Most successful government contractors understand that teaming with other government contractors can be a quick and effective way to quickly win government sales. There are many benefits to teaming so all new government contractors should understand the basic concept.
First, let’s squash that myth that finding teaming partners is difficult. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Finding a teaming partner can be quite simple, you just need to know where to look. One of the most effective ways to search for the ideal partner is by using GSA eLibrary.
GSA eLibrary is a directory of the thousands of contractors that hold their own GSA Schedule Contracts. The site catalogues contractors by type: i.e. Information Technology Service Providers, Vehicle Manufacturers, Furniture Manufactures, Sporting Goods distributions and so on…
Let’s get started!
GSA eLibrary – How to Find a Partner
1. Before you begin, visit this link to see a list of the different types of GSA Schedules (https://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/101334)
2. Head on over to gsaelibrary.gsa.gov
3. On the home page of GSA eLibrary, select the schedule type you looking for by using the drop down menu on the far right to do a quick search.
4. Once you’ve selected the appropriate schedule you will have the option to choose which categories (Special Item Numbers) you would like your partner hold.
This can be one of the same categories you are already under, or a category that may be compatible with your current offerings. From here, you will then have the ability to view all contractors under your chosen category.
While some smaller categories make it easy to scan the list of contractors due to a low number of contractors on the SIN, larger ones, such as 132 51, can contain thousands of contractors. Thankfully, GSA eLibrary allows us to filter these results with some important criteria:
Looking for a Set- Aside Contractor?
Socio-Economic Set-Asides: Decide which socio-economic set-asides, if any, you would like your partner to hold. Remember that partnering with, and acting as a subcontractor to, a business with a different set-aside than you will allow you access to new opportunities.
For example, if a small business partners with a service disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), the small business acting as a subcontractor to the SDVOSB can work on SDVOSB set-aside opportunities. This can be especially advantageous for mid-sized businesses, or when targeting agencies that favor one set-aside type over another. (Consult contracting guidelines for limitations on sub-contracting)
Viewing Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) and Pricelists: After you have chosen your desired teaming partner, you will then want to search the contractors T&Cs and pricelist to get a better sense of their stated services and/ or the products that they sell on their GSA Schedule.
To do this, use the small search bar with the title “T&Cs and Pricelists” found on the far right of the page, above the list of contractors. Searching in this manner will allow you to filter the contractors listed to those performing the specific type of work you’re looking for.
5. Finally, make sure you research the past performance for the companies that you’ve identified before reaching out to them. Check the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) www.fpds.gov to see their existing contracts and past performance.
Remember that partnering can help you in a variety of ways, from boosting your past performance on an RFP to allowing you to compete for set-aside opportunities you would not originally qualify for. Using this method as part of your government sales strategy can be an extremely important approach to scaling your government business.