First of all, this new tool only apply’s to product companies so if you are a service only company look away. If you sell strictly products or products and services then this will eventually apply to how you manage your GSA Contract. The Formatted Product Tool was built to make managing your contract easier and to streamline the modification process.
First of all, we can all celebrate the impending death of the Schedule Input Program (SIP)! This new tool will be replacing it eventually. Also, the new tool will removing a step from the process. Now, you submit a modification and once that modification is submitted you update your SIP files. The new process will include updating your GSA Advantage files when you upload the modification itself.
FPT will also automatically run comparisons. For example, if you are submitting a product addition modification or a pricing modification the system will tell you where you stand compared to other vendors with the same product on Contract. This increased transparency will hopefully speed up the modification process and make small businesses more competitive because there is more information at their fingertips.
So, sounds like the government is making improvements to make vendor’s lives a bit easier. In the long run, yes. However, for all current vendors you will need to go into the system and complete what GSA is calling “base-lining”. Essentially this means taking what you already have approved on GSA Advantage and uploading this through FPT.
The GSA is rolling out this tool through a mass modification beginning in Mid-July. The mass mod will begin with Schedules 58 I and 72 and will be rolled out with Scheduled 51V, 73, 75 and 70 int he coming weeks. Base-lining is not mandatory within the mass modification but is highly recommended because it will become mandatory as the GSA begins adoption of the process.
If you want to keep on the latest the GSA has an Interact page dedicated to FPT. You can take a look at it here: https://interact.gsa.gov/document/important-update-gsa-begin-rollout-formatted-product-tool-fpt-starting-solicitation.
As always, if you have any questions you can reach out to the team here at GCS. We are also offering free base-lining to the first 10 vendors that sign up here: https://government-contract-services.reservio.com/
And of course…Happy Independence Day!