GSA Wants You
In the US, a basic requirement of law is that federal agencies must engage small businesses in their contracts, which seek to procure goods, services, and works. Additionally, federal agencies must reach the small business statutory goals. These ones ensure that a small business gets a stipulated minimum 3 percent of the total value of all federal contracts and subcontracts. To accomplish the economic objectives of any small business, the Congress established the US General Service Administration, i.e. GSA. It is an independent body that helps manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. One of the key roles that GSA is tasked with is superintending the reaching of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. These businesses are owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans. The latter, through their entrepreneurship skills, contribute significantly to the US economy (Smotrova-Taylor, 2012). The government has formulated and implemented various programs, which give service-disabled veterans the rights to receive privileged opportunities to do business with the Federal Government. This presentation will review Midair Airplane Model, Inc. it is a small business that specializes in producing small remote control airplanes with the ability to cruise long distances. I am a service disabled veteran and a sole proprietor of the small business.
The Electronic Submission Process, Its Advantages, and the Security Measures Present
The GSA Electronic Submission Process
Many federal agencies have adopted electronic means as a way of keeping pace with the rapidly changing technological world. In 2005, the US General Service Administration implemented its electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (e-SRS). It is a government-wide subcontracting system aimed at facilitating electronic submission of proposals from potential contractors. Since then, GSA would no longer accept manual applications from contractors seeking GSA Schedules or looking to be enlisted in the GSA list. As such, all small businesses and organizations searching to enter into the GSA schedule were required to submit their proposals electronically.
Advantages of the GSA Electronic Submission Process over the Classical Paperwork
There are various potential benefits that are likely to emerge with the use of the electronic submission process in submitting proposals to the US General Services Administration. Firstly, this automatic submission process allows a better compliance. For a small business and other interested participants to successfully submit their proposals, they are required to meet some eligibility requirements, which bars illegible contractors from participating. For instance, any business must have financial stability, at least two years of doing business, a record of past performance, and a Product Compliant with the Trade Agreements Act (Federal Schedules, Inc. 2015).
Secondly, it has a better productivity and quality. A common chant says, Garbage in garbage out. It means that the quality of inputs determines the quality of outputs. This statement implies that businesses that successfully go through the stringent application process meet the quality standards required for the GSA Schedules.
Thirdly, the electronic submission process allows better accountability by the Federal Government. This process helps in promoting transparency of all submission and selection workflows. Fourthly, the GSA electronic submission process leads to reduced costs. When these processes are used, there is a significant reduction in the amounts of paper work involved during a manual submission. Additionally, it minimizes the errors and time spent in processing of applications. It is because the system allows some automatic electronic signatures as well as the accurate data input.
Security Measures Present for the GSA Electronic Process
With the implementation of the electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (e-SRS), , there was a need to formulate various security measures. They would ensure a high level of security standards for both the applicants and GSA.
To start with, there are measures to curb crime. They help to minimize fraud and crime by conducting a rigorous applicant verification process. With the implementation of the system, there were some cases of businesses impersonating others with the aim of qualifying for the process. Secondly, GSA has implemented measures to protect their systems online. With the increased levels of technological knowledge, it would be possible for people to alter with the GSA systems to gain illegal advantages. GSA has put huge investments to install the right IT security as well as educated the staff on security measures. It was coupled with regular audits and inspiring codes of ethics among stakeholders.
Thirdly and finally, there were physical measures to prevent an unauthorized access to systems and promoting safety of documents. These measures were meant to protect documents and materials while safeguarding them against espionage, terrorism, damage, and theft.
Chances of Having the Bid Accepted in Big Corporations (Boeing)
I believe that submitting my companys proposal to such a large organization as Boeing would have a higher chance of being accepted. It is despite the fact being a difficult task for small businesses such as Midair Airplane Model Inc., my company, to negotiate with big organizations. To successfully enter into such a deal, I would use various tactics to ensure that Boeing accepts my proposal.
Firstly, I would sell my idea of building small airplane models to Boeing at a lower price than any existing competitors. I would submit a proposal while quoting a lower value than what established companies would quote. It would make Boeing buy the proposal because of its favorable price and highly innovation value. Secondly, the proposal would have a competitive advantage from the fact being original. No proven person has once presented such an idea before. Original ideas have a better market than replicated ones. They would help Boeing enrich its field of innovations emerging as a successful innovation in future. Finally, I would present all terms in addition to favorable price such as functionality, uniqueness, creativity, and testability. It would place the proposal at a better position of acceptability.
Negotiation Strategies during the Contract Award Process
In negotiating with Boeing after a successful after a successful proposal submission, I would basically follow three steps. Firstly, I would engage in negotiation planning. I, the proprietor of the business, would come up with a plan acting as a negotiations path to success. I would try to find out being the members of a negotiation team while familiarizing myself with the company. Also, I would identify the goals to achieve by the end of the negotiation process. Negotiation being a bi-way process, I would also try to learn the objectives of the other company. It should be done to ensure that we are both aiming to achieve similar objectives. This stage would help me to establish limits, which should not exceed the expectation of the other party (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 2011).
Secondly, the next step is approaching the negotiations. At this stage, I would be ready to negotiate with the authorized person, a representative of the company. Both of us would table our demands and expectations. Since both parties are expected to benefit something from the outcome of the process, we would have to communicate until we reach a mutual agreement. It would be followed by the actual negotiation, where we would exchange information, define the terms, and support our individual positions based on data. Thirdly and finally, there would be the documentation stage. It includes the summary of the meetings held, taking the pre-negotiation position, and auditing the reports. Documentation would be in writing and should show the expected final outcome. Eventually, my company and Boeing would conduct a management review followed by a conformed agreement (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 2011).
GSA and the Most Favored Customer
When a business has been entered to the GSA list, it is required to meet the Most Favored Customer clause as required by GSA. The clause in a form of contractual arrangement between a company and the customers aims to guarantee the customer of the best price. The company can offer to anyone (Fedmarket, 2015). Overall, it prevents the customer from treating different customers differently in various negotiations. For my company, the Most Favored Customers would be both small scale and large scale aircraft manufacturers. Examples include the Boeing, Piper Aircraft Inc., McDonnell Douglas, and Beechcraft among others.
There are various impacts that the business would experience after doing business with these Most Favored Customers. To start with, these are the better opportunities for growth. Doing business with these companies would mean creating a form of partnership through selling the idea of aircraft models to them. It would present the business with prestigious opportunities to grow. Secondly, there is a better market exposure. Doing business with established customers would present the business to a wider market exposure through recommendations and referrals. Thirdly and finally, there are higher profit margins. Selling innovation would earn the business millions of dollars. It would make the business boom with profits.
Compare and Contrast the Advantages of Being a Small Company over Being a Larger Firm in Contract Administration and Management
Small businesses rely on contracts from federal agencies to keep their businesses. It is going as compared to big companies, which run other firms besides the contract. However, when small businesses win contracts, there are various advantages for them in contract management and administration as compared to big businesses.
Firstly, there is a quick response. A small business has an ability to respond quickly to changes that might emerge in a course of contract administration. The quick response benefits the business in various ways. Secondly, there is better attention. Large organizations give incentives to make their clients feel more important. However, any small business would better achieve the same goal by paying close attention and establishing a close personal relationship with a client (Cook, 2014). It is likely to lead to more subsequent contracts in the future and it can contribute positively to business growth.
Thirdly, there is better management of costs. In contract administration, the small business will require fewer funds as compared to a big company. Fourthly, there is better specialization, when the small business enters into a contract with a client, it can easily specialize into unique products and services. These ones meet the clients needs more suitably. In many instances, big businesses are unable to specialize easily. Finally, small businesses enjoy many opportunities for growth as compared to big companies. The small firm has at a better position to generate greater profits and utilize a room for growth (Cook, 2014).
Most Effective Methods to Market the Companys Products to the Federal Government
There are various methods that can be used to market its goods and services to the Federal Government. Among these methods there are such as GSAs E-buy, GSA Office of Small Business Utilization, and GSA Advantage (Scroggs & Washington, 2012).
Firstly, there is the GSAs E-buy. It is a web based Request for Quote designed to assist small businesses in submitting quotes for the goods and services required by the Federal Government. Any contractor listed in the GSA Schedule can use this platform to market goods and services to the government. Secondly, it is through the GSA Office of Small Business Utilization. This office runs the Small Business Program Advocate, whose mission is to promote an increased access of small businesses to the government wide procurement opportunities. Finally, there is the GSA Advantage. It is an online shopping and ordering system, which links the Federal Government to thousands of contractors (Scroggs & Washington, 2012). Through this platform, the business can advertise its goods and services from where the Federal Government can pick a contractor by searching through key words, national stock numbers, vendor names, and contract numbers. My business, i.e. Midair Airplane Model Inc., having been enlisted in the GSA Schedules, would use these three methods to market itself and its products to the Federal Government.
This paper has focused on various issues that are involved when a business wins a contract with the Federal Government. The paper has looked at the electronic submission process. It has become increasingly applicable in this technological age. In addition, the paper has reviewed various negotiation techniques that could be applied by the business. There are various methods that the company can use to market its products and services to the Federal Government. Among the widely used there are the GSA Advantage, the GSA E-buying, and the GSA Office of Small Business Utilization. Overall, the paper notes that there are numerous opportunities to do business with the Federal Government. However, it has to be highly compliant to all the set eligibility criteria.