If you own a business, especially a small business, branching out and expanding your customer base is key. Getting government contracts is a great strategy to boost sales and find new customers. Because government contracts represent a $460 billion market, missing out on this segment means turning your back on big opportunities.
In order to sell your products via government contracts, however, you’ll need to get a GSA Schedule. Once you’re approved for a GSA Schedule, your business will be eligible to secure long-term government contracts with a wide variety of commercial firms — a wonderful way to boost sales, grow your customer base, and build your brand’s reputation.
And if you sell industrial products and solutions, you’ll want to focus on a GSA Schedule 56.
What Is a GSA Schedule 56?
A GSA Schedule 56 is a contract that is specific to industrial products and solutions. It covers all manners of industrial solutions and products, building materials, and even whole buildings. A GSA Schedule 56 will set the conditions, terms, and prices under which you are allowed to sell to federal agencies. It strives to negotiate prices that are fair and reasonable for all parties, presenting them in a straightforward manner that makes it easy for buyers to shop for products.
Which Industrial Products Are Eligible for a GSA Schedule 56?
The list of products that are eligible for a GSA Schedule 56 is lengthy. Manufacturers of batteries, parts, and accessories are eligible, as are companies that manufacturer generators and energy equipment. Sellers of forklifts, pallet trucks, and warehouse tractors are eligible. All types of warehouse equipment and supplies are also covered.
Another category included in GSA Schedule 56 coverage is pre-engineered and prefabricated buildings. These include structures for disaster response, security, restroom, and shower solutions, as well as the installation and leasing of these kinds of buildings.
What is the Application Process Like?
As with other GSA Schedules, applying for a GSA Schedule 56 and being awarded contracts can be a complex and time-consuming process. Before submitting a proposal, you must demonstrate that your organization is eligible to receive GSA Schedule contract awards. Eligibility requirements include demonstrating that your company is financially stable. You must have been in business for at least two years. You must be able to demonstrate proven performance results in the past. Your products must be commercially available. They must also be compliant with the Trade Agreements Act (TAA).
What Else Should I Be Aware Of?
From demonstrating eligibility to preparing a proposal, getting a GSA Schedule is a time-consuming process. Even seemingly minor mistakes on documentation can result in a rejection of your application or proposal. Preparing a proposal can take anywhere from 30 to 180 days. After the proposal is submitted, the GSA may take up to 12 months to review it. Accuracy and an in-depth knowledge of the process, requirements, and government contract terminology is key.
TAA compliance is a common area that trips up companies hoping to be approved for a GSA Schedule 56. Under the Trade Agreements Act, your company is not allowed to source products from certain countries (among them are China, Russia, and Indonesia). There are a few caveats to the TAA, however. For example, if a product has been “substantially transformed” in a TAA-approved country before it arrives in the U.S., the product is considered compliant.
Where Can I Turn for Help With a GSA Schedule 56?
Since 1990, Government Contract Services has helped clients navigate the confusing-yet-rewarding system of government contracts. We not only know the proper procedures for applying and submitting proposals; we’re also familiar with the eligibility requirements and know the ins and outs of the system. From TAA requirements to rules of operation while under contract, GCS helps you dodge potential problems that could affect your organization’s ability to be approved or impact eligibility while moving forward. We take care of all the necessary paperwork, cutting your required input down from dozens of pages down to just a few.
Do you have questions about the GSA Schedule 56, the products and solutions it covers, or how you should proceed in getting your own contracts? Would you like us to get you started in the process? If so, contact Government Contract Services today.