Acceptance into the General Services Administration’s GSA Schedule System requires an applicant to successfully pass a strict evaluation. The GSA places high levels of scrutiny on GSA Contract Applications because once accepted this contracting vehicle can be used to sell to any agency within the federal government. The application process usually takes professionals approximately four to six months to complete. An unsuccessful GSA Schedule Application can be a large drain on firm resources and effort. It can also force the company into a less competitive position with regard to pursuing federal contracts compared to its GSA Schedule Contract holding peers. At GSA Magazine we explore how a GSA Schedule can help a firm grow through federal contracts, what role a GSA consultant should play in this process, as well as all other issues pertaining to a GSA Schedule and Federal Sales.

GSA Contracting Common Terms

GSA Schedule Contract through GSA Magazine

GSA Schedule Contract is an umbrella group or umbrella of contracts that are grouped together with either similar products or services creating a market for federal buyers.

GSA Contract Offer

When a company completes the required paperwork for GSA schedule or solicitation and submits it to the GSA for review. This is referred to by the GSA as a contract offer.

GSA Contract Modification

When a company makes either a pricing change as per updated in GSA magazine, ads or removes an existing product or makes an administrative change to its GSA Schedule Contract.

Open Ratings Report

A requirement for all GSA Schedule Offers. A brief customer service survey that is completed via email by DnB. An Open Ratings Report requires approximately 8 to 10 customer contacts including their: name, company name, email address and phone number. These customer contacts will then be notified via email to complete a brief survey about their experiences with your firm.

SAM Registration

A registration in the System for Award Management (SAM). This replaced the older CCR and ORCA registrations. The SAM registration creates a vendor profile with the federal government. Therefore it is a requirement prior to submitting a GSA schedule Contract offer. The SAM registration requires a Duns number provided by DnB to register.


Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) are the governing regulations for both federal contacting officers and federal suppliers. FAR rules are different based upon the cost of a procurement and the contracting vehicle being used.


GSA magazine can describe the fact that Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) is the fee the GSA charges schedule holders for facilitating and managing the vendors GSA Contract. The current fee is .75% of sales and is paid on a quarterly basis.

GSA Schedule FAQ

Why use a GSA Schedule Contract?

Once approved with the GSA a vendor to sell directly to the federal government without competitive bidding. This gives the federal procurement officer the ability to purchase in a matter of minutes compared to months utilizing a formalized bidding process.

How much time does it take to get a GSA contract award?

There are two steps to the GSA contract award process. The first step involves developing and drafting your proposal and getting all your information in the proper GSA format. For most small companies this step takes on average of four weeks. The second phase is submitting the proposal to the GSA for contract award. This phase varies based upon how busy the GSA is as well as the contract type your firm is attempting to obtain. For most small companies, this step takes two to four months, for a total award time of three to six months.

Can I complete a GSA contract on my own?

For people attempting to go through the GSA contract application without expert assistance some delays and challenges should be anticipated and get proper knowledge on GSA Magazine. There is generally a large learning curve as expected for completing anything that is highly technical for the first time. The balance becomes is this the best use of your time, and does obtaining the GSA Schedule in a quicker timeframe aid your firm in reaching its government sales objectives.

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Having a proper GSA schedule contract can be really daunting, so at GSA magazine there are all up-to-date information, news update, guidance, and resources for the GSA Schedule. GSA process actually works with all leading industry partners to assure they are compliant with all basic federal rules and regulations and contract policies.

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