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
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.
Senior Consultant with Coley GCS, LLC, a Government Contracts Consulting, Coaching and Training company. Published author and certified FedMap Coach with over 40 years’ experience working with Federal agencies and contractors.