find in your market research through FPDS to outline the federal agencies that you plan to target.
If you do not have previous federal experience, you may use federal and non-federal references from six or more previous customers, to obtain a past performance and evaluation Open Ratings report through Dun and Bradstreet.
The Open Ratings Report will rate you on the following:
Customer Support and Responsiveness
How Much Time Does it Take?
We review each Schedule application in the order we receive it. As a result, the application and award process may take up to 12 months.
Be prepared, once you receive a Schedule, to compete against other Schedule contractors for orders.
Are the products or services being offered in support of America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Compliance and Support - You must maintain compliance with all terms and conditions of your Schedule contract throughout the contract’s life. A GSA representative (known as an Industrial Operations Analyst "IOA"), assigned to you after award, will work with you during the contract term to help you remain compliant.
Minimum Sales - You must generate $25,000 in sales within the first two years of your Schedule contract and then each individual year thereafter. Your marketing efforts generate your sales, as well as your proactive pursuit of opportunities in the federal market, using tools likeFedBizOpps and eBuy.
Sales Reporting - You are required to track and report your GSA Schedule sales, and remit the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) for all sales made against your Schedule contract. The reporting and IFF remittance frequency will depend on how your Schedule contract is awarded.
Pricing - You are required to share your full Schedule price list on GSA Advantage within 30 days of award and any applicable modification to your contract. Pricing on GSA Advantage is available for the public to view.
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 FedBizOpps. 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.
If you feel you are ready to pursue a Schedule contract and you meet all basic requirements, please visit our MAS Roadmap for more detailed offer instructions.
Need More Help?The Office of Small Business Utilization (OSBU) is your resource for learning more. OSBU can help you learn how to conduct market research using FPDS, and connect you with training for getting on Schedule and developing leads.
Last Reviewed: 2021-10-12
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Traveler reimbursement is based on the location of the work activities and not the accommodations, unless lodging is not available at the work activity, then the agency may authorize the rate where lodging is obtained.
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