Change is Constant
Price Related Modifications
How to Market to the Federal Government
Commercial Reverse Auction Fees
GSA's Reverse Auction Platform
The Importance of Updating
GSA Steps Newsletter
State and Local Disaster Purchasing Program
Farewell to Jessica Ocampo
FY12 Q3 compared to FY13 Q3
Welcome new Industry Partners!
Many of you have asked us over the last couple of years about how we could use social media to maximize information sharing. The Center has held several internal meetings discussing the use and benefits of social media and its use with our industry partners. We have considered several and are keeping in mind that everyone already monitors multiple sites daily for information. At this point, we think LinkedIn may become the preferred platform. Some of the initial discussions have been centered on developing protocols, processes for posting, site monitoring, and rules. It is very important to have a structure in place before we release to all of our industry partners to ensure that it is useful and beneficial for everyone. We appreciate your support as we finalize our vision and hope to roll out a discussion group in the near future.
Change is Constant
Are you in tune to the recent changes to the schedules and the 51V Hardware SuperStore program?
As part of GSA's continuing effort to improve the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program, the following requirements have been incorporated; effective the date of refresh #15. Every contractor MUST be aware of these changes and in compliance at all times. GSA has “Raised the Bar” and below is a summation of those changes:
- PART NUMBER STANDARDIZATION - Contractors are now required to ensure the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Manufacturer Part Number or Wholesaler Number for each product on the contract reflects the actual part number assigned. This number must be the primary number listed in GSA Advantage!® When requesting a modification to your Government contract, contractors are encouraged to submit manufacturer part numbers with each economic price adjustment, deletion, part number change, and/or addition modifications.
- FULL AND BROAD OFFERING: In an effort to provide a total solution to our customers, all new offerors are required to now offer a full and complete offering of products and services when applying for a government contract under the schedules program. Contractors are also being encouraged to comply with this requirement and when modifying their contract revisit their product/service offerings to ensure that an entire solution is available to the government customer.
- FRUSTRATED FREIGHT – Orders ultimately bound for overseas destinations often are mis-marked resulting in frustrated freight, which causes the end users unnecessary delays, or no receipt of what was ordered. Therefore, GSA now requires contractors to maintain an order tracking system that permits ordering agencies to obtain the location of an order from the time of shipment to the time/point of delivery and acceptance at delivery. Contractors must now demonstrate an understanding of an order bound for an international end point delivery and provide a sample electronic version of an appropriately marked label in accordance with the FED-STD-123 and MIL-STD-129 to the Contracting Officer or Industrial Operations Analyst when requested.
- ABILITYONE - New offerors proposing products under SINs 105-001, 105-002, 341-800, 600-001, 612-209, 613-001, 834-100, 834-500, 834-600, 834-700 and 834-900 are now required to be an authorized AbilityOne distributor by the Committee for Purchase from People Who are Blind or Severely Disabled. The Contractor shall meet the AbilityOne Exclusivity Requirement by blocking orders of commercial products that are identified as being identical to or "Essentially the Same" (ETS) as AbilityOne offered products. Contractors who are not currently an AbilityOne distributor are encouraged to revisit this requirement when submitting future modifications.
Are you selling products to a DoD customer? If so, whether you’re selling through eBuy, GSA Advantage! or any other method, you must ensure ALL products are marked in accordance with Federal Standard 123 and Military Standard 129. Remarking is costly to you, the contractor, and the customer. Our troops need your support; and if the products are not marked properly, the troops won’t get the supplies in a timely manner. It’s all up to you!
Please note standard commercial marking practices will be accepted for resultant contracts awarded under Schedule 51V; however, in accordance with the requirements of Clause 552.211-73, Marking (shown below), are applicable for Deliveries to the GSA Depots, or at the customer's request, and must be negotiated at the task order level.
552.211-73 MARKING (FEB 1996)
(a) General requirements. Interior packages, if any, and exterior shipping containers shall be marked as specified elsewhere in the contract. Additional marking requirements may be specified on delivery orders issued under the contract. If not otherwise specified, interior packages and exterior shipping containers shall be marked in accordance with the following standards.
- Deliveries to civilian activities.Supplies shall be marked in accordance with Federal Standard 123, edition in effect on the date of issuance of the solicitation.
- Deliveries to military activities. Supplies shall be marked in accordance with Military Standard 129, edition in effect on the date of issuance of the solicitation.
(b) Improperly marked material. When Government inspection and acceptance are at destination, and delivered supplies are not marked in accordance with contract requirements, the Government has the right, without prior notice to the Contractor to perform the required marking, by contract or otherwise, and charge the Contractor, therefore at the rate specified elsewhere in this contract. This right is not exclusive, and is in addition to other rights or remedies provided for in this contract.
Reporting GSA MAS Sales
You have your GSA contract number but what’s next?
Now it is time to promote and market your contract to the federal government and in accordance with Clause I-FSS-639, Contract Sales Criteria, maintain a minimum of $25,000 within the first 24 months following contract award, and exceed $25,000 in sales each 12-month period thereafter.
Reporting GSA sales is a critical element in the success of your relationship with GSA. Sales reports must be submitted, and fees must be remitted quarterly. If no MAS orders have been placed or payments received (depends on your chosen reporting method) on your contract for the quarter, you are still responsible for filing the sales report by entering zeros. You should maintain a consistent accounting method for sales reporting, based on your established commercial accounting practices. Quarterly sales reports and IFF remittances are due by January 30, April 30, July 30 and October 30 of each year. (Sales reported on the thirty-first of these months are considered late.) All GSA MAS contracts require sales to be reported via the Internet.
But how do I know what to report? What constitutes a MAS Sale?
One of the most common questions about sales is how to recognize whether or not the sale is a MAS sale. You should give your GSA contract the widest publicity possible whenever federal agencies call for information about your products and services. You should encourage all federal customers to use your MAS contract whenever they place new or renewal orders. That is why you have a contract with GSA: to make it easier for agencies to meet their needs in the most efficient and economic manner. Any one or more of the following may indicate that a sale is a MAS sale:
• Product or service is on your GSA contract
• GSA contract number is stated on the purchase order or task order
• Ordering information and terms are the same as your GSA contract
• Customer made contact with you through GSA Advantage!® or eBuy
• Customer pays with the government wide commercial purchase card
• Pricing is at or below the MAS price
• Order is above the micro-purchase level and there is no indication of any other procurement vehicle being used
The bottom line is that when a government order fits within the MAS contract parameters, the order should be considered a MAS sale unless the ordering agency indicates otherwise. By “contract parameters,” we mean the product is on the MAS contract; the ordering organization is authorized to use the MAS contract; the ordering procedure used is consistent with the MAS price list; the Schedule delivery terms are used; and there is no evidence of any other contracting vehicle being used by the contracting office. If you have questions or need further clarification, please talk to your ACO. Failure to maintain the required $25,000 per year in sales could result in cancellation of your contract.
We continue to encourage you to utilize the various tools located in the Vendor Support Center (VSC) at http://vsc.gsa.gov as well as log back into http://interact.gsa.gov where you can continue to learn about marketing tools and ask questions to a live GSA subject matter expert during the various webinar offerings.
GSA is striving to help its customers stretch their budgets in this time of sequestration. We have a responsibility to make sure all Schedule prices are fair, reasonable and a great value to our customers. Therefore, we are placing extra emphasis on horizontal price analysis with every price-related modification – addition of products/services and economic price adjustments. Your Contract Specialist will be performing detailed price analysis with these modification types and may often need to conduct negotiations prior to awarding the modification. We greatly appreciate your support with this process. Remember the more complete the modification request and documentation – the quicker we can complete our required documentation.
Is it option time on your contract? For contracts meeting the minimum sales criteria, the process starts 210 days prior to the expiration date of the contract when an automated letter is sent to the authorized negotiators on the contract. This letter will give a deadline for uploading the requested information into the eMod system. Please take this letter as notice to start the following actions:
- Update the digital certificate(s) of the authorized negotiators. A valid digital certificate is required in order for the option modification to be awarded.
- Carefully examine the company’s commercial sales practices and pricing. Any changes to the Most Favored Customer (MFC)/Basis of Award (BOA) and pricing must be completed by a separate modification prior to the option modification.
Our goal is to get the option modification completed as soon as possible after we receive the requested information. It is critical for customers to know if the Schedule contract will be extended as soon as possible and we have internal deadlines as well.
How to Market to the Federal Government
The Facilities Maintenance and Hardware Acquisition Center (FMHAC), Business Management Division (BMD) offers a half day course to all 03FAC and 51V contract holders. This 3 hour course covers a variety of information to assist our contract holders with the best way to market to the federal government. This course is done via webinar at no charge to you.
During the half day session, you will learn about:
- Who in the federal government buys the products or services you sell,
- How to start developing a contact list utilizing the Fed Biz Ops archives,
- The importance of developing relationships with end users and contracting officers,
- Assistance available to small businesses,
- Where to look for federal buying trends,
- Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC),
- Where to advertise and how to make your company stand out,
- Advantages of having a GSA Schedule contract and the highlights of the MAS program,
- Trade shows,
- Learn about ordering procedures; and,
- FMHAC’s partnering corner
To sign up for a marketing session please send an e-mail to Kristy Wilbur with your company information, GSA Schedule Contract number and POC information.
Commercial Reverse Auction Fees
Federal agencies have many choices when it comes to how they procure products and services. One of those options is they can do a Reverse Auction. They can do a free reverse auction using GSA's new reverse auction website (see info below), they can do them on their own, or they can use a commercial website. If they choose a commercial website, the companies that run those web sites can charge a fee. There has been some confusion around this fee so we wanted to clarify how this fee affects your GSA contract. The easiest way to say it is that the final price charged to the government agency cannot be higher than your GSA rate. This is one reason we are trying to get the word out about our GSA's Reverse Auction website, as there is no fee for its use! Please help us spread the word!
GSA's Reverse Auction Platform
GSA launched a Government Managed Reverse Auction Platform, ReverseAuctions.gsa.gov, on 1 July 2013. The tool is for commercial items and simple services that ideally can be purchased on a low price technically acceptable basis. GSA aims to help agencies acquire goods and services more effectively while helping them save money. The platform is reserved for purchases against GSA Schedules and vendors that have GSA Schedules. Currently 12 GSA Schedules, 6 VA Schedules, and multiple schedules-based Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA's) are loaded on the platform, including the Office Supply 2 Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative BPA's and Department of Navy’s Furniture BPA's.
The platform is designed to drive down the cost of goods and services to the government. We encourage you to take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the platform and participate in a few auctions.
The Reverse Auction Platform offers many benefits to our industry partners, including:
- No additional fees for products sold on the platform
- More opportunities for GSA Schedule Holders
- Real-time pricing
- Vendor’s are aware of where they stand in the auction process
- Bidders’ identities are not visible to other sellers/bidders
- Reserved for GSA Schedule Holders – No competition from Open Market Vendors
- Promotes small business. Buyers may conduct small business set-asides in the platform. Reaches a market of 80% of small businesses under MAS
Vendors participating in auctions must already be on an approved MAS and/or BPA awarded against schedules. As a Web-based program, the platform allows all qualified vendors to participate depending on the schedule chosen and special item number (SIN) categories for which they hold contracts. Please contact your schedule contracting officer to add non schedule products to your contract and update the point of contact e-mail information.
The Reverse Auction Platform’s Web site, ReverseAuctions.gsa.gov, offers much useful information to help you understand the “ins” and “outs” of this e-Tool, including:
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Find information on reporting vendor performance, how long an auction lasts, how reverse auction awards are synchronized with contract notifications and awards, and more.
- Vendor User Guide: See step-by-step screen instructions on how vendors qualify for auctions, place and confirm bids, find out about vendor awards, get auction summaries, and more.
The site lists all GSA BPAs, MAS, and VA MAS available for use on the Reverse Auction Platform. In order to access GSA Reverse Auction, vendors need a valid GSA schedule and eBuy buyer username and password. If your company needs an eBuy username, they can register here: https://www.ebuy.gsa.gov/advantage/main/registration.do. The Reverse Auction Platform is not set up for non eBuy registrants (open market vendors).
In our age of tightening budgets, the government is looking for efficiency, and time and cost savings that come with increased competition. The power of competitive bidding has made it possible for procurement organizations to save a great deal of money. Take a moment and provide us some feedback on your experience in the platform. We would like to improve it to make government acquisitions better for our industry partners.
Branch Manager, NITCP
PS: Need more information? For general ReverseAuctions.gsa.gov support questions, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-372-1094. For questions about the GSA Reverse Auctions program, please send an email to: email@example.com.
Are You Up To Date on eLibrary and Advantage?
Both 51V and 03FAC GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contractors are required to keep their text file up to date on GSA eLibrary. Updating this information provides customer agencies with the required Clause I-FSS-600 information and also provides them with general information about what your company offers. For 03FAC contractors, this text file provides the customer agencies a place for them to conduct their market research and have access to the rates that your company charges under the contract.
For 51V companies (with the exception of SIN 105-001), GSA Advantage! ® lists your products and their prices so that government agencies can purchase them easily. Your company is required honor prices as shown on Advantage, so it is important for you to keep this up to date.
If your company fails to keep your GSA eLibrary and GSA Advantage! ® files up to date (updated at least every two years, even if nothing changes), your company can be suspended from both. What does that mean? It means your products will not be shown in Advantage, and it also means you will not have access to GSA eBuy in order to bid on agency RFQs. So please, keep current!!
GSA Steps Newsletter: A Vendor Focused Resource
Did you know that there is a vendor focused quarterly newsletter that shares the latest information as it pertains to GSA Schedule holders? Topics covered in each issue vary but tend to include contract compliance tips, new policies and procedures, important updates and announcements and education opportunities, to name a few. The GSA Steps Newsletter is a great resource for all Schedule holders and can be viewed by visiting the Vendor Support Center at https://vsc.gsa.gov/, under the Publications tab. To subscribe to the newsletter please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the e-mail addresses in which you want to have added to the distribution list. If you would like to provide feedback and/or have suggestions on topics to cover in future newsletters, please feel free to contact email@example.com.
State and Local Disaster Purchasing Program
Below are the details of the new State and Local Disaster Purchasing Program and the expansion of access to National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster (NVOAD). Please go to the new Disaster Purchasing portal page (www.gsa.gov/disasterpurchasing) to see the new required order language and definitions of prepare, respond, and recover.
Non Federal Entity Access to Schedules – Available Now:
1. National Voluntary Organizations Active in a Disaster (NVOAD) can now purchase from Schedules
The GSA Acting Administrator, pursuant to the Federal Supply Schedules Usage Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-263), expands the permissible use of GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), when purchasing in support of disaster preparedness or relief. With the new authorization, GSA and FAS are able to provide immediate access to mission critical product and service solutions to equip these organizations with access to more resources that allow them to respond faster and more effectively, in their support of FEMA and state and local entities. This authority is limited to GSA Schedule contracts and does not include any other GSA programs. GSA Order 4800.2H has been updated to reflect this new eligible ordering activity.
2. Expansion of the State and Local Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program – The New Disaster Purchasing Program
The GSA Acting Administrator, pursuant to the Federal Supply Schedules Usage Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-263), expands the permissible use of GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules to the state and local governments, purchasing to prepare or respond to disasters. This authority expands upon state and local governments’ previous ability to purchase in support of recovery from major disasters, under the Disaster Recovery Purchasing Program. With the new authorization, GSA and FAS are able to provide immediate access to mission critical product and service solutions to allow state and local governments to better prepare and respond to every day disasters as well as to facilitate recovery from major disasters. This authority is limited to GSA Schedule contracts and does not include any other GSA programs. GSA Order 4800.2H, has been updated to reflect this new eligible ordering activity.
Please visit the new Disaster Purchasing Program page, for additional information.
Jessica Ocampo Departure:
Effective September 9, 2013, Contracting Officer Jessica Ocampo accepted a position in another GSA office. Jessica was in the Center about four years and we are very sad to see her go, but wish her all the best in her new position. Jessica administered contracts for both Schedules 51V and 03FAC, and these contracts have now been reassigned to other contract specialists in the Center. When the reassignments were made, the authorized negotiators on each contract received an automated notice by e-mail (from address firstname.lastname@example.org) in the form of a modification. This modification shows that Jessica was deleted as the contract specialist, and indicated the name and contact information of the new contract specialist.
Reduced federal budgets clearly will impact schedule sales in FY13. The fact that FMHAC cumulative sales are down by 4.57% at the end of Q2 is not a surprise.
51V sales in FY12 Q1 were slightly above the trend line. The fact that FY13 cumulative sales are down less than 4% at the end of Q2 is something of a good news story.
03FAC cumulative sales at the end of Q2 were down by 5.61%. We do believe that there will be some improvements in this number in Q3 and Q4.
FY13 Q3 compared to FY12 Q3 Only
|Schedule||FY12 Q3||FY13 Q3||% Change|
FY13 Q3 compared to FY12 Q3 CUMULATIVE
|Schedule||FY12 Q3||FY13 Q3||% Change|
|Contractor Name||Contract Number||Schedule|
|STAN HOUSTON EQUIPMENT||GS-21F-151AA||51V|
|DOCUMENT IMAGING DIMENSIONS||GS-21F-161AA||51V|
|ADVANCED SYSTEMS COMPANY||GS-21F-162AA||51V|
|ROBERT E. MORRIS COMPANY||GS-21F-166AA||51V|
|COPPER STATE PETROLEUM||GS-21F-178AA||51V|
|DEWAARD & BODE||GS-21F-180AA||51V|
|C & W-TESCO||GS-21F-149AA||03FAC|
|INGLETT & STUBBS INTERNATIONAL,||GS-21F-152AA||03FAC|
|R. G. VANDERWEIL ENGINEERS||GS-21F-154AA||03FAC|
|GLOBAL STRATEGIC ENERGY||GS-21F-155AA||03FAC|
|DARWIN TC GROUP||GS-21F-156AA||03FAC|
|ADVANCED CONTROLS CORPORATION||GS-21F-158AA||03FAC|
|INTEGRITY NATIONAL CORPORATION||GS-21F-163AA||03FAC|
|G AND J HOLDINGS||GS-21F-175AA||03FAC|
|FULL CIRCLE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT||GS-21F-179AA||03FAC|
|CENTURY FIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS||GS-21F-181AA||03FAC|
|ENVIRO AIRE MECHANICAL SERVICES||GS-21F-182AA||03FAC|
|SPOTLESS JANITORIAL SERVICES||GS-21F-187AA||03FAC|