When a vendor signs up with the General Services Administration (GSA), he or she is entered in to a database that allows the GSA to determine exactly if the company's products are needed. If the GSA decides that the products are needed and that the price is right, it will issue a solicitation to that vendor asking for the company to provide products for a GSA contracting project. Once a vendor receives the solicitation, he or she will need to take a number of steps in order to respond appropriately and completely, so as not to lose the solicitation.
1. Read the Entire Solicitation Carefully
The solicitation will definitely have additional paperwork that is specific to the particular project, as well as general paperwork that needs to be filed as described below. In order to make sure that you are able to claim the solicitation, you need to make sure that you file all of the paperwork on time. Some paperwork is able to be filed online, but not all of it. Don't miss the filing dates and lose out on a potentially lucrative contract.
2. Complete a Standard Form 1449
Completing a Standard Form 1449 is the next step in responding to your solicitation. This form will have information about what types of products you are providing, the length of the contract, and the amount of money that the solicitation is worth. If you have the ability to enter into contracts for your company, sign the form electronically and then submit it online. If you do not have the authority to enter your company into contracts, you will need to have someone who can sign the form electronically and then submit it.
3. Submit a Complete, Dated Price List
Next, you will need to submit a list of all of the prices for the products that you can provide. This price list should be dated so that the company submitting the solicitation can know if the prices are up to date or likely to change. Each item should have its Special Item Number (SIN) in order to make the item easy to search. You will also need to submit a Commercial Sales Practice Format in order to allow the company submitting the solicitation to know how often you change your pricing.
4. Get Your Negotiations Ready
Once the government has your price list, it will be ready to negotiate. If you want to win the contract, you will need to have a negotiation strategy and a minimum amount of money that you are willing to accept. Preparing ahead of time will allow you to be more successful in the negotiation.
For more information, contact a GSA customer service representative.