New FSSI for Office Furniture

On March 13, 2014, General Service Administration (GSA) announced through their site that their next Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) contract will be for office furniture.

GSA is creating the final details and requesting industry partners to participate in the discussion. As of now, GSA has proposed that these products are procured though BPAs on this FSSI in phases where the first phase is seating and tables along with office filing and storage.  The second proposed phase is work systems acquisitions with additional phases yet to be determined.

Vendors that are awarded BPAs will have a great opportunity for office furniture sales as the first two phase of this FSSI has an estimated dollar value of $700 million.

Today, GSA posted its Request for Information (RFI) with a due date of April 25th for submitting the white paper associated with it.  However, GSA is also holding one-on-one sessions with limited number of vendors at a first come, first serve basis based on the white paper responses.

FSSI is great if you are on it, but detrimental if you are not included.

GSA’s FSSI program was created to establish BPAs that allow a limited number of awarded vendors to compete and provide specific services or products to Federal agencies.  GSA has already utilized their FSSI program for BPAs in Office Supplies, Maintenance, Repair  & Operations Supplies, and others.

GSA has claimed success by publishing that the BPA’s have saved taxpayers millions of dollars. However, it is not clear if the savings stated are from comparisons to commercial pricing or from comparisons to pricing currently offered by other vendors that are not part of the strategic sourcing but already on a GSA Schedule. We have seen evidence that the savings are minimal when compared to other Schedule holders.

In addition, GSA says that they have subcontracted over 70 percent to small businesses through the FSSIs.  What they don’t tell you is that it only includes the very limited number of small businesses awarded to the BPA.

Like it or not, this is the trend in federal contracting and it does not appear to be waning.   If you manufacture or sell products to the Federal Government join GSA Interact to stay ahead of future FSSI opportunities.

If your company provides office furniture, it is vital to subscribe to GSA’s Interact blog  on it. Should you have any questions on the FSSI or upcoming BPAs feel free to contact Coley.

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