The General Services Administration (GSA) recently updated its regulations to implement the new Formatted Product Tool (FPT). FPT is a system upgrade to GSA’s eOffer/eMod system, that will replace the Schedule Input Program (SIP) and increase transparency around schedule contract pricing.
According to GSA, FPT will provide contractors with valuable information about their product’s pricing related to other vendors and provide contracting officers with data intelligence to use in price evaluations and negotiations. In other words, welcome to the era of undifferentiated, commodity-based pricing for everything, including Professional Services.
Vendors who currently hold or are in the process of obtaining one of the GSA Schedules listed below will be affected by FPT by the dates listed. While GSA eventually plans to apply the FPT program to all GSA Schedules, they are beginning with Schedules 72 and 58 I. A Solicitation refresh and Mass Modification will be issued for Schedules 72 and 58 I in about a week. Therefore, be on the lookout for mass modification A510. Keep in mind the acceptance of the mass mod is voluntary until a contract comes up for renewal which at the time acceptance of FPT becomes mandatory.
- GSA Furnishings & Floor Coverings Schedule 72 (8/26/16)
- GSA Professional Audio/Video Schedule 58 I (8/26/16)
- GSA Facilities Maintenance & Management 03FAC (9/9/16)
- GSA Hardware Superstore Schedule 51 V (9/9/16)
- GSA Office Products Schedule 75 (10/17/16)
- GSA Food Service Schedule 73 (11/18/16)
- GSA IT Schedule 70 (11/18/16)
- GSA Professional Services Schedule (PSS) 00CORP (1/13/17)
It is important that mass modifications are reviewed and analyzed by your internal team, knowledgeable individuals and/or experienced advisors to completely understand the business consequences and level of effort required with accepting changes to your GSA schedule contract.
Accepting the FPT Modification
Once a contractor accepts the mass modification, he or she has 60 days to complete the “baselining/rebaselining” process.
Baselining is essentially a modification where a contractor submits their entire catalog through the new eMod process using the FPT module. A vendor’s baseline modification will replace their existing GSA Advantage! Catalog. Note that new products and services cannot be submitted with the baseline modification. However, a vendor neglects to include any currently awarded products or services in their baseline, GSA will consider those products/services as deleted and you will have to resubmit them under a new contract modification submission. Until a vendor’s baseline modification is complete, they can continue to use SIP to update GSA Advantage!
GSA strongly encourages contractors to accept the modification. However, before accepting the modification, take time to consider how FPT will affect your GSA Schedule Contract. If you accept the mass modification, your current awarded pricing will be uploaded to FPT. Any products that fall outside of established ranges will be flagged. While your CO is not required to renegotiate pricing during the baseline modification, they can choose to do so based upon the information included in the FPT report.
Who Should Not Accept the FPT Modification?
GSA suggests that vendors who meet the criteria below should not accept the FPT modification until all system changes are complete (estimated at an 8-week timeframe).
- Contractors that hold Schedule 75, 51 V, or 70 and GSA Initiated BPAs
- Contractors that have more than 100,000 line items on the GSA Schedule in question
Timing is also a factor when considering whether to accept the FPT mass modification. The initial roll outs are occurring during the final quarter of the government fiscal year, the busiest time of year for many government contractors.
How Does FPT Affect Prospective GSA Schedule Contract Holders?
Once GSA issues the Solicitation Refresh, prospective contractors will have a limited time before they are required to submit their proposal in accordance with the new FPT format. Unlike existing GSA Schedule Contract Holders where acceptance is optional until contract renewal, FPT will be mandatory for new GSA Schedule vendors.
The full impact of the new rule remains to be seen, we will be monitoring the roll-out and will keep you updated. If you are an interested party and have not joined a GSA public webinar already, we advise you to participate and ask questions. The next one scheduled is Tuesday, August 23, 2016, from 10am-12pm EST. You can find the web registration link: https://meet.gsa.gov/e5277f63xm3/event/event_info.html
Coley is currently updating internal reporting systems to support clients who have accepted the modifications. If you’re interested in learning more or need assistance with understanding the impacts or implementing FPT, please reach out to us at [email protected]
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.