Step #1 Research
This step provides an overview of GSA MAS contracts and how to identify solicitations most appropriate for your products and services. It is recommended you do the tasks in this step in the following order:
Task #1: Pathway to Success Training. This is a mandatory training module that provides an overview of GSA MAS contracts. Potential offerors must take the "Pathway To Success" test prior to submitting a proposal.
Task #2: Readiness Assessment - The Readiness Assessment tool, also mandatory for completion prior to submitting a proposal, will help you identify the solicitations most appropriate for your products and services. It is recommended that you reference the information in Step #2 Analyze as you complete the Readiness Assessment.
Task #3: Determine your NAICS code(s) and determine the best Schedule and Special Item Number(s) (SINs) for your products and services.
Task #1 - Pathway to Success - Task #2 - Readiness Assessment
The Readiness Assessment is a tool to help you identify the solicitations most appropriate for your products and services. The following sections will help walk you through each of the questions in the Readiness Assessment. It is recommended that you have it in hand while you complete the following exercises.
Task #3 - Assess North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Identify GSA Schedule and Special Item Number (SIN)
In this task you will:
- Identify the NAICS code(s) that best describes your products and services;
- Use the NAICS code(s) to determine the size standard for small business classification; and
- Identify the best Schedule/SIN(s) for your products and services.
Throughout these exercises, we will use the example of a business that provides web-based leadership training.
Use the free search tool at the NAICS Association website to identify appropriate NAICS codes for your business. This is a very important part of the process since the NAICS code shows the size standard for each business type. A size standard is the largest that a concern can be and still qualify as a small business for Federal Government programs. This is used in every government solicitation and there is a portion of Federal contracting that is "set aside" for small businesses. Procurement officials can easily identify a company's area of specialization by their NAICs code.
Below is an example of the results returned when entering "professional training" into the search field found at: http://www.naics.com/search.htm
Clicking on "Professional Management and Development Training" will show additional descriptions of training which fall under the same code. It will also show whether the NAICS code has changed over the past several years. This is illustrated in the table below:
HOLDING FOR TABLE
Determining your Business Size using the NAICS Code
Visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website and use the table of small business size standards found at: http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-size-standards to look up your NAICS code and determine the largest a concern can be and still qualify as a small business. In the example above, the NAICS code 611430 shows that businesses with sales below $7M annually are considered a small business.
Determining the best Schedule and SIN(s) for your products and services
Once you have identified the appropriate NAICS code, you can determine possible matching GSA schedules using the multiple tabs on following spreadsheet: http://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/docs/Schedule-SIN-NAICS-crosswalk.xlsx
Using the example above, looking up 611430 in this table, shows that it corresponds to several possible SINS across multiple schedules:
- C874 4 (schedule 00CORP)
- C874 8 (schedule 00CORP)
- C595 21 (schedule 00CORP)
- 874 4 (schedule 00CORP)
- 874 8 (schedule 00CORP)
- 595 21 (schedule 738X)
Use GSA eLibrary to identify the appropriate SIN(s) and schedule. Even though there are several SINs within each schedule, be sure to spend some time reading about each Schedule and SIN to determine the correct scope, Schedule and SIN(s) for the products, services and competencies that your business offers. If in doubt about the classification for your product or service, talk with the point of contact in the schedule you have selected which is identified in the top left corner of the home page.
After reading the descriptions and still using the example above, for the purposes of this exercise we have selected SIN 874 4. However, this business may also fit into SIN 874 1 and 2. Depending on the schedule where you are making a proposal, you may be able to list your products and services under multiple SINs.