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Is a GSA Schedule Right for Your Company?

GSA Schedule Proposals


Arrowhead Solutions, LLC is the state of Colorado PTAC’s Subject Matter Expert for GSA.

What is a Schedule? – The General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule (also referred to as Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) and Federal Supply Schedules) establish long-term government contracts with commercial firms. GSA Schedules provide fast, flexible, cost-effective procurement solutions that allow customers to meet acquisition challenges, while achieving their missions. There are forty different Schedules that cover everything from environmental services, furniture, restaurant equipment and finance to business solutions.

Acting almost like a catalog of supplies and services for the US Government to procure from, GSA Schedules can be an easy way for customers to access your supplies/services quickly and easily, to an extent. It seems to be a common belief that a GSA Schedule is a necessity and if your company doesn’t have one, you’ll be left behind. Let’s look at some of the pros, cons and considerations you should make before jumping into GSA.

Pros

– Access to all government customers, not just one particular agency – the Schedule Program is government-wide
– Ability to receive orders quickly
– Pre-negotiated terms, conditions, and pricing (thus allowing for your quick orders)
– Diversification of your company’s contract tools – having more ways for your government customer to reach you is good
– Five year award, with options up to another fifteen years

Cons
– Requirement to sell twenty five thousand dollars under the Schedule within the first twenty four months and twenty five thousand dollars every year after
– Work involved with proposal preparation – piles of documents and time needed to navigate the submission rules/process
– Length of time to award – although advertised and quick (for eOffers), GSA is backlogged by eight months right now
– Lower profit margins – your company is required to offer to the government a discount on top of your lowest prices
– Administration – your company is required to pay back the Industrial Funding Fee and report sales


Your particular company’s industry, size, time in business and client base should be taken into consideration before making the leap.

Considerations
– Is your industry dominated by competitors with schedules? Do they receive most of their revenue from GSA Schedules?
– Is your product or service in high demand and do you have current government clients complaining they can’t reach you easily?
– Have you been in business for over two years and do you have stellar track records and solid sales?
– Do you have the extra funding available to pay for your time, or that of outside assistance, to build your proposal?
– Are you willing to wait nearly a year to get on Schedule, or is your time better spent chasing other opportunities?


So, do the benefits of having a Schedule outweigh the costs of building a proposal, offering discounted pricing and administering the schedule? If the answer is yes, we can help.

Contact Us

Look – We’re Growing!

Arrowhead Solutions Announces the Addition of Four New Team Members

Boulder, CO (April 21, 2014) – Stephanie Amend, Founder / Executive Consultant of Arrowhead Solutions, LLC announces the addition of four new team members. Specializing in aiding small businesses in the processes relating to government contracting, Arrowhead has continued to grow in both the number of clients they assist, as well as the number of consultants on staff. Caroline (Carrie) Grigg, Douglas Wells, and Steve Griffin have joined the team as Contracts Specialists. Carrie brings ten years of experience in contract management and business development in diverse fields including IT, A/E/C, bioscience and energy. Doug brings to Arrowhead almost 25 years of hands-on experience in Government contracting. Since active duty retirement, Doug has used his expertise to assist the USDA and US Department of Education, as well as an Air Force operational contracting office.  Stephen’s expertise in government contracting brings into the mix experience in the dynamics present in government, how to read and interpret laws, regulations and policies, and how government agencies are structured, operate and think. Stephen holds both a PhD in Communication Studies and Master of Applied Communication degrees. Another new addition to Arrowhead, Lindsy Bentz, has joined as the Director of Marketing and Operations. Lindsy will assist clients with marketing their services to the Government as well as overseeing the internal marketing and operations efforts of Arrowhead.

About Arrowhead Solutions:

Arrowhead Solutions, LLC has been serving Boulder and Denver, Colorado metro areas and clients across the nation for five years. Stephanie Amend, Founder / Executive Consultant formed Arrowhead after seeing a need for assistance in the small-business government contracting arena. As both a civilian working for the Air Force as a Contracts Specialist at Hill Air Force Base, and as a Contracts Negotiator in the private sector, Stephanie teamed up with Janet Shea, CPA after getting Arrowhead off the ground to provide the small businesses services much needed in the Boulder/Denver area.  Five years later, Arrowhead has grown to carry a roster of clients from coast to coast with the ability to assist in every area of government contracting.

What will GFY14 Bring for Government Contractors?

shocked-monopoly-man-t-largeHappy? New Year? As we have seen, we can’t rely on the predictability of the government. Even if we hear or believe something may or may not happen, we can probably agree that as government contractors, we take it all with a grain of salt.  With what I call round 1 of sequestration behind us, a government shutdown, and new health care reforms this past year, it has been tumultuous to say the least.  I have read reports that usual spending frenzy of Septembers past was more of a murmur this past September, with some of the lowest spending levels ever seen for the last month of the fiscal year.

We obviously didn’t get off to a good start and are facing another budget battle and round 2 of the sequestration.  Last fiscal year the DoD was spared, however this year, key DoD dollars are on the chopping block.  So what is a government contractor to do with what we’ve been through and what lies ahead?  Don’t hope for dollars, go find the dollars.

Being in Q1 of the new fiscal year means it is typically quiet – here are five things you can do as a government contractor during the quiet time to put yourself in the best possible position for the year ahead:

  1. Dust off your approach. Are you still knocking on the same doors, still lopsided on where your contract dollars are coming from, and maybe using stale methods to reach government customers?  If you’ve been in the business for a bit, then maybe.  Take a fresh view, see potential customers from a new perspective and find ways to reach them that set you apart.
  2. Do your research.  Find out who will most likely have money and who may not. Understand the programs that could be impacted (e.g. NIH grant money is going to be insanely competitive in the coming year, maybe not a great place to put limited BD dollars).  Who won the contract dollars in years past? Can you unseat them or can you partner with them? How does the agency procure goods and services? Do you need a GSA Schedule?  All questions to consider and answer.
  3. Team up.  Use your network to gain intel and to find unique things to offer the government. Collaborating sometimes provides the government customer with a great offering.  With unknowns and uncertain budgets, the government still needs to buy things, make sure you offer things they can’t pass up.  Also, this will help you get into doors maybe you couldn’t get into on your own.
  4. Check your rates.  Are you competitive in price? Are you lean enough in your overhead to allow you to offer a better price to the government than the next guy?  Really take a look at how you build your pricing and know the government will want to be saving money and if you make it easy for them, they’ll look to you. Can you get that wrap rate lower?
  5. Prepare.  The longer you wait around, assume things will come to you, rely on shotgun approaches and poor data, and stay in your office, the less likely you will have success in GFY14.  Get out, get educated, and find the money.

Still have more questions? Call or email Arrowhead Solutions, and we’ll share with you our insight on how to most successfully navigate FY2014. Consultations are 30 minutes and completely gratis!

Ph: 720-515-0527