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.
Ramiro is a Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) and as a Senior Consultant with Coley GCS, LLC, a Government Contracts Consulting, Coaching and Training company. Ramiro has over 10 years’ experience helping companies succeed with their GSA schedules.