Competitive contractors who wish to engage in federal business transactions should attempt to earn certification from the General Services Administration (GSA).
Benefits of Working with a GSA-Certified Company
Being GSA-certified offers numerous benefits and makes the federal buying process much simpler. The prices for services are pre-negotiated, and procurement times are minimized. Government buyers lessen their liability when buying from GSA-certified contractors, making these contractors preferred entities.
Warranties, too, are clearly established when a contractor is GSA-certified. Government buyers are far safer in doing business with GSA-certified contractors, especially during federal acquisition processes. In the eyes of the government, contractors who are GSA-certified are seen as verified and trustworthy sources.
Government buyers can wield incredible buying power. Companies can earn significant revenue as contractors for the federal government. During 2015, approximately 61 contractors earned $1 billion from federal contracts. Also in 2015, the top 100 contractors were paid nearly $240 billion by the federal government.
High Competition to Work with the Government
Recognizing the immense economic advantages of winning contracts with the government is an incentive for contractors to be GSA-certified. Becoming GSA certified does not guarantee an instant contract with the government. Currently, in the public sector, around 20,000 GSA certified contractors are competing for federal business.
Requirements to Be GSA-Certified
Moving companies are recognized by the federal buyers as transportation service providers (TSPs). TSPs are heavily evaluated. Moving contractors must meet the following requirements to begin the process toward becoming GSA certified:
After submitting an approval application package, moving companies must receive approval in order to participate in the GSAs Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program (CHAMP).
Candidates are measured on numerous qualifiers, including the financial stability of their company, their overall experience in business, the contractor’s quality assurance programs, and their understanding of the Household Goods Tender of Service (HTOS).
The HTOS operates with specific standards for contractors involved in transportation and storage-in-transit of property of federal employees who are relocating to different duty stations. The HTOS outlines the TSPs responsibilities in terms of duties and rights. Solutions to common problems are also detailed in the HTOS. As a minimum requirement and to ensure companies meet GSA standards, the moving contractor who seeks GSA certification should thoroughly understand all aspects of the HTOS.
Steps to Become GSA-Certified
How does a moving company obtain GSA certification? While the process is not easy, becoming GSA-certified can be accomplished, regardless of the size of the business. Here are the steps to becoming GSA-Certified:
1. Take an Introductory Course
Onsite and online courses are available to businesses, like moving companies, through the Office of Small Business Utilization (SBU) at GSA. Eleven regional GSA offices conduct these courses in alliance with the SBU. Throughout the year, the SBU offers the course “How to Obtain a GSA Schedules Contract” at the centers. SBU web-based courses give contractors the information needed to start the journey toward becoming GSA-certified. The introductory course is the GSA Schedules Contract Training in two parts (Part 1 defines the process, while Part 2 offers suggestions on how to respond to solicitations).
Online training includes How to Become a Contractor. This self-study course offers a look at supplies and services that Schedules programs cover, proposals, and solicitations, and marketing the contract. Blanket purchase agreements as well as GWACs are covered.
Once potential moving contractors have taken steps to learn about becoming GSA-certified, they are ready to start the process. The proposal process toward becoming GSA-certified is lengthy.
2. Submit Offer to GSA
The first step in becoming GSA-certified is to submit an offer to the GSA for review. Moving contractors will need to prepare this document package and submit it electronically.
3. Respond to Inquiries
GSA will assess the extensive package of documents and respond with points that require clarification. The moving contractors should swiftly address the inquiries.
4. Rejection or Acceptance
The GSA then has the option to accept or reject the offer paperwork submitted by the moving contractor.
Contract pricing is negotiated with contractors who have moved forward in the GSA certification process. Terms and conditions are finalized during negotiations. These lengthy negotiations conclude with a Final Proposal Revisions form.
Subsequent to the final round of negotiations and forms, GSA certification is achieved. The moving contractor receives a GSA Contract Award. The new GSA contractor can register in the GSA system, and the contract becomes effective. Business with the federal government can commence.
Serving the Government
When federal offices shift locales, the ideal mover should understand the intricate details of servicing the government. The moving company should also be International Office Moving Institute (IOMI) trained in Homeland Security for Office Moves compliance requirements. Mid-West Moving & Storage complies with all regulations set by IOMI. We not only abide by the criteria set by IOMI but also follow its relocation security standards.
Mid-West Moving & Storage: GSA-Certified
Mid-West Moving & Storage also trains moving companies to be vigilant for any criminal and terrorist activities present within the confines of federal buildings. Special equipment is employed during each government office move. Sensitive equipment, such as computers, workstations and memory devices are handled with Space Gobblers or Spider Cranes to maintain optimum security levels.
Movers at Mid-West Moving & Storage also ensure computers and data equipment are securely locked in numbered boxes to preserve the security of confidential data. Project supervisors assigned to government moves are on high alert for suspicious vehicles, incorrectly opened doors and various additional signs of possible security breaches.
Our Experience as a GSA-Certified Company
The Mid-West Moving & Storage team is experienced with securely handling federal officials’ moves. We have serviced a host of government office relocation clients, such as the GSA, US Army, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Smithsonian Institution, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Mid-West Moving & Storage is a GSA-certified mover and has been a reliable vendor on the GSA Schedule 48 for the past six years. We are a supplier for federal agencies anywhere in the continental United States. As a GSA contract holder, government buyers can expect top-notch security during every government relocation event. Mid-West Moving & Storage is based in Chicagoland, IL and serves federal agencies with the highest standards of professionalism.