The General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced the release of a new, updated contract to allow new vendors to submit contracts to sell office supplies to federal government agencies through its Schedule 75. In 2010, the GSA had closed the contract so that only the 300-plus current contract holders could bid and sell office products using that contract vehicle.
The new contract was released on Jan. 16, and includes all legacy office services, such as on-site stores, customizing and imprinting; and traditional office products, such as pens, paper, shredders, CDs, office appliances and restroom products; as well as a new slate of products and services. The Schedule 75 will include new enhanced special item numbers, which will be known as Office Supplies Fourth Generation (OS4).
Courtney Fairchild, president and CEO of Global Services, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary specializing in GSA schedules and other federal contracts support services, has provided insight to this complicated contract. “Understanding the difference between the new and old Special Item Numbers (SINs) and the full contract offer requirements can be a challenge,” she said. “Be sure to read and digest the entire solicitation prior to putting your offer together.”
Fairchild continued with a timing recommendation. “The folks at GSA are not certain how many companies or how quickly the companies will submit new offers, so there is no timeline they can point to right now,” she said. “GSA Schedule submissions negotiations and approval can range from office to office anywhere from four to 12 months, depending on the workload.”
Since October 2010, GSA’s Schedule 75 for Office Products and Supplies had been closed to new contract offers. However, sales on the schedule remain comparatively high. GSA reports that, in fiscal 2016, Schedule 75 sales were $367.3 million — significantly higher than the $213.8 million sold under GSA’s Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative for Office Supplies Third Generation (FSSI OS3). Now that the GSA is reopening Schedule 75 to new contract offers, it is, in the process, making a number of changes.
GSA has included new technical requirements for vendors including a demonstrated ability to meet all environmental reporting and green product requirements, a demonstrated system to remain compliant with the Trade Agreements Act, providing an updated Letter of Supply and special transactional data reporting. Vendors must maintain a satisfactory record of past performance and be Ability-One certified.
Companies considering submitting an Office Supplies Schedule 75 contract offer may choose to add either the legacy SINs, the new OS4 SINs or both. GSA is providing several resources to help companies understand the process to research, compare and validate the contract offer process. More information is available via https://interact.gsa.gov.
One may subscribe to Schedule 75 updates and gain access to recordings of recent GSA webinars at https://interact.gsa.gov/document/important-change-notice-schedule-75-re-opening-multiple-award-schedule-mas-75-legacy-sins.
Gloria Larkin is president and CEO of TargetGov and is a national expert in business development in the government markets. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.targetgov.com or call toll-free 866-579-1346.
The following information is regarding awarded contracts and can be used to develop prime contractor, subcontractor and teaming partner relationships on these and other opportunities. For more information, contact TargetGov at 410-579-1346.
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