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Shaun Hartman: Region 4 GSA Customer Service Director

 In Blog, Success Profiles

Regional Customer Service Director of the General Services Administration (GSA)  Shaun Hartman shares important information that vendors need in working with the GSA!

BACKGROUND

Shaun Hartman had previously worked in the United States Air Force for 12 years. He started as a firefighter and then transitioned to the acquisitions as a Defense Industry Consultant to being the Regional Program Manager until 2016.

Currently, he is a Combat Rescue or Medical Logistics Contract Manager of the US Air Force Reserves as well as the Region 4 Customer Service Director of the General Services Administration.

He is stationed at the base of Patrick Air Force and he’s responsible for the purchasing and making sure that they are providing solutions and support by linking the customers and vendors as a liaison. 

THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GSA

The General Services Administration is a US independent agency that was established to provide contracting options for government agencies. 

So, before making a contract public through FedBizOpps or calling a vendor directly, the government entities are required to look for GSA solutions first. 

“Federal acquisition service essentially is all the purchasing for the government. There’s about $30 billion a year a little bit more. I think it’s 34 billion to be more specific in the last year that is purchased through GSA schedules that as a vendor, you will never see those solicitations for any of those dollars unless on a GSA schedule.”

GSA’S SOLICITATION PROCESS

When you work with the GSA, the agency will primarily get you on a schedule or the contract agreement used to check the capabilities of the vendors for the customers that they support.

The process is pretty strict and the agency will do various checks and balances on all of the vendors before you get approved.

When you get accepted, you will then need to provide a price proposal template to list all of your items with the most favorable price that you could offer.

Remember that you must list everything because the items that were authorized are the only things that you can sell on the GSA. 

“So make sure if you have peripheral items for something, add those peripheral items well so that you can have future sales. You know, we run into a lot of times people will buy something and it has accessories. Well, those accessories aren’t listed on their schedule. They can’t sell them under GSA schedules.”

In doing this, you strongly need to make sure that you are hooking your customers with your discounts and offers through following the commercial sales practice matrix. The idea is that you will provide your customers with a huge discount that they can’t get from other vendors. 

If you are also providing services, then you need to understand how the sample labor category matrix works. In this case, you must provide a detailed description of your services and the people who will provide it together with other important documents. 

“Like when they do process changes or implement new standard operating procedures… those all create the need for more people. And those people tend to be HR, finance, acquisitions, engineers, you know, program managers, project managers, those types of people. So if you’re a professional services company, being on a GSA schedule definitely has its perks.”

Then, after you submit an offer, when the government agency looks into it and finds that you have all the requirements needed, they will further look for your background and do a responsibility check to confirm if your documents are accurate.

If you have a document missing, they typically email you regarding it and see if you can send it or not. Also, if they found you credible but they didn’t agree to your pricing, they will negotiate with you and it will go back and forth until you both agree. 

ADVICE IN USING GSA’S EBUY

GSA’s eBuy is essentially where all of the solicitations are stored but unlike the SAM database where solicitations are made public, only qualified GSA buyers and vendors can take advantage of these solicitations. 

As long as you register and provide the necessary requirements as a vendor, you can freely navigate this website. You can narrow down your searches depending on your search requirements. You can also use this to research about your competition and look at their products’ rates. 

Then, because most customers on this website are government agencies, they mainly use this to look for businesses like yours. 

“So that customers who have requirements to buy from different categories because every DOD agency has a requirement for each of those socioeconomic categories that they have to meet. They can go on here and pick vendors that meet those criteria in order to purchase from them. So it’s a, it’s definitely a good way to advertise yourself.”

RESOURCES

If you want to watch the full video of the interview with Shaun Hartman as he shares important information that vendors need in working with the GSA, then be sure to click the link down below.

041: Shaun Hartman – Region 4 GSA Customer Service Director

https://govcongiants.com/podcast/shaun-hartman-region-4-gsa-customer-service-director/

GSA Regional 4 Customer Service Director Shaun Hartman talks with Eric Coffie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9z2GPGRb6o&t=2005s

GSA Follows Various Steps to Check Qualified Vendors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uepZKuS7FRk

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