Can You Decline GSA Schedule Orders?

Can You Decline GSA Schedule Orders?

A new email pops into your Inbox. It’s an order off through your GSA schedule directly through GSAAdvantage. Your first thought is elation – the schedule program is working!

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Should You Pursue a GSA Schedule? E-Buy Open Can Help!

Should You Pursue a GSA Schedule? E-Buy Open Can Help!

A new GSA tool to see who wins GSA Schedule bids may help you decide.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has launched a new pilot program to make eBuy award public through the Federal Business Opportunities portal at www.FBO.gov. The program will be called e-Buy Open and will run for a one-year pilot period.  (more…)

Making it Easier for Federal Agencies to Buy from GSA Schedules

Making it Easier for Federal Agencies to Buy from GSA Schedules

All Federal agencies have to abide by a variety of rules. These determine who and how agency buyers should purchase from the various procurement vehicles available (more…)

2018 Oasis on-Ramp IDIQ

2018 Oasis on-Ramp IDIQ

OASIS IDIQ Contract Unrestricted on Ramp for 2018 for Pools 2

UPDATE: Pool 6 has closed as of June 2018.

On May 9, 2018, GSA posted a pre-solicitation notice for an on-ramp for the OASIS indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Unrestricted (UNR) 5-year contract for Pools 2, with the final solicitation being published on or about May 31, 2018.   If past history is an indication, the solicitation responses will be due 60 to 90 days from the publication of the final solicitation, with awards following in late winter to spring 2019.

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Introduction to The SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program

Introduction to The SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program

A Path to Government Contracting

One of the Small Business Administration’s mission is to continuously expand Federal contracting opportunities for Small Business. In 2016, they established the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP) to extend SBA approved mentor-protégé relationships to every small business. The program was designed to enhance the capability of the protégé firms to win Federal business utilizing the mentor company’s business development capabilities and substantive project experience.

The SBA created the program in 2016 to apply a consistent requirement for all socioeconomic-program small business categories. The SBA ASMPP Program has a process for application and approval by the SBA ASMPP Qualifications include:

Protege:

  • Be a small business with industry experience
  • Have a proposed mentor prior to applying for the program
  • Be organized for profit or as an agricultural cooperative
  • Have no more than two mentors in the business’ lifetime

Mentor:

  • Be organized for profit or as an agricultural cooperative
  • Have no more than three protégés at a time
  • For the SBA to approve the mentor-protégé agreement:
  • The SBA must determine that the mentor-provided assistance will promote real developmental gains for the protege, not just act as a vehicle to receive federal small business set-asides
  • An SBA “determination of affiliation” must not exist between the mentor and the protege
  • The qualification criteria are fully defined in Title 13 Part 125.9 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

The ASMPP includes the added benefit of allowing approved ASMPP vendors to develop a Joint Venture (JV) to compete on contracts, including small business set-asides.  While each socioeconomic category has its own regulations, they all share the same requirements for the creation and function of a JV.  Remember that the JV must be approved by the SBA in addition to the approval for the ASMPP program.

What is a Joint Venture Agreement?

There are specific requirements and roles for each member of the Joint Venture.  To receive SBA approval, the mentor and protégé must execute a JV agreement to be approved by the SBA.  There are only three rules to maintain the JV:

  • The Joint Venture must perform the appropriate percentage of work based on the subcontracting requirements;
  • The protégé must perform 40% of that and not be limited to “administrative or ministerial functions”;
  • The Joint Venture must submit annual reports to the SBA and the contracting agencies explaining how the work is being performed for each contract.

The ASMPP and subsequent JV are “training wheels” for small protégé firms—SDVOSBs, 8 (a)s, and HUBZones, etc.—to build confidence, past performance, and sound processes for winning and successfully delivering Federal contract work.

If you have additional questions, please contact Coley by email  at [email protected] or phone at 210-402-6766.

Leverage your GSA Schedule for State & Local Government Sales

Leverage your GSA Schedule for State & Local Government Sales

You may not have considered all the ways that you can maximize the value of your GSA Schedule. Use your GSA Schedule contract to win State and Local business.  There are direct and indirect means using your GSA Schedule as the contracting vehicle to sell to State and Local Governments. In the indirect route,  you may use your GSA Schedule contract as the basis to obtain a State or Local contracting vehicle.

Using your GSA Schedule Contract to Sell Directly to State & Local Government

If you have a GSA Schedule, there are four programs that enable you to sell directly to State and Local government customers:  Cooperative Purchasing, Disaster Purchasing, Public Health Emergency, and the 1122 Program.  These programs create new opportunities to extend the reach of your GSA Schedule beyond Federal customers. The Cooperative purchasing is voluntary. Many buyers are unaware that they may to purchase from your GSA Schedule, so schedule holders may require to provide some insight. Informing them of their access to your GSA Schedule is one step toward turning them from prospects to customers.

1.      Cooperative Purchasing

Cooperative Purchasing the best way to leverage your GSA Schedules. You will need to understand which state, local and tribal governments are buying your services from GSA Schedule holders. This program applies to GSA Schedule 70 for information technology and GSA Schedule 84 for law enforcement and security products and services. More and more state and local governments (STLOCs) are buying from GSA Schedules.

2.      Disaster (and Public Health Emergency) Purchasing

While Cooperative Purchasing is limited to only GSA Schedules 84 and 70, State and Local governments can use all GSA Schedules to buy supplies and services directly to assist in recovery from a declared disaster, which could be a weather event (hurricanes, floods, etc.), terrorist attack, or a nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.  When you hear on the news that the president has declared an area a “disaster area,”  this means that units of government in that area can buy from GSA Schedules that are identified in GSA eLibrary and on  GSA Advantage!®, with a Disaster Purchasing icon.  The same applies in the case of a declared Public Health Emergency.

3.      The 1122 Program

State and Local Governments may also access GSA Schedules to purchase equipment in support of counter-drug, homeland security, and emergency response activities.  The terms and conditions for use of this program are detailed in the 1122 Program Equipment and Supplies Catalog.  13 GSA Schedules are represented in this catalog where items may be purchased through the program:

  • Schedule 84 – Law Enforcement and Security
  • Schedule 51 – V Hardware Superstore
  • Schedule 56 – Building and Building Materials/Industrial Services and Supplies
  • Schedule 58 I – Professional Audio Video and other products
  • Schedule 66 – Scientific Equipment and Services
  • Schedule 67 – Photographic Equipment
  • Schedule OOCORP; under SIN 874-4 – Training
  • Schedule 70 – IT
  • Schedule 71 – Furniture
  • Schedule 75 – Office Products/Supplies
  • Schedule 78 – Sports, Promotional, Outdoor, Recreational, Trophies, and Signs
  • Schedule 23 V – Vehicular Multiple Award Schedules

In order to participate in the 1122 Program, you will need to contact the designated State Point Of Contact (SPOC) for your State.

Using your GSA Schedule Contract as the Base for Acquiring State and Local Contracting Vehicles

State and local governments, as well as regional Cooperatives, all have their own contracting vehicles to procure goods and services.  Several states have their own contracting vehicles that “piggyback” directly on GSA Schedules because it comes with approved terms and conditions and prices have already been determined by a GSA Contracting Officer.  The California Mass Award Schedule (CMAS) program will directly award a State CMAS contract entirely based on a vendor’s GSA Schedule contract.  Like GSA Schedules, CMAS contracts are “evergreen,” meaning that they are always open.

Other States, such as Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois allow the use of GSA Schedules as the basis for a State procurement. However, these states require specific authorization actions to do so.

Use your GSA Schedule as Base in Texas

In Texas, for example, the State does not use GSA Schedules to procure goods and services. Texas issues its own TXMAS contracts for most products and many services, the TXDIR (Department of Information Resources) contracts for IT products and services, and term contracts for other services.  Notably, of the three, only TXMAS is continuously open to new vendors. However, to be awarded a TXMAS contract, vendors need to have an existing base contract with sales and at least 1 year remaining on it. This requirement is an easy fit for many vendors.

You may also wish to look at some of the national and regional cooperative purchasing contracts. BuyBoard, although based in Texas, allows a variety of State and local governments, as well as select nonprofits, to purchase from it.

In conclusion, not all states treat GSA Schedules alike. Many states use the GSA’s pricing as benchmarks in their own negotiations with vendors.  Furthermore, some states choose not to use GSA Schedules even though they may have statutory authority to do so. Also, there are some States that cannot use GSA contracts at all.

Certainly, many GSA Schedule holders are unaware of the full potential for developing sales through the GSA Schedule contract. The key is to build relationships beyond the Federal government. Coley provides support for clients to follow a strategic approach to position their business and effectively compete in the Government marketplace. Contact Coley GCS by email at [email protected] or directly at 210-402-677 to discuss how we can help provide you with insights on how to grow your government sales.

Additional Resources:

Cooperative Purchasing FAQs
Local Preparedness Acquisition Act

Micro-Purchase Changes to Threshold Can Increase Your Government Sales

Micro-Purchase Changes to Threshold Can Increase Your Government Sales

Thanks to a recent change in the micro-purchase threshold if you sell products, training, or off-the-shelf solutions to any civilian agency (non-DoD), your competition was just significantly reduced!

Last month, as part of the  National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 for Fiscal Year 2018, the Micro-Purchase Threshold for Civilian agencies including GSA, purchases increased from $3,000 to $10,000.  (more…)

FAQs of GSA Advantage Order Cancellations

FAQs of GSA Advantage Order Cancellations

To be successful in the federal marketplace, you must effectively sell your company’s offerings in a highly competitive market and stand out among other contractors – just having a GSA Schedule does not guarantee sales.

Beyond sales, contractors must continue to manage the contract throughout the base period.  Successfully managing your GSA Schedules contract requires you to become knowledgeable of requirements to maintain compliance as well as be familiar with operational processes impacting your Schedule. In this post, we will discuss contractor responsibilities within GSAAdvantage! to help avoid you having to cancel orders and understand any adverse actions that your Contracting Officer may impose.

Three Reasons a Contractor Can Reject a GSA Advantage Order

Each contractor holds unique terms and conditions specific to their GSA Schedule Contract and the responsible parties must be very familiar with them.  The pricelist (I-FSS-600), items 1-26 contain pertinent information regarding a contractor’s options for cancelling an order. However, you may be able to cancel a GSAAdvantage order but only in very specific conditions.  Below are 3 Questions to ask if you meet the conditions that will allow you to cancel an order:

  • Does the order total fall outside your minimum order or above the maximum order threshold
    If a Schedule contractor is unwilling to accept an order above the maximum order threshold or from an agency or activity outside the executive branch, the order will be returned to the ordering activity within five workdays after receipt by the contractor.
  • What agency did the order come from?
    GSA Schedule contractors are obligated to accept orders placed by activities within the executive branch of the federal government. Is the customer outside the executive branch of the federal government? Then consider GSA Schedule contractors are not obligated, but are encouraged, to accept orders from agencies and activities outside the executive branch.
  • Has the order been accepted or rejected in a timely manner?
    The order is considered as “accepted” by the contractor and all provisions of the Schedule contract shall then apply if the Schedule contractor fails to return the order, or advise the ordering activity, within the specified timeframes.

If you’re outside of these conditions, you have 5 days to cancel the GSAAdvantage! order, otherwise the Purchase Order (PO) must be filled.  If you cannot sustain this order and you’re within the conditions above, you can cancel the Purchase Order (PO) with reason that these products are being removed from the GSA Schedule.

How to Avoid Having to Cancel a GSA Advantage Order:

  • Know your Contract – Read the terms and conditions of your GSA Contract and understand everything you are responsible for.
  • Stay Compliant – Make sure your modifications are up-to-date. Adding, Deleting, Economic Price Adjustments (EPA) or any administrative modifications to your schedule, should be maintained efficiently. In addition to products, make sure your point of contact and email address on GSA ebuy are accurate so you are receiving all required communications regarding orders you receive.
  • Be Proactive – Always stay in touch with your supply chain to ensure you are able to deliver on all your future orders at the price awaded. If you are offering products, make sure your vendor has not changed manufacture to a non TAA compliant country. Ensure your costs have not exceeded your list price so you can modify price or remove those items before orders come in.
  • Be Effective – If you are using a GSA Schedule management service that provides you with eCatalog support including GSAAdvantage or you have an internal team, ensure they keep your eCatalog current with new prices, deleted items or new offerings. The speed on how your team can effectively complete these tasks will keep you flexible, competitive and contribute to your success.

 

 

What is the Difference Between TXMAS and BuyBoard?

What is the Difference Between TXMAS and BuyBoard?

Many small businesses looking to grow their State and Local government sales have come to us asking, “Which is better for my business, TXMAS or BuyBoard?” The answer will vary depending on what you are offering, to whom you are trying to sell and when will you be ready to sell it. (more…)

How to Sell on FedMall

How to Sell on FedMall

Become a Supplier on DLA’s eCommerce Platform.

FedMall is the redesigned successor of the DLA eMall program; a successful 20-year purchasing program. FedMall is an eCommerce platform which hosts millions of products that are available for purchase by authorized entities. It includes tools to assist both customers and suppliers with functions that allow for product catalog management, tracking purchases, and more.  FedMall is comparable to popular commercial and government eCommerce shopping sites, such as Amazon.com and GSAAdvantage.gov respectively, this online shopping center is made available to Government customers from Federal, State, and local agencies. (more…)

Rule of Two Takes Precedence over Ability One – A Win for VOSBs

Rule of Two Takes Precedence over Ability One – A Win for VOSBs

A ruling of the US Court of Federal Claims in PDS Consultants, Inc. v. United States announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (“VA”) cannot buy products or services using the Ability One list without first applying the “rule of two” analysis and determining whether qualified veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSBs) are available to bid.

The ruling resolves confusion regarding precedence between the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act ( JWOD) and the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (VBA) that existed following the Kingdomware case. It also means that there continues to be an excellent opportunity for Veteran Owned Small Businesses success. (more…)

Insights to SBA Small Business Scorecards Performance in 2016

The Small Business Administration has released its 2016 Small Business Scorecards, SBA’s Government-wide and agency-specific review of small business utilization, transparency, and agency progress.

The SBA negotiates the goals with every agency once every 2 years to ensure that prime and subcontracting goals exceed 23 percent of total contract spending.

Overall, SBA scored Government-wide small business use as an “A.” Government-wide small business contracting exceeded the established goals in every small business category other than HUBZones, which achieved only 1.67%, falling short of the 3.00% goal. (more…)

New IT Schedule SIN to Be Added

General Services Administration (GSA) announced on Interact that IT 70 schedule would be adding new Special Item Number (SIN) 132-41 Earth Observation Solutions (EOS) in June 2017.

SIN 132 41 EOS is designed to:

  • Address the federal government’s growing need for earth observation services which unite multiple technologies including satellite imagery/communication, distribution and content management, analytics and data products.
  • Enhance IT GSA Schedule 70 offerings for increased visibility and rapid access to commercially available solutions.
  • Provide industry partners the opportunity to differentiate their Earth Observation Solutions.
  • Meet the needs of government agencies to make strategic decisions and bring the full value and benefits of category management to government.
  • Deliver customer agencies the tools and expertise needed through IT Schedule 70 to shorten procurement cycles, ensure compliance, and obtain the best value.

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Transition from DOD EMALL To FEDMALL

Transition from DOD EMALL To FEDMALL

DOD Emall to FEDMALLDOD EMALL announced the transition from DOD EMALL to the new Federal Mall (FedMall) application through it’s solicitation last year, but there has not been a specific timeframe or process, until now.

The effort comes after the DLA found an opportunity to modernize many outdated aspects of DOD EMALL’s current state.

DOD EMALL teamed with IBM to rollout FedMall late this year. DLA hopes to provide a commercial look and feel, as well as a streamlined registration, ordering, and research process. FedMall will operate just like your everyday eCommerce website, while being fully compliant with policies and regulations. (more…)

FedMALL / DLA Schedule to Reopen to New Vendors Soon!

FedMALL / DLA Schedule to Reopen to New Vendors Soon!

Get Started now to List your Products on FedMALL

As more and more agencies are being directed to the DOD FedMALL platform, many vendors have been looking for ways to place their product catalog on this booming platform. DOD FEDMALL is an eCommerce site in which agencies can purchase commercial items from qualifying Product Service Codes shown in table below; however, a contractor must have a current long-term government contract in place in order to qualify to place the same products and pricing onto the FedMALL eCommerce site. (more…)

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