If you’re a government contractor supposed to sell to government workers and you’re wondering how the government officials will find out about your products and services, GSA advantage is the how.
GSA Advantage is a government-owned online purchasing platform run by the General Service Administration. On this platform, federal buyers can search for and purchase products and services posted by GSA contractors. It is referred to as the government’s Amazon.
Every GSA contractor must open an account on GSA advantage and upload products and services the moment the business gets a schedule.
The variety of goods and services needed by the agencies that patrons GSA advantage is quite broad. GSA approved product’s list include:
- Facilities and construction: construction-related materials and services, facility-related materials and services
- Human capital and training solutions
- Industrial products and services: hardware and tools, environmental protection equipment, industrial products for the installation, maintenance, repair and building, machinery and components, test and measurement supplies.
- Information Technology: cloud computing services, cybersecurity products and services, data center services, hardware products and services, software products and services, telecommunications and network services
- Office Management: furniture, Office Equipment, office supplies
- Professional Services: multiple award schedule, one acquisition solution for integrated services (OASIS)
- Security & Protection: security services, security systems, security animals, and related services
- Transportation & Logistics Services: vehicle purchasing, vehicle leasing
Benefits of GSA advantage
GSA is beneficial both to the vendors and the buyers. To the vendors, GSA opens up access to the vast government market, and there are a lot of customers out there on the platform. About 400,000 government workers currently use the GSA advantage to purchase goods and services they constantly need.
Also, the vendors make fast sales, and orders are made directly and often even before it is needed in other places. Since state and local governments also make purchases on GSA advantage, it gives you the opportunity for contracts across all levels of government.
The buyers can search for items using keywords, part numbers, National Stock Numbers, manufacturer names, contractor names, or contract numbers. Search by category of products and services: compare features, prices, and delivery options; configure products and add accessories; place orders directly online; review delivery options; select a convenient payment method, and view order history to track the status and reorder or cancel.
How does GSA advantage work
The platform has a search system and products categories to navigate this vast online catalog filled with thousands of vendors and millions of products.
You upload your product catalog at GSA advantage, and then you can start receiving orders. The way this happens is that when a government buyer orders a product, the platform issues a purchase order and sends it to the contractor, most often than not using the GSA purchase order portal.
You view the purchase order on the platform, and you’ll then use the GSA purchase order portal to update the status of orders. With this, the buyer will be aware that you’ve begun processing the order.
Online purchase orders have a microtransaction threshold of $5000 and can only be paid with government-issued cards. However, you can exceed the threshold Limit on GSA advantage.
How to get on GSA advantage
Before you can have your products listed on GSA advantage, you must have been awarded a GSA schedule, and the process is a lengthy as well as a difficult one. It involves
- Registering your business at SAM and getting the necessary DUNS and NAICS code.
- Choosing SINs that correspond to your business help identify a product of a group of products
- Finish the mandatory GSA courses
- Organizing the documentation for your GSA application submission
- Register at eOffer and submit your documents, then await approval.
Once you win your GSA schedule, you have the right to upload your products on GSA advantage.
Who can order from GSA advantage?
Government agencies have the right to purchasing products from GSA advantage using a government-wide commercial purchase card, a GSA Activity Address Code, or a department of Defense Activity Address Code. Initially, only federal government workers had access to purchasing from the platform, but over time, state and local governments were considered eligible.
And although the GSA advantage is not the only avenue through which government officials can make purchases, it is the only platform where government officials can make transactions above the micro-transaction threshold.
- Federal agencies: establishments in the legislative and judicial branch of government or executive agencies.
- Independent establishments in the executive branch of the government:
- Executive departments: examples include Department of Defence, Department of Commerce, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Communications Commission, Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environment Policy Foundation or US forest service and others
- Other federal agencies
e., Government-owned corporations: like the Federal Financing Bank, Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR), Commodity Credit Corporation.
- Federal agencies that are not in the executive branch of the government: examples include American National Red Cross, Civil Air Patrol, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institute, United States Postal Service.
- Mixed ownership government corporations: some examples include National Railroad Passenger Corporation Amtrak, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
- District of Columbia
- Non–federal firefighting organizations: cooperating with the Department of Agriculture
- FAA authorized entities
- The Senate
- The House of Representatives
- Certain Governments.
- Architect of the Capitol
- Cost-reimbursement contractors: one of the main functions of the GSA is to optimize spending. To do this, it might authorize certain contractors performing cost-reimbursement types of contracts to use GSA sources of supply. In each case, the authorization is written and is not transferrable
GSA advantage was created as a means for government officials to buy commercial products and services and for GSA contractors to make a profit. And so far, it has been beneficial both to GSA contractors and government workers.
Although it can be time-consuming keeping up with the site, it is the central platform for government workers’ purchases, so as a GSA contractor, you must make a name for yourself on the platform, don’t forget you have an annual target.
Don’t forget that your information on the site must be accurate, especially prices, contract modification, and descriptions for each line item.