In 1949, President Truman established the General Services Administration, or GSA, to streamline the administrative work of the federal government. GSA’s original mission, to dispose of war surplus goods, manage and store government records, handle emergency preparedness, and stockpile strategic supplies for wartime, has given way to a much broader purpose and function. Today, GSA serves as the purchasing arm for the entire federal government, providing the means of the acquisition of goods and services for thousands of federal agencies and bureaus.
How does the GSA Operate?
Although any business that meets certain baseline requirements can do business with the government through GSA, stringent vetting processes have been established to prevent financially irresponsible or unethical vendors from gaining access to this preferred purchasing plan. Laying it out in broad strokes, if you want to do business with the government through GSA, you must first identify the “Schedule” under which your goods or services fall, complete a System for Awards Management (SAM) profile, and electronically submit a proposal with all necessary supporting documentation through GSA’s e-Offer system. While information on doing business with GSA proves no difficult task, successfully completing the above steps and making a proposal to GSA which they will accept can be one of the most challenging undertaking a business ever pursues. Once a vendor is approved and has a GSA Contract, they are now authorized to directly seek business with the federal government through a variety of channels, including GSA’s e-Buy system and GSA Advantage! Vendors with access to these systems gain an advantage over companies without such access because they can see agency requests before they become public on FedBizOps, and they can directly respond to government agency requests without having to competitively bid on each opportunity. The most sought after purchasing arrangement a vendor can acquire with their GSA contract is a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) in which an agency makes an offer to buy up to a certain dollar amount of goods or services exclusively from that particular vendor. BPAs can be difficult to acquire, but once in place, they can mean millions, even hundreds of millions, of dollars in all-but-guaranteed business with a particular federal agency.
How does the GSA affect me?
One word—opportunity. You would never ignore an entire market segment in your commercial sales, but if you have not acquired a GSA Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) Contract, you’ve effective cut off yourself from one of the largest markets in the country. Last year, through GSA, the federal government spent just under $35 billion purchasing goods and services from private companies across the country. Breaking it down, the government spent over $1,100 every second of every day for all of 2013, and without a GSA MAS Contract, you don’t even have access to make an offer in this market. You’re out of the running before the race even starts—not a place you want to leave yourself. Take some of your tax dollars back and get in the race. Settling for individual bids that you may or may not win makes no sense when another, far more promising, option is at hand.
Where does DB Consulting fit in?
DB Consulting lives in the world of government document preparation, and combined, our writers have over two decades of experience working with the GSA and writing successful proposals. They are also familiar with the massive changes GSA has undergone as they have moved away from a paper application process to an entirely electronic one, and we stay abreast current changes and modification in GSA policies and schedule requirements.
Were you to print out the entire solicitation and all the regulations that accompany it, regardless of the Schedule, you’d be looking at a stack of paper well over 500 sheets thick. Reading and understanding that material so you can make an offer the GSA will accept is no easy task, and odds are, you don’t have someone on staff that could dedicate the time needed to develop a good proposal and still have time to do his or her regular duties. This is precisely the gap DB Consulting seeks to fill. We combine experience with a proven system of development and a network of personal connections within the GSA to streamline the entire process for you, and we offer a variety of services—from our DIY Direction program to our full-service proposal writing and submission—all designed to fit your needs and your budget. For more information or to speak with one of our representatives, contact us today at 877-935-4408.
More Information About The GSA
The General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the United States government, was established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies and other management tasks.
GSA employs about 12,000 federal workers and has an annual operating budget of roughly $26.3 billion. GSA oversees $66 billion of procurement annually. It contributes to the management of about $500 billion in U.S. federal property, divided chiefly among 8,300 owned and leased buildings and a 210,000 vehicle motor pool. Among the real estate assets managed by the GSA are the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. — the largest U.S. federal building after the Pentagon — and the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center (which had previously been the Battle Creek Sanitarium run by John Harvey Kellogg).
GSA‘s business lines include the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), the Public Buildings Service (PBS), and the Technology Transformation Service (TTS), as well as several Staff Offices including the Office of Governmentwide Policy, the Office of Small Business Utilization, and the Office of Mission Assurance. TTS’s Office of Products and Programs is responsible for five portfolios designed to help federal agencies improve delivery of information and services to the public. Key initiatives include FedRAMP, Cloud.gov, the USAGov platform (e.g., USA.gov, GobiernoUSA.gov, and Kids.gov), Data.gov, and Challenge.gov.
GSA is member of the Procurement G6, an informal group leading the use of framework agreements and e-procurement instruments in public procurement.