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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

We rely on our trusted partner network. Shouldn’t you?

As much as we would like to say “we can do it all,” we realize that doing a few things exceptionally is far 

more rewarding than doing everything only satisfactory.

 

Our trusted network of partners allows the ability to tap into key resources and aid clients to achieve the utmost professional, and complete service; the total solution.
 
Need a bit of a hand in the areas of HR, timekeeping, wage compliance, or contact strategy and execution? Our partners are here to help:
GHG Corporation

GHG Corporation (Est. 1979): Leading Time and Attendance Solution provider featuring electronic time sheets, leave balance management and online pay stubs. This secure, password protected system is available to employees and management anywhere, anytime from any Internet enabled computer. eTSS easily integrates with QuickBooks as well as 3rd party payroll providers. DCAA accepted.

Wage Hour Consulting
Ms. Patricia Slate – 

With over 35 years of experience as a compliance specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division, and the National Labor Relations Board, Ms. Slate offer a wide range of consulting services by specializing in federal wage issues governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act, Davis Bacon and Related Acts, Immigration and Nationality Act, Service Contract Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and more. I am available to answer your questions, help you conduct an internal audit or assist you in a federal investigation.

Unanet

Unanet: Unanet’s Professional Services Automation (PSA) software helps organizations that need to reliably plan, track and manage people and projects. Unanet provides resource requesting, resource management, project management, timesheets, expense reports, project accounting, billing and workforce collaboration. DCAA accepted. 

Unanet Professional Services Automation (PSA) software helps organizations that need to reliably plan, track and manage people and projects. Unanet provides resource requesting, resource management, project management, timesheets, expense reports, project accounting, billing and workforce collaboration. DCAA accepted. Unanet offers bi-weekly webinars to introduce the capabilities of their software solution

 
Captiol Steps Consulting
Capitol Steps Consulting: 

A company placing value on proximity to the marketplace is a lot like real estate: location, location, and location. With offices placed in two large federal hubs, Denver Colorado and Washington DC, Capitol Steps Consulting will design and execute a strategy for delivering a company’s product or service to the largest buyer on the globe: the U.S. Government. Simply stated: We turn notion into motion. Project management is our focus, and we cultivate strategies that can be measured – which is the key to long-term success and profitability.
Cura HR

Cura HR – HR consultants with diverse experience in compensation, benefits, HR information systems, project management, leadership development, employee handbooks, small business HR and corporate communications. Small business specialist.

Our partners help us provide the total solution.Contact one of them today to see how they may assist your company and bring you the exceptional government contracting service your company deserves.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Freshman Government Contractors:

ImageYes, the government has been in 2014 for three months already now, but with the shutdown and the holidays, it seems that we’re all finally ready for 2014 to really start tomorrow. I began to think about what newer government contractors can resolve to do this year in order to make it a successful 2014. The theme turned out to be Patient Investment. So, resolve to be successful in 2014 and read on:

  1. Don’t fall for a scam. For some reason I am seeing more and more spams, scams and sketch artists all of a sudden.  I have clients sending me multiple emails a day asking “is this real”? No, it probably isn’t. I just read a LinkedIn post about a deft scammer and I am getting quite a bit of spam in my inbox trying to sell me services that don’t sound quite right. Trust your intuition. If you get an official-type looking email out of the blue regarding your sam.gov registration, if you get a call claiming you can win no-bid contracts, if you are told you need a GSA Schedule to do business with the government, or that your government registration is incomplete (among a myriad of other “sells”), know that it is probably something to avoid. Your name was probably mined, sold and now out on the market for fly-by night companies and consultants to prey upon.  Look to legitimate, well-established, and qualified companies / consultants that don’t stalk you down with slick unsolicited help. You will save a lot of money and avoid being burned.
  2. Invest in your future customers. It is rare that a good contract will be won out of the blue.  Winning government contracts takes time, and yes, money.  But, it doesn’t have to take too much of your time or your money if you approach the contract correctly. Finding which agencies are buying your products and services, who they are currently buying from, and how the agencies are buying is key. Without that baseline, you’re just shooting in the dark.  Build a targeted marketing plan towards your selected agencies. Find the right folks, get your marketing materials in order, ensure you have a representative getting you out there and keeping you out there.  Make contacts, team up, and keep your finger on the pulse. Be careful in who you target, how and when.  You can easily go down the wrong side of the road and not realize it. Being reactive is not an option for newer contractors. Being proactive is not necessarily free, but it is an investment, and a very worthy one to say the least.
  3. Educate yourself. Aim to become government contract (“govcon” in this world’s speak) savvy. This resolution actually is a thread through the other resolutions in this post.  If you are a newer government contractor, you will soon realize the government contracts world doesn’t really operate exactly like your commercial world.  Marketing, proposals, negotiations, contracts, accounting, and compliance all have spins about them of which you MUST be aware.  Without some education and guidance, you will (not may, but “will”) wander into dangerous territory.  It is a sneaky thing, too because you won’t really know you wandered into that territory until years have passed.  The government moves slow, and so do ramifications of not knowing government nuances.  Make sure you understand the government’s procurement process, the expectations for marketing and outreach, what the government is looking for, what clauses say and mean, and what being a government contractor may change in your operational processes and procedures.  Don’t learn the hard way; learn safe way.
  4. Team up.  The best way to get your foot in the door is to find an experienced teammate. Not only will you have more exposure to the government at less cost (think lower bid and proposal costs, easy name promotion, etc.), but you can learn tons of valuable insight and information from your teammates. They (hopefully) have been around the block in your competitive arena.  Sharing the costs, time and the effort of supporting a government requirement is a great way to slowly and safely graduate from a freshman government contractor.  Don’t be shy about being a prime contractor, either. You can bring a large government contractor under you as a subcontractor and they can help you just as much as if the roles were reversed. Many large businesses are happy to be a sub to a small business since they want to work projects that may have been set aside only for a small business. Network with companies who are both similar to yours as well as those companies that have complimentary offerings. The government is looking for solutions; maybe your offering is a tiny slice of a bigger solution – find your team and then you find the government’s solution.
  5. Keep the faith. Sometimes government wins pop out of the blue, but most times it is a very (very) long pipeline. This pipeline requires patience and diligence. However, the long road is definitely worth the wait.  I hear the phrase, “Once you’re in, you’re in.” I probably have to agree with that statement.  Working on resolutions 1-4 above will all lead you to getting “in” and 2014 is looking like a good year; don’t be left out!

Still have more questions? Call or email Arrowhead Solutions, and we’ll share with you our insight on how to most successfully navigate 2014. Consultations are 30 minutes and completely gratis!

Ph: 720-515-0527 or info@arrowheadsolutionsllc.com

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