What is it

A look at how GSA Schedules fit into the federal sales game as it is played inside the "New Silicon Beltway."

The Shortest Path to Federal Dollars: GSA Schedules, a new book by Richard White.

A look at how GSA Schedules fit into the federal sales game as it is played inside the "New Silicon Beltway."


The Shortest Path to Federal Dollars: GSA Schedules

The introductory paragraphs from the first ten chapters of the book are presented below.

Chapter 1

Understanding the GSA Schedule

The federal government purchases roughly $500 billion in products and services annually. Insiders who know how to play the federal sales game dominate the market. Why not become an insider and share in this huge pot of gold?

Chapter 2

GSA Schedules: The Super Stars of Multi-Vendor Contracts

A multi-vendor contract is a pre-negotiated contract awarded to a number of vendors before specific purchasing requirements are known. Vendor's prices are negotiated up-front and listed in the contract. Thus, the federal rules presume that the competition took place during contract negotiations. When the need for a product or service arises, the contracting officer or end-user can turn to the list of pre-approved vendors, solicit a limited number of bids, and make a purchase quickly and efficiently.

Chapter 3

Pursuing a GSA Schedule: It's All in the Details

GSA Schedule solicitations are unique in that they are always open and a vendor may submit a proposal at any time. Normally, federal solicitations for products and services have a closing date for proposal submittal. The opportunity to submit a bid at any time is what makes the GSA Schedule program attractive to small businesses. However, the "always open" aspect of GSA Schedule solicitations does have one downside. Companies considering submitting a proposal to GSA can procrastinate, procrastinate, and procrastinate some more, often taking a year or more to prepare and submit a proposal.

Chapter 4

GSA Schedule Rules: Full and Open Competition

Public bids under the federal government's "full and open competition rules" are horrendously inefficient. End-users and official buyers do not like to use public bids. Once a program administrator has identified a need, or reached a decision to buy a particular product or service, he or she typically wants the product or solution of choice as soon as possible. Bureaucrats are human, and they're not patient.

Chapter 5

Selling to the Feds

Federal end-users, such as human resource program managers, engineers, or facility managers, make most purchasing decisions. As the term implies, the end-user is the person who will actually use the service. Services and complex products and solutions must be sold to the end-user because that's who will determine whether the service or product meets their needs and solves their problem.

Chapter 6

The Push-Pull for Small Business Preferences

Throughout this book, we stress that GSA Schedules are ideal mechanisms for small businesses to close their federal sales once an end-user has been sold on the value of their products and services. That doesn't mean that GSA and federal agencies making purchases using GSA Schedules actually favor small businesses.

Chapter 7

Playing Well with Others: Teaming Advantages

The GSA Schedule program accommodates almost any type of commercial sales practice, including teaming, reselling, and multi-layered distribution systems. The Schedule program encourages both buyers and sellers to use Schedules creatively and in ways that mirror sales made in the commercial market.

Chapter 8

Negotiating for Profit with GSA

Making a profit is the Holy Grail of most businesses. Negotiating pricing with GSA can be a remarkably trying experience. GSA always wants the best price you have ever given to anyone, GSA calls this Most Favored Customer prices and then a little bit more.

Chapter 9

Price Negotiation

You will negotiate prices more effectively with GSA if you understand the dilemma contracting officers face. GSA wants to award GSA Schedule contracts. At the same time, the contracting officers are charged with obtaining the lowest prices possible, protecting the interests of the taxpayer, and are subject to the scrutiny of auditors and Congress. This push-pull of these essentially conflicting mandates can make arriving at competitive and yet profitable pricing a negotiating nightmare, and GSA negotiators can begin to appear quite bull-headed and unreasonable to you.

Chapter 10

Discounting Practices and the Commercial Sales Practice Format

GSA solicitations require that you disclose your company's discounting practices. Known as the Commercial Sales Practices Format (CSP), this can be one of the most confusing and stickiest aspects of doing business with the federal government.

GSA Schedules:The Shortest Path to Federal Dollars

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