The two primary places federal employees go to find a listing of vendors that are willing to sell goods and services to the federal government are (The System of Award Management) or the GSA Schedule System. This week I am going to compare the two systems to highlight where the advantages lie for each while reviewing eight different categories.

Comparison vs GSA Schedule GSA Advantage Best Choice
Number of Vendors 500,000+ 19,000 GSA Advantage (+1)
Rational: Limits the number of Vendors a Federal Buyer must search through.
To find a product or service Step 1: Perform a search for firms in a given industry by NAICS code.
Step 2: Cross reference the resulting firm’s capabilities statements to determine if that firm provides the product or service required.
Step 3: Contact firm to obtain pricing on their product or service.
Step 4: Determine if the firm can take a Federal SmartPay Credit Card.
Step 5: Place the order
Step 1: Type the product or service keyword into the search bar and press enter.
Step 2: Review Pricing for applicable items.
Step 3: Order Online.
GSA Advantage (+1)
Rational: Much fewer steps in the process.
Obtaining a price quote Call or email Registrant and ask for a quote. Pricing is provided for the listed item. GSA Advantage (+1)
Rational: Pricing is listed.
Quality of product or service Firm has not been vetted by anyone within the Federal government. DnB Open Ratings has been performed providing a reference check from past clients which confirms the legitimacy of the firm GSA Advantage (+1)
Rational: Vendor scrutiny has already been performed by the GSA
Timeframe to Obtain this Listing (approximated) 1 week 4-6 months (+1)
Rational: Less Time consuming process.
Size of Purchases Generally is limited to the Micro-Purchase Threshold of $10,000 Generally follows the Simplified Acquisition Threshold of $250,000. GSA Advantage (+1)
Rational: Higher dollar value capabilities
Federal Vendor Small Business Sales >$100K
( listing only no other certification or contracting vehicle)
$1MM GSA Advantage (+1)
Rational: GSA Schedule holders have 10x the sales of a small business with only a listing on
Flexibility None Provided Only 51% of items in a given order must be purchased directly off the small businesses GSA Schedule, the other 49% can be purchased at the same time through Open Market Items. GSA Advantage (+1)
Rational: GSA provides a level of flexibility sellers do not possess.

Results in a Scoring Matchup 1pt was received do to the speed in which a firm can obtain a listing. All other Advantages fall to GSA Advantage.

GSA Advantage: 7 1
Based upon the information above it is easy to see why GSA Advantage is the Supplier Listing of first choice for Federal Contracting Officers.