Topics

HighCom currently holds several Federal, State, Local, and Education contracts, including the GSA purchasing opportunity which extends to many regional, state, and municipal nonfederal agencies the buying power of the federal government. HighCom is honored to extend our GSA pricing levels and contract products list through a number of purchasing options. We encourage our partners to leverage these contracts for the purpose of ensuring Agencies and Institutions take advantage of the most competitive government direct pricing available through HighCom Armor.

What is a GSA Schedule?

The General Services Administration (GSA) was created by President Harry Truman in 1949 to streamline the acquisition and administrative work of the federal government. GSA has grown tremendously since the late 1940s and is America’s only source made solely to procure goods and services for the U.S. government. GSA provides centralized procurement for the federal government, lessening the administrative burden on other federal agencies.

GSA offers a wide array of products and services that federal agencies need to serve the public. The GSA Schedules program provides shorter lead times and transparency to the government and for commercial vendors. The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) delivers comprehensive products and services across the government at the best value for the taxpayer dollar. The GSA Schedules program generates approximately $33 billion a year.

One big difference between selling your products and services through a GSA contract as opposed to selling commercially is that when you sell through a GSA contract, the terms and conditions are previously agreed upon through the GSA Schedule acquisition process. Having agreed-upon terms and conditions simplifies the buying process for the different federal agencies in the government.

And for the vendor, a GSA contract opens a new realm of opportunities in the federal marketplace. By having a GSA contract, government agencies know that your prices and company are previously vetted, which gives them access to buy from you. The contract was created by the General Services Administration (GSA)– an agency created with the sole purpose to help support federal agencies to buy products and services from vendors.

What are the pros and cons of being on a GSA Schedule?

The GSA Schedules program has a lot of great advantages for potential contractors, but it’s important to do a cost/benefit analysis before jumping into the federal marketplace.

PRO: The GSA MAS program is well-established and highly utilized as a contracting vehicle for federal government procurement. It is a diverse platform for government purchasing — GSA offers products and services covering industries from Information Technology to Integrated Consulting to Furniture and more! There is a wealth of opportunity in the MAS program for everyone.

PRO: Although working with the government can sometimes feel overwhelming, there are tools to help you learn more about the GSA world and stay current on any GSA updates. The Roadmap for New Schedule Offerors, Vendor Support Center, and Vendor Education Center are all great websites for educational resources to begin the process of getting on a GSA Schedule. The Pathways to Success training, along with the readiness assessment that the VEC offers, is incredibly helpful for new contractors and those who would like to brush up on their GSA knowledge. The Vendor Support Center can also direct you to the correct person depending on the problem at hand. While things at GSA are sometimes complicated, there is always someone to help!

CON: Where there are business opportunities, there must be effort. Potential contractors should consider that they will need to dedicate a considerable amount of time and resources to acquire a GSA Schedule and to keep their contract current and compliant. A GSA MAS contract lives and grows with your company, and as such, it needs to be updated as pricing changes, as services/products are discontinued and added on, as contract administrators change, etc. All these updates need to be made through a modification process with your Contracting Officer, so they will take time to complete. A GSA Schedule is a contract with the government, so your company needs to have processes in place to be sure that they are completing all the terms and conditions, such as delivery times and pricing requirements.

CON: The GSA Schedule is a contracting vehicle, not a guaranteed source of revenue for contractors. There is no such thing as “passive income,” especially in the world of GSA! It’s important for GSA contractors to be proactive in networking with government agencies and publicizing their GSA contract in order to meet the minimum sales requirement of $25,000 a year for GSA. If sufficient effort is not put into the GSA contract and seeking opportunities, it is possible the contract could be canceled if the minimum sales requirement is not met.

A GSA Schedule is a Multiple Award Schedule (or MAS) program whereby multiple vendors receive awards on a single contracting vehicle. The GSA Schedule is also an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (or IDIQ) contracting vehicle, meaning the number of products/services required are undetermined.

The GSA Schedules program serves as an acquisition vehicle for the executive branch of the United States government to purchase commercially available products and services. In some cases, state and local governments can also purchase from the GSA Schedules program. This contracting vehicle offers more than 11 million products and services and accounted for roughly $32 billion in federal procurement spending during the 2018 federal fiscal year.

For Buyers

Negotiated contract ceiling prices

GSA Contracting Officers and Contract Specialists pre-review products and services awarded in GSA MAS contracts to ensure the price awarded to the contract which the customer pays is “fair and reasonable.” These pre-negotiated ceiling prices achieve the best value for customers buying from a GSA MAS contractor.

Opportunities for discounts at the order level

Competition for contractors to receive orders through the GSA Schedules program is high, meaning that buyers should expect multiple contractors to respond to their product and service needs. GSA understands that overall best value is highly important to buyers. However, the Schedules program also allows its contractors to offer additional discounts on their products and services at the task order level to ensure that our customers are receiving responses that include the best pricing available. The GSA’s online procurement tools GSA eBuy and GSA Advantage!® make it easy for buyers to request quotes and additional discounting for services and products available through GSA MAS contracts.

Single contracting vehicle to fulfill complex or ongoing needs and reduce overall contract awards and administration

Because a GSA Schedule contract is an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), the nature of the GSA Schedules Program not only produces streamlined ordering procedures, but also includes key features such as Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), Contractor Teaming Arrangements (CTAs), and the ability to easily connect with small businesses. These features provide buyers with a single contracting vehicle to fulfill complex or ongoing needs and reduce overall contract awards and administration.

Less administrative time and contract documentation, since the master contract is managed by GSA

Contracts awarded as a GSA Schedule are managed by GSA’s Contract Specialists, Contracting Officers (COs), Administrative Contracting Officers (ACOs) and Industrial Operations Analysts (IOAs). The team of GSA specialists assigned to each master contract not only review and verify fair and reasonable pricing, but they also oversee the contractor’s compliance with the Federal Supply Schedules regulations and the respective GSA Schedule Solicitation for their MAS contract which enforce necessary FAR regulations. By managing each GSA MAS contract with a team of GSA officers, government buyers spend less time on the administrative and documentation requirements associated with the procurement process.

Socioeconomic credit for orders awarded to small business and other socioeconomic categories

Through the Schedules Program, GSA increases contracting opportunities for small businesses, and assists buyers in achieving or exceeding their socioeconomic goals. Small Business Administration (SBA) policy allows agencies to include in their procurement base and goals the dollar value of orders expected to be placed against GSA MAS contracts, and to report actual Schedule procurements as accomplishments against these goals.

MAS contractors are identified in GSA eLibrary and GSA Advantage!® by socioeconomic indicators: Other Than Small (o), Small Business (s), SBA Certified Small Disadvantaged Business (d), Women-Owned Business (w), Veteran-Owned Small Business (v), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (dv), SBA Certified HUBZone Firm (h), and SBA Certified 8(a) Firm (h). Buyers awarding orders from these socioeconomic categories receive credit toward their business size purchasing goals when utilizing GSA Schedules.

HighCom History with GSA

HighCom has held the GSA (MAS) contract for the past 15 years, while recently being awarded the contract in October 2005. HighCom is pleased to have the contract through October 2025. GSA extends purchasing opportunities to many regional, state, and municipal nonfederal agencies with the buying power of the federal government. HighCom extends our GSA pricing and contract products directly to our partner network.

HighCom Armor’s GSA Contract #GS-07F-9247S – to purchase HighCom Armor products directly from the GSA website, click here

Want to learn more?

Share on: