Jun 11, 2015

By Maureen Jamieson

Sharpen your pencils! The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is implementing new and creative ways to reduce your labor and product prices.

The latest FAS labor tool is called CALC (Contract Awarded Labor Category). This tool allows you to search awarded hourly rate prices on eight GSA professional services schedules. The goal is that the tool will return comparable labor categories and prices based on different criteria and filters that the user inputs. CALC shows actual ceiling prices at the schedule level and are not reflective of the prices paid at the Task Order level. According to FAS, the data in CALC is the same as what is uploaded into GSA Advantage. The Contracting Officer loads the pricing and labor categories on the day of award.

CALC is being utilized for new awards and modifications for Mission Oriented Business Integrated Services (MOBIS), Environmental, LOGWORLD, Professional Engineering Schedule, Language Schedule, Advertising and Integrated Marketing Schedules (AIMS), Finance and Business Solutions (FABS) and the Consolidated Schedule. If you do not have one of these professional services schedules, you can expect the CO to do their own analysis prior to award of a new offer or labor related modification. Centre’s recommendation is to be proactive and prepare your own analysis. Look at your competitors on GSA Advantage and compare not only years of experience, education but also functional responsibilities. Ask your CO for the results of their analysis and be prepared to review their findings.

GSA’s Competitive Pricing Initiative (CPI) aimed at identifying and addressing price variability across the FSS program will be accomplished with a pricing tool that can perform horizontal pricing analysis of the more than 45 million awarded items on GSA Advantage and eMall. Horizontal pricing analysis will be completed by comparing offered prices to other awarded FSS prices for the same EXACT item. FAS states that they understand that both price and non-price factors (delivery terms, warranties, dollar and volume discounting, etc.) play a role in final competitive pricing.

You may be one of the lucky schedule holders who recently received a letter with the subject line – RESPONSE REQUIRED WITHIN 30 DAYS – Addressing Price Variability under the Federal Supply Schedules Program. Under the GSA pilot program, you received this letter because your prices are “much higher” than other FSS partners with the same item. Please be advised that you are not required to lower your prices. You can submit information for consideration into the Comments/Justification column of the provided spreadsheet. Of course, you may also propose a reduced price under the Revised Schedule Price column. Centre advises that you do your homework before responding. In researching comments that our client’s price was the highest, we determined that our client’s price in several examples was actually the lowest or second lowest on schedule. In addition, we were able to determine that our client offered the best delivery schedule.

For the immediate future, do your own research and plan on spending more time negotiating new awards and modifications.

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