Marketing to the Federal Government
The VA Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Program is the premier Government program in place to acquire state-of-the-art healthcare related products and services. Being a Schedule contractor is not a guarantee of sales and with nearly 2,000 contractors, and more being added every day, competition under the Program is fierce. That said, the VA FSS Service wants you to be a successful industry partner. To do this you must develop a robust marketing plan that includes clearly defined steps to promote and maintain a relationship with potential government customers while ensuring continued compliance with your firm’s awarded pricing, terms, and conditions. Good marketing efforts will help you identify government customers and get their attention so they are motivated to purchase from you.
This page offers resources and strategies for maximizing business opportunities under the VA Schedules Program.
Marketing a Schedules Contract
Your Potential Customer Base
The success of your Schedules contract will require active promotion of your business to potential customers.
Your customer base includes organizations eligible to Use GSA Sources of Supply and Services (.pdf 648k), such as executive and other federal agencies. Through Cooperative Purchasing and Disaster Recovery Purchasing, state and local governments, and even government contractors can use Schedules.
- The VA Facilities site is a storehouse of facility and key staff information within 1728 VA facilities, maintained on a regular basis by editors and administrators nationwide throughout the VA network. Designed for ease-of-use, this site categorizes information for browsing by state and administration, as well as by viewing through an interactive map of the United States.
- VA Advantage!, a partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration, is a commitment towards improving the acquisition process for VA customers. VA Advantage! has been primarily designed to provide the VA user robust tools for performing market research, as well as a streamlined ordering process for procuring pharmaceutical and medical supplies.
- A huge opportunity for business exists on military installations. The trick is being able to locate the right Program Office. A good place to start is with Armed Force Network's list of military installations worldwide, and then narrow your search by region, state, and activity.
- FedBizOpps is the single source to find federal procurement opportunities that exceed $25,000. Vendors can set up daily email notifications and search procurements by solicitation number, date, procurement classification code, and agency for both active and archived solicitations. With over 51 agencies posting to its website regularly, FBO is a key resource for finding opportunities. Users are not required to register, nor do they require a username and password, to begin using FedBizOpps.
- Government buyers can post a Request for Quote via eBuy and Schedules contractors can submit quotes to any RFQ corresponding to the Schedule and Special Item Numbers (SINs) listed in their contract. eBuy is an excellent tool for finding new business and is only available to contractors on Schedule. Users must register to use this site.
- The Federal Acquisition Jump Station provides websites of federal procurement information broken down by agency. You will be able to obtain, among other things, announcements of upcoming and current acquisitions, solicitations as well as federal acquisition regulations.
- The Federal Procurement Data System— Next Generation (FPDS-NG) identifies who bought what, from whom, for how much, when and where. This site requires registration.
- Additionally you can research Defense Logistics Agency and Department of Navy procurements online.
In addition to the myriad of resources available on the web, these are a few smart strategies that will help maximize your business opportunities.
For additional information on how to successfully market your VA Schedules contract, download the Basics to Marketing Your VA Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contract guide (.doc 314k).