Never let it be said I'm not a proponent of the GSA Federal Supply Schedule. Trust me, if I wasn't, my friend Courtney Fairchild (Global Services) would be first in line to have my head. The "schedule" continues to be a useful tool for Government and often a "ticket to the dance" for many contractors, based on their offering and with whom they currently (or intend to) do business.
It also doesn't hurt that federal agencies spent $39 billion dollars this way in FY2011.
But the level of visibility garnered by the GSA Schedule has greatly overshadowed another area of streamlined purchasing that accounts for billions of dollars in goods and services spending by agencies. In fact, most of the folks I've presented to or simply had discussions with over the years had no idea such a "program" existed even though several had received awards this way.
I'm talking about Simplified Acquisitions, one of the easiest ways for federal agencies to procure goods and services to include R&D and Construction.This method along with Micropurchases accounted for how I won some of my early big deals from the Navy, and Air Force. Nope, I didn't win big deals that were awarded under simplified acquisition procedures, I developed relationships with folks associated with the big programs who used these less risky and faster purchasing methods as a proving ground for me and other vendors back in the day. Don't believe me? Ask me to tell you the story about my friend Ernie Taggart (formerly of NUWC Keyport) and the F/A-18 Electronic Classrooms.
The real point I want to make is about spending and quantifiable opportunity. While the GSA Schedule has seen an increase of about $1 billion dollars over the last few fiscal years, purchasing under Simplified Acquisition Procedures has skyrocketed! In fact, as of today, agencies have spent more dollars using this method in FY2012, than the total spend in FY2009.
To cut to the chase, agencies spent $4 billion dollars on goods and services in FY2009, $12 billion in FY2010 and $16 billion in FY2011.
Want to know more about how this works? Click here to review the latest installment of the Simplified Acquisition Snapshot™, a weekly review of federal agency spending using simplified acquisition procedures, where the specified state is the place of performance.
You might be surprised to find out how what you sell is being purchased and by whom, right under your nose.
The Chief Visionary
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."