The “Making it Easier” initiative was launched by GSA in April of this year but we’ve been wondering how effective it’s been so far. Do all the changes and new tools help contractors or just create more confusion because of all the changes? Although the program is very new, breaking down what its accomplished so far should give us a clear view.
The IT Schedule 70 Plain Language Roadmap clearly breaks down all the requirements that vendors need to complete to submit for a GSA schedule. Overall though, it’s nothing more than a breakdown of what’s already in the solicitation written out on the GSA website. Breaking down the process into 3 large steps with every requirement listed underneath should make the process clearer for vendors but it’s already broken into three volumes with the solicitation document too. If someone isn’t used to reading large solicitations, the clarity with which IT 70 is broken down is great and for a new contractor who has never dealt with GSA procedures, it’s a great tool.
*GCS rates this tool 3/5.
The IT Schedule 70 Startup Springboard is without doubt one of the best new initiatives. Previously, the requirement for all schedules was at least two years in business for companies looking to get a GSA schedule. This has put the government far behind the IT curve of adopting technology and having the ability to be flexible with innovations. Who can forget all the bad publicity about the Navy still using Windows XP? With Springboard, companies can use other methods to show experience like Professional Experience of their Executives, Documentation showing company’s financial responsibility, and project information. This puts the government on par with commercial entities in innovating IT practices!
*GCS rates this tool 4/5.
The GSA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities will be one of the more important tools for contractors looking for ways to get ahead of the buying curve. While many companies wait for solicitations to be posted and respond the best they can, the most successful contractors forecast and target opportunities a year (or sometimes even more!) in advance! Searching allows you to narrow opportunities by agencies, set-asides, and NAICS and gives you all the data you need to forecast for you company!
*GCS rates this tool 5/5.
Looks like so far, “Making it Easier” is successful with what it has done and stays true to its name, simplifying the process for new potential contractors, innovative technologies, and current contractor holders. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the initiative to see what other tools and rules are being released.