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Think you need a GSA Schedule to win federal contracts? (Too bad!)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, June 10, 2012
Updated: Sunday, June 10, 2012
Sorry folks, I've let too many slide by over the years. Not this time, though.
On hundreds of occasions, I have shared my opinions with countless business owners, and neophytes to this industry about the Federal Supply Schedule being oversold by Government and Industry, particularly the thousands of so-called "expert consultants" selling their services to help you acquire a schedule for the promise of federal contracting dollars raining down on you. All this for just a few thousand dollars or upwards of twenty-thousand dollars.
Most of us know how that particular movie ends, again and again and again.
In conjunction with the overselling is the over-reliance by companies who never really needed (or could capitalize on) the Federal Supply Schedule in the first place. Just check out how many companies have "zeroes" for sales on their schedules and pretty much the same off-schedule.
So, with that, I'm getting it off my chest. I told you so.
By the way, this isn't being issued in a mean-spirited way. Quite the opposite. Now maybe you will listen to me and some of the other folks that exist in this space who are not trying to pick your pocket.
What's all the hub-bub, bub? According to a senior General Services Administration official who testified before the House Small Business Committee recently, segments of the Multiple Award Schedules markets are "oversaturated" with contracts and the contractors that accompany them.
I could swear I just heard Scooby-Doo say "Ruh-Roh Raggy!"
You haven't seen the FCW article GSA to close some contracts to new vendors or the Federal Times article GSA seeks to phase out 8,000 'obsolete' contracts?
Well, the story goes something like this:
FCW cites in its article "Over the last several years, the number of companies seeking Schedules contracts has roughly doubled and the volume of contract modifications has roughly tripled."
Federal Times reports "GSA said it will stop adding new contractors to those schedules as the first step toward streamlining its contracts, and after a year, it will review the schedules to see if there is demand for them. GSA plans to eliminate contract agreements that are rarely or never used."
Basically, the agency is cutting costs and part of that involves getting rid of contracts that are being "underutilized."
To everyone I spoke to during my last two conference presentations, I repeat "It costs agencies money to have contract vehicles sitting around, even if they are not active. Since simplified acquisitions are not necessarily based on an existing contract vehicle, it only costs money when they need to execute a contract action."
I hope small business demand does not diminish too greatly as a result of GSA's Demand Based Model, but I do wonder if GSA will do the same with 8(a) STARS II and the rest of the GWAC's?

The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

Tags:  demand based model  GSA  kempf  schedule  streamlining 

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