Assignment 3: GSA Wants You
Assignment 3: GSA Wants You
The United States government recognizes small business and provides opportunities to these firms which may include access to government contracts to enable the firms in overcoming some of the challenges which they face due to their limited resources (Stanberry, 2013). The United States Congress created the Small Business Act of 1953, which is aimed at helping and protecting small businesses by ensuring that these businesses are able to access government contracts (Stanberry, 2013). This will enable the small businesses to compete with large organizations as well as be able to access financial resources from the government. Service-disabled veterans benefit from this Act through the service -disabled veteran-owned business program that was established under the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 (Stanberry, 2013). The General Services Administration provides small businesses with help in obtaining a schedules contract.
The Electronic Submission Process, the Security Measures Present, and the Advantages over Classic Paper Solicitations
The GSA has created an online platform to help businesses in accessing contracting services, which make it easier and avoid unnecessary physical processes, which may lead to increased resources (Stanberry, 2013). One of the applications created by GSA is the eOffer web-based application, which helps businesses to prepare contract proposals and submit the proposals electronically. This web-based application is aimed at increasing the effectiveness and safety of the contracting process (Stanberry, 2013). This platform also enables business owners to interact with contracting offices where most of their concerns are addressed. Due to the importance of signing official documents, the web-based application allows business owners to sign their forms electronically using digital certificates (McVay, 2017).
Digitally signing the documents is a security measure, which may prevent any fraudsters from taking advantage of the vendors. The web-based application offers a five-stage process for submitting an offer, which includes gathering information, related to the business and preparing the required documents for the solicitation (McVay, 2017). The solicitation documents should be completed and digital certificates ready before the owner accesses the eOffer application. The first process in the eOffer application is the authentication process where the application will require an individual to use his/her digital authentication certificate to get an access to the services offered under the platform (McVay, 2017). After the user has access to the web-based platform, the second step will involve completing an offer where the user completes all sections under the determined offer and provide important information.
This may include the pricelist and other special recommendations based on the type of business (Stanberry, 2013). The next process is submitting the offer, which follows after all important information has been provided. All supporting documents are provided which is the proposal document and sent to the contracting offices after the user clicks the submit button (McVay, 2017). The fourth stage is the negotiation stage where the contracting office contacts the vendor after a successful review of the proposal document. If negotiations are successful, the final process is the awarding process where the contracting office awards the contract to the vendor (Stanberry, 2013). In this stage, the GSA office develops a contract package, which provides all information relating to the contract, and sends it to the vendor via an email.
The vendor then logs in into the eOffer web-based application and signs the provided documents that are also signed by the GSA contracting office and an agreement is made (Stanberry, 2013). The electronic submission process has a number of advantages over the classic paper solicitations, which include access to contract records at any time of the day with easy access. The traditional classic paper solicitation requires one to go to the contracting offices physically if one needs to make an inquiry (Stanberry, 2013). In the eOffer web-based platform, one is only required to log in and validate him/herself. The electronic submission process is safer compared to the traditional classic paper solicitation due to the authentication process which requires every user to validate him/herself before accessing any information in the platform (Stanberry, 2013).
Whether Or Not Your Company Has As Much Of A Chance Of Having Its Bid Accepted As A Much Larger Corporation (e.g., Boeing) Does
The United States congress has created the service -disabled veteran-owned business program to address challenges, which prevented service-disabled veteran-owned small business to access government contracts (Fletcher, 2015). Before this, the small businesses faced unfair competition from other big organizations. This legislation has allowed procurement agencies to give certain contract awards to service-disabled veteran-owned business based on certain conditions, which the businesses must satisfy (Fletcher, 2015). This process is meant to minimize competition from other organizations, which may prevent the service-disabled veteran-owned business from accessing the contract awards. The small business is able to access government contracts due to the provisions made in this program under the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 (Fletcher, 2015). The most important aspect for the awarding of the contract is fulfilling the eligibility requirements, which will enable the procuring agency to make sole source award to the service-disabled veteran-owned small business.
The service-disabled veteran-owned small business program is aimed at helping service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses in accessing federal contracts (Fletcher, 2015). Other big companies do not have this advantage, which restricts them in winning the awards if they do not have adequate resources and qualifications for the awards (Fletcher, 2015). A second reason, which the service-disabled veteran-owned small business is able to have its bid accepted, is also to ensure the flow of financial resource in areas with limited financial resources which is important for economic development (Fletcher, 2015). Large organizations have for the longest time accessed financial resources, which have been used in the development of their businesses. However, small businesses have limited access to financial resources, which limit their development negatively impacting the economy in different areas (Fletcher, 2015).
Speculate On How You Would Negotiate During the Contract Award Process Once Your Solicitation Is Accepted
The negotiation process is important during a contract award as this determines any aspects surrounding the contract process. The negotiation process involves both parties in reaching an agreement where either party signs a binding contract form as a sign of agreement to the stated terms and conditions (Siedel, 2014). All details surrounding a contract are presented and the expectations of either party are determined. The negotiation process has several steps in order to reach a consensus where every party is sufficiently satisfied (Siedel, 2014). Once a solicitation is accepted, negotiation during the contract award process would involve a review of the contract terms and conditions, which were not part of the solicitation. It is important for one to prepare for negotiations, as this process is important in addressing any concerns or unclear statements in the contracting process (Siedel, 2014).
It is important for the vendor to realize that this is not an opportunity to take advantage of the contracting office and make unnecessary demands rather an opportunity to determine the most effective strategies to use (Siedel, 2014). This may include the delivery period, the cost, and the price list. Any parts of the contract, which are difficult to achieve, should be included in the negotiation process. Any issues, which the contracting office cannot change no matter what should not be included during the negotiation process (Siedel, 2014). It is also important for one to remain positive, as this will help during the negotiation process in creating a good negotiating environment. An analysis of the legal terms should also be done to avoid any legal issues, which might negatively affect the vendor (Siedel, 2014).
The Value of the Most Favored Customer or Class of Customers to GSA and Its Impact on the Small Business
The most favored customer is an aspect in federal contracts, which is aimed at ensuring that customers receive the best price, which the firm offers to other customers. This aspect is important to avoid the exploitation of federal contracts, which are on the increase in the current time (Bean, 2015). This aspect has also been integrated into federal contracts to ensure a good value pricing for the contracting office. This also allows a comparison to be done on the price, as contractors are required to list their prices to the available lowest price to certain identified customers (Bean, 2015). The government is able to compare the price of the contractor and any discounts to the price a business offers to other customers. This enables the contacting office and the vendor to make an agreement, which will guarantee the customer, which is the federal government the best price that the small business may give to other customers (Bean, 2015).
The value of the most favored customer will impact the small business in different aspects. One of this ways is enabling the small business to have a good relationship with the contracting office, which may increase the chances of other bids from the business to be accepted by the contracting office in the future (Bean, 2015). This will give the small business a higher edge in the negotiation process and minimize any pressures from the contracting office to lower the price of its products. This may also have a negative effect on the small business by enabling other rivals to increase competition in the contract process (Bean, 2015). This will put the small company in a position to compete with other large firms, which will require the organization to invest in more resources to have a competitive advantage over other firms (Bean, 2015).
Compare And Contrast The Advantages Of Being A Small Company over Being a Larger Firm (e.g., Boeing) In Terms Of Contract Administration and Management
A small company has a number of advantages as well as disadvantages over a larger firm in terms of contract administration and management. One of the advantages is that a small business is able to make adjustments easily due to the flexibility in its management (Powers & Simons, 2012). This is important incase there are changes in the contracting process with a large firm being disadvantaged due to the many and complex process which must be involved in the decision-making process (Powers & Simons, 2012). Due to the current technological trends, which may require a company to adapt to the current and advanced technology changes, a small business will be more advantaged in easily adopting these changes. A large firm has invested heavily in its organizational structure, which makes it difficult for the firm to adopt new changes in the organization without negatively impacting the organizational structure (Powers & Simons, 2012).
A small business has also an advantage of limited supervisory responsibilities due to the limited number of employees, which are easier to manage. However, a large firm has to supervise its members due to their large number, which may negatively affect the firm if the company suffers any losses or low performance, which may lead to a termination of the contract (Powers & Simons, 2012). This may impact the revenue collection which is important in running operations in the organization as well as pay the large number of workers. Due to the limited resources required to run a small business, the organization is likely to benefit from great revenues than the large organizations, which require incur many costs in contract administration and management (Powers & Simons, 2012).
The Most Effective Marketing Methods to Market Different Products or Service to the U.S. Government
With the United States government being the largest body which purchases a lot of products and services from businesses, it is important for businesses to understand the customer, the needs of the customer, and what effective marketing strategies can be used (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012). This will help in preparing a vendor or a small business in determining the most effective marketing strategies to implement in marketing its products to the federal government. Marketing to a government is different from the ordinary marketing to the public (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012). One of the most effective marketing methods to market different products to the federal government is doing an adequate research, which is useful in determining the products, and services, which align with government operations (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012).
This is important since the government deals with different departments, which have different and diverse needs. After determining a department to focus on, a contractor can conduct more research on the department to identify any available opportunities in the department (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012). A second effective marketing method to market products and services to the federal government is using an online platform. Due to the advancements in technology, most of the government operations and services have been digitalized which is evident in the contract award process (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012). This means that the online platform can be useful in marketing products and services as this platform reaches many individuals, which may include government contractors.
Marketers can focus on innovation, which will enable the recognition of the products as well as the services due to their unique characteristics (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012). A third effective method to market products and services to the United States government would involve using different types of channels, which will increase the spread of the advertisement to many parties who use different platforms (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012). By focusing on the different media, it is likely that the procuring agencies will come across the advertisements, which might be considered during the contract award process.
The service-disabled veteran-owned business program has helped service-disabled veterans to access federal government contracts, which has enabled fair competition with other large firms (The United States, 2013). This is an advantage to these small businesses, which are able to access financial resources from the government to enable the businesses to grow and develop. Service-disabled veterans should not be discouraged in opening small businesses and competing with large organizations for federal government contracts, as there are special considerations to these businesses (The United States, 2013). Owners of small businesses should also be aware of the processes involved in the contracting process and how to use the different applications, which have been developed to improve the effectiveness of the contracting process (The United States, 2013). Service-disabled veterans who own small business should also consider and fulfill the requirements stated in order for them to access these special considerations, as this will benefit then business in enabling their businesses to access federal government contracts (The United States, 2013).
Bean, J. J. (2015). Big government and affirmative action: The scandalous history of the Small Business Administration. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky.
Fletcher, J. P. (2015). Recognizing Sacrifice: Prioritizing Contract Awards within the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program and the Veterans First Contracting Program. Public Contract Law Journal, 45(1), 143–161.
McVay, B. L. (2017). Getting started in federal contracting: A guide through the federal procurement maze. Burke, Virginia: Panoptic Enterprises.
Powers, B., & Simons, K. (2012). Small Business Administration HUBZone program: Discussion and debate. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Siedel, G. J. (2014). Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills. Los Gatos California: Smash Words Edition.
Smotrova-Taylor, O. (2012). How to Get Government Contracts: Have a Slice of the $1 Trillion Pie. Berkeley, CA: Apress.
Stanberry, S. A. (2013). Federal Contracting Made Easy. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Incorporated.
The United States. (2013). Federal benefits for veterans, dependents, and survivors. Washington, D.C: Dept. of Veterans Affairs.