Skip to main content

SIP to FPT Transition Training

Some contractors are eligible to use the Formatted Product Tool (FPT) which automatically loads items in GSA Advantage from eOffer/eMod. Contractors who previously used SIP/EDI may want to take advantage of training that GSA provided on the transition from SIP/EDI to FPT. Contractors may want to watch a recorded webinar from July 2016:

Contractors may also wish to review the slides from the July 2016 webinar as well


FORMATTED PRODUCT TOOL (FPT) Q&A

Background & Policy Questions

Thousands of suppliers offer millions of items through the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). These items have part numbers, descriptions, and price points that are then made available to the customer on GSAAdvantage! However, decades of growth in the MAS Program and dramatic increases in the number and variety of items available through MAS are driving changes to how these items are represented and priced.

This tool will provide Schedule contractors with valuable information in terms of where their products are positioned in the marketplace, as well as provide contracting officers (COs) with data intelligence to use in their price evaluations and negotiations. This increase in data analytics and transparency will also help COs do their jobs more efficiently, saving all parties time and money. COs will still exercise their discretion in determining fair and reasonable pricing; FPT helps them do that faster.

FPT is not a separate application - it is a systems upgrade that will be activated within the existing eOffer and eMod platforms for certain Schedules. FPT is a pivotal enhancement for the MAS supplier base removing the cumbersome and redundant SIP and CORS processes, and through an automatic upload of products and prices, improves speed to market on GSAAdvantage! so items are seen immediately and can be purchased by our federal customers. Federal customers will have a more seamless shopping experience by being able to easily compare items on GSAAdvantage! using standard part numbers, have increased insights into products and their pricing, and better data quality.

Schedule Description SINs Offerings
51V Hardware Superstore All Products
58 I Professional Audio/Video All Products
72 Furnishings & Floor Coverings All Products
73 Food Service, Hospitality, Cleaning Equipment All Products
70 IT Equipment, Software & Services All Products & Services
75 Office Products/Supplies All Products
Phase one only includes the above six product schedules. The FPT system does not accommodate service items at this time. For impacted Schedule holders with both products and services, enter product information in the FPT pricing template, and enter services information in a text file. Both documents will be uploaded via FPT, but in two different file formats.
The FPT rollout schedule is estimated to begin in July 2016, with roughly two weeks in between implementation on each of the Schedules. The order of the Schedules to be rolled out and implemented is as follows (schedule is subject to change):
  • Schedule 58 I (Professional Audio Video Telemetry Tracking) - July 22, 2016
  • Schedule 72 (Furnishings & Floor Coverings) *same time as Schedule 58 I - July 22, 2016
  • Schedule 75 (Office Products ) - Q4 FY 2016
  • Schedule 73 (Food Service, Hospitality, Cleaning Equip. & Supplies, Chemicals & Service) - Q4 FY 2016
  • Schedule 51 V (Hardware Superstore) - Q1 FY 2017
  • Schedule 70 (Information Technology, Equipment, Software & Services) - Q1 FY 2017
At this time, acceptance of the modification is optional, but strongly encouraged, for existing contractors. FPT will be mandatory for all new offers submitted under the Pilot Schedules as each schedule is refreshed and is rolled out. Note: While the FPT mass mod displays as "mandatory" on the VSC website, it is only mandatory that vendors respond (i.e., accept or decline the modification).
Yes, there will be ample training and communication surrounding the rollout of the FPT. There will be an advanced notice posted on Interact prior to each Schedule update and an online webinar with subject matter experts in advance of FPT implementation for each Schedule.
All affected GSA acquisition workforce personnel have been trained and provided resources to assist them during this transition.

General Contracting Questions

No, FPT will replace SIP for the Schedules/SINS affected in the phase one rollout for all new offers and will replace SIP for current contractors once the current contract has completed the baseline modification. SIP will still be available for current contractors who do not accept the FPT mod and baseline their contract.
No. Under FPT, the PRC, CSP and MFC/BOA all remain as currently awarded within your contract. However, there may need to be an adjustment to the price/discount relationship awarded under your schedule, if your pricing was adjusted and a reduction in price was necessary.
Yes.
No. At this time, vendors' current GSAAdvantage! file will not automatically be removed if vendors do not complete the baseline modification within 60 days. However, the CO/CS should be kept apprised if vendors are experiencing problems with getting the baseline modification done in a timely manner.

eOffer/eMod & Baseline Questions

Once baseline modification is done and completed, it will overwrite all information on GSAAdvantage!. This allows GSA to capture everything on contract and ensures the most accurate information is displayed on GSAAdvantage!.
After FPT is implemented and a contract has been baselined, any future modification actions will be done through eMod and will be maintained through the FPT Wizard. Vendors will only be responsible for uploading the new information.
For modifications currently in progress, vendors will continue to complete them as they currently do. Once a vendor accepts the FPT mass modification, the modification listing will include "Capture Formatted Pricing" (baselining). After the baseline modification is completed and awarded, all subsequent pricing modifications will have a formatted pricing template.
Yes, Country of Origin is one of the template elements and will be updated as part of the FPT data.
Your CO can answer general questions. The Acquisition Workforce (AWF) will be getting training as well. There will also be Help Desk Support and self-paced training videos as well as a vendor-facing user guide on the eMod/eOffer homepage.

FPT Wizard and System Questions

We are using the XSB System with a series of enhancements. The tool will be iteratively developed in order to incorporate user feedback and process improvements.
Vendors will be able to return to the Wizard and change their data on the left menu at any time before re-submitting their data.
FPT is programmed to allow for 4 decimal places. This may be shortened to 2 decimal places once the item is uploaded on GSAAdvantage!.
FPT mimics the current GSAAdvantage! process for CTO items. Use accessories and/or options process.
It depends on the size of the catalog, but we estimate that most uploads will be processed within several hours.
In the Wizard, there is a Photos section where vendors can upload the standard image and three additional photos.
Use the download method to then upload a spreadsheet. Use the on-screen method to enter in line by line information or cut and paste information in.
For products, the system will not prompt the vendor to upload a text file as it is currently optional. The product text file (for terms and conditions) can be uploaded at any time during the baseline process or with a later modification. However, the system will prompt vendors to upload a text file for services.
In the current SIP process, vendors identify products and accessories. The FPT Wizard works the same way.
After baselining, you will be able to continue using EDI to submit modifications. You must generate a modification key before entering the data in eMod.
Yes. The system allows for line item entry of special delivery instructions, environmental and other features.
There is a limitation of 1,000 characters.
The system will recognize small typos (i.e. one digit off) made in the standardization section. However, if the item does not have a standard match for the system to compare it to, then typos may go unrecognized. The CO may also recognize an error if no target pricing is returned on an item where there is known duplication.
Authorized reseller information is still captured as order points of contact (POCs). Grey market items should not be on contract as they are not authorized for sale in the US.
Yes. Contact the eTools Help Desk at 1-866-472-9114.

Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), Universal Product Code (UPC) and Product Description Questions

GSA is working with manufacturers and wholesalers to obtain trusted content for all products. Where we are unable to obtain that, we will use the most common representation within the supply chain. We will be expanding our knowledge base over time. In addition, the system does not directly override any vendor data, rather it identifies the standard version.
Addressing this issue is one of the goals of implementing FPT. We want to ensure accurate representation of the product based on standard part numbers. One of the ways to help mitigate variances is that the outlier price analysis will flag items so the CO can understand where variances are occurring and connect with the vendor. The FPT will facilitate dialogue between the COs and the suppliers.
If no standardized part number is found, the vendor's part number will be accepted. We expect most major manufacturers to have a standard, configuration-specific part number. In rare instances where you do not identify specific configurations, please reach out to your CO.
Corrections can be made if detected during the standardization process. Vendors will have an opportunity to review the proposed standardization information and flagged pricing, make any changes, and provide rationale for their information during the eMod process. The file will not be rejected during this process.
We expect most major manufacturers to have an identifier in the part number for a specific configuration. In rare instances where the manufacturer does not identify specific configurations, speak with your CO regarding the features and value of the configuration being offered.
No, duplicate MPNs from the same manufacturer will not be accepted. The system will only allow for MPN duplication if the manufacturers and items are different. In addition, items should only appear on one SIN per contract so there is no duplication across the contract.
All standardization and evaluation is done prior to submission, so the offer will not be rejected. Vendors can provide comments or explanation when the proposed standardization and/or target pricing isn't accepted. Vendors will have the opportunity to review all information prior to it being submitted to the CO.
There are some inferences made from product name and description, but vendors should ensure that the product description includes the word "refurbished" so that verbiage is recognized by the system.
The configuration specific part number should be used. Configure-to-Order items should be listed as base items with accessories.
UPC-A code is only required for items that have an existing UPC-A code that has been registered by the manufacturer of the product. If the item does not have a registered UPC-A, it is not required.
There will be a field with standardized Unit of Issue (UOI). If you are using a non-standard UOI, you can provide justification for that UOI. Standardization will refer to the manufacturer UOI.
We are working with Industry manufacturers and wholesalers on the descriptions. Where we don't have a standard description from manufacturers or wholesalers, the system uses the most common description. Vendors can also add an additional description.

Pricing Questions

The baseline mod process does not constitute a need to re-negotiate contract pricing. We have given COs/CSs guidance to contact the vendor to discuss items out of range.

The FAR does not use the words "highly competitive." However, COs are charged with obtaining a price that is fair and reasonable utilizing the price analysis techniques described in FAR Part 15.404. It is GSA's intent to award the best price possible considering all elements of award. A price could be fair and reasonable when evaluated just from a vertical perspective, or comparing the offered price only to the price offered the Most Favored Customer (or Basis of Award customer). However, that same price might not be considered fair and reasonable when evaluated from a horizontal perspective, or compared with the offered price for the identical item by other Schedule vendors.

In the context of FPT, highly competitive would be a price that is equal to or better than the MFC (when analyzed vertically) and that also falls within the range identified by FPT (horizontal analysis). The tool allows COs to have visibility across the marketplace in order to make the best pricing decisions possible on behalf of the taxpayers. Further, the FAR grants CO's fairly broad discretion in how to determine fair and reasonable pricing. We will be providing COs with internal policy guidance to promote uniform application of pricing targets.

FPT will provide a faster and more thorough analysis of the pricing so that the COs/CSs don't have to do manual searches through GSAAdvantage! or cut and paste spreadsheets together and add formulas to evaluate pricing. We will still evaluate based on the EPA clause in the contract, but will have improved pricing data from the onset.

For new offerors, FPT does not have any impact on CSP, MFC or BOA. New offerors will go into eOffer/eMod and complete the Wizard (which will require CSP). The CO/CS will identify a MFC/BOA per the usual process. FPT provides significantly more data for the CO/CS to evaluate.

For current contractors, if you do decide to lower pricing, the CO/CS may need to re-establish your price/discount relationship but would not impact your CSP. However, if your CSP does indicate that the MFC/BOA has changed, the CO/CS would address that. This action would be outside of FPT.

Yes, vendors may be asked to provide additional information in those instances where there may be no comparable items within GSAAdvantage! Or other sources. However, the FPT process will provide significant additional information for the COs/CSs to utilize in their evaluation of identical or standardized items which will eliminate the need for additional information in those instances.
There is nothing to preclude vendors from doing clean-up modifications in advance of completing the baseline modification. However, the purpose of the baseline modification is to do that clean-up for you. The baseline process will standardize part numbers, analyze pricing, and provide vendors an opportunity to review and make changes. It is recommended that EPAs be done after the baseline modification to prevent those items going through the evaluation process multiple times.
Pricing ranges are based on a reasonable range of variance from a benchmark of the lowest available market price. The target pricing ranges for your items will be displayed in the FPT system. Below is a chart of pricing model examples:
Price Range chart
Yes. Phase one of FPT implementation is focused on collecting standard part numbers for items on Schedule, which allows the CO to approve your item to go on GSAAdvantage! much faster than if the item did not include standard part numbers. Suppliers are encouraged to provide justification for their items' higher prices, such as unique warranty or terms and conditions. COs continue to have the authority to determine fair & reasonable pricing.
If there are additional terms or conditions (extended warranty, etc) that add value to your product, please contact your CO for further evaluation. If an item has been flagged as an outlier, the CO can assess the value of the terms and make a determination as to whether or not it is reasonable to award a price outside of the target ranges.
Yes.
FPT does not change the requirements of the Price Reductions Clause. If a vendor is lowering their price to both Government & Most Favored Customer (MFC), there is no change. If a vendor lowers their price to the Government but not to the MFC, then the CO would re-establish the price or discount relationship for the lower price or higher discount offered.