As part of its modernization of the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program, GSA has created a new FPT (Formatted Product Tool) to standardize uploaded product information across FSS. The agency outlined a roll-out schedule beginning mid-July and then every two weeks thereafter:
|72||Furnishings & Floor Coverings||All||Products|
|58 I*||Professional Audio/Video||All||Products|
|73||Food Service, Hospitality, Cleaning Equipment and Supplies, Chemicals and Services||All||Products|
|70||IT Equipment, Software & Services||All||Products & Services|
*Same time as Schedule 72
How the Formatted Product Tool Affects Contractors?
1. Uploading Products Without SIP
In addition to affecting the way contractors update and upload GSA Schedule pricelist to GSA Advantage, the new FPT will also provide everyone insight into competitor’s pricing. Eventually the SIP program will go away and functionality will move over to eOffer/eMod, and will require, somewhat increased, data requirements. Consider contractors who manage their own schedule will have to dedicate additional time for their employees to train in the new system.
This pilot is l looking to get rid of the SIP program in its entirety. At Coley, we are backing up any SIP data and product images for clients as it is going to be extremely useful during this transition and we recommend all contractors currently on GSA Schedule to do so. In lieu of the SIP upload, eOffer/eMod is looking to have this functionality built in.
2. Data availability
Both the Contractor and the Contracting Officer will benefit from the ability for GSAAdvantage to have the ability to group products successfully. Contractors will be able to see where they stand against other competitors who offer the same product. This new system should provide accurate data intelligence and provide quicker negotiations and competitor analysis.
3. Tougher Negotiations
All contractors should conduct market research and in-depth pricing analysis and understand your competitors so you are better prepared during your next pricing negotiations.
4. Preparing for the FPT
In order for a seamless transition to happen, it is in each contractor’s best interest to get started in gathering expanded product details for each item on your GSA Schedule contract. At this point in time, recommending the following data fields to be captured for every product currently on your GSA Schedule:
- Manufacturer (OEM) Part Number
- Manufacturer Part Name
- Manufacturer Part Description (long & short descriptions if possible)
- UPC-A Code: This is mandatory if the original manufacturer has assigned a UPC-A code for the item
5. You may not be affected… Yet!
This pilot is optional for existing Schedule holders! Once the mass mod is received, contractors do not have to participate and can continue as normal, however this will be the standard at some point in the future.
- Still recommended to participate. The more contractors that jump on board with this pilot, the more structured GSAAdvantage will become and will save time for both Contractors and Contracting Officers.
- New offerors are the exception. They will have to follow FPT instructions and requirements, and will also have to provide a proposed GSA Pricelist.
GSA will be sending out a mass modification to all affected vendors. Make sure to process your modification and take all the necessary actions to create a one-time baseline verifying currently awarded products and pricing. Once your baseline has been established, GSA will begin accepting new modification requests again. This process is intending for baselining the current state of your contract. No new items can be included within this modification.
Vice President for Coley Government Contracting Services, Dan leads the day-to-day Consulting Practice. He has more than a decade of experience with the acquisition, management, and marketing of Federal, State, and Local government contracts. Daniel specializes in all aspects of GSA Schedules management and marketing and has helped hundreds of Coley clients remain compliant with the terms of their GSA contract while helping them expand their business.