federal buyers

I have a lot of conversations during the course of a week discussing how I think a given companies product or service will fit within the federal marketing mix. This week I would like to drive home the sam.gov misnomer and why federal buyers prefer purchasing from GSA Schedules.

Sam.gov Common Misnomer

The most common misnomer I face is that registering with sam.gov will somehow produce sales. There are currently 346,000 business registered on sam.gov. If a federal buyer wished to wade through all of those firms to find the appropriate firms in which to do business, after all that work, they would then have to put any sizeable contract out for bid. Sam.gov only makes one a federal vendor it does not provide a contracting vehicle that a federal purchasing agent can buy against.

Why do Federal Buyers use GSA Schedules?

If we look at the number of Small Business GSA Contract Holders the number for 2020 was 11,923. This is still a large number however it is greatly reduced from the 346K found on sam.gov. Furthermore these vendors have catalogs with price lists, the ability to process federal credit cards, and have a contracting vehicle in place. These advantages translate into average Small Business GSA Schedule Holder sales for 2020 of $1.15MM.

Full list of why Federal Buyers Prefer Utilizing GSA Schedule Vendors

  1. Savings – both in the ordering process, as well as price vetting for best value.
  2. Flexibility and choice – There are over 12 million easily sorted products and services listed on GSA Schedule System.
  3. Shorter lead time – Federal buyers can purchase in some cases in a matter of minutes with a point and click process, compared to months for other federal buying methods.
  4. Transparency – Quantities and prices are clearly stated on the federal vendor’s schedule.
  5. Control of the procurement – The federal buyer can view online various purchasing options as well as utilize the GSA ebuy feature to solicit quotes from vendors they think have the capabilities to satisfy their given procurement.
  6. Lower administrative costs – The GSA handles the administrative burden during the schedule application process. This allows federal buyers to focus on their agencies mission, not paperwork.
  7. Reduced inventories – Because federal buyers can point, click and often repetitively buy from the same suppliers on GSA Advantage and receive goods in a few days there is no longer a need to make bulk orders of routine items. This saves the government from having to take routine inventories as well as having expired or obsolete items.
  8. Small Business Targets – Agencies are required to spend 23% of federal procurement dollars with small businesses. Because of the advantages a GSA Schedule provides locating capable small businesses, Small businesses account for 35% of GSA Sales. This leads to Small Businesses with a GSA Schedule averaging approximately $1MM in federal sales.

Therefore if you are interested in getting into federal contracting in 2021 a GSA Schedule is a great way to make working with the federal government part of this plan.