Identifying and Evaluating Alternatives Available Under GSA Schedules General Services Administration Federal Supply Service Office of Acquisition Using GSA Schedules – Customers
Identifying and Evaluating Alternatives Available Under GSA Schedules Key topics covered in this lesson: • Procedures for identifying and evaluating alternatives available under GSA Schedules • Using a request for quotations • Using a GSA Advantage! e-Buy request for quote
Appropriate Evaluation Procedures Select appropriate procedures for evaluating alternatives available under GSA Schedules based on the need for a Government Statement of Work (SOW) to describe the requirement.
When No Statement of Work is Required • Obtain information to evaluate alternatives. • Complete evaluation following FAR 8.404 procedures.
Maximum Order Threshold • Included in each Schedule contract’s Order Limitations clause • Not a limit on maximum order size, but the contractor is not required to accept any order with a total price that exceeds the MO and the Government must request a better price • Is not the same for all contracts
Steps to Selecting Best Value • Identify relevant best value factors. • Evaluate reasonably available information. • Determine if there is reason to seek further price reduction. • Seek further price reduction when there is reason to do so. • Make selection decision.
Contractor past performance on previous orders (should be considered for all orders); Available warranties; Item ownership costs; Item maintenance availability; Useful product life; Item environmental and energy efficiency; Supplier technical qualifications; Training and customer support offered by the supplier; Trade-in considerations; Item transportation cost; Administrative cost associated with the acquisition; and Delivery/performance terms. Relevant Best Value Factors
Reasonably Available Information Obtain information from one or more of the following sources: • GSA Advantage! • Catalogs or pricelists • Schedule contractor responses to a request for quotations (RFQ)
Seek Further Price Reduction? • Estimated order price exceeds the MO threshold • Market research reveals product or service is availableelsewhere at a lower price • Schedule contractor has been or will be selected to provide recurring requirements (e.g., using a blanket purchase agreement) and size of recurring orders may merit further discounts; or • Market research identifies other information indicating further price reduction is appropriate.
Make Selection Decision • Do not exclude a Schedule contractor from consideration because it did not offer additional price discount • Select the contractor and item that provide the best value • Give preference to small business concerns when two or more items at the same delivered price will satisfy the requirement.
When a Statement of Work (SOW) Is Required • Identify maximum order threshold • Identify relevant best value factors • Obtain quotes using a written Request for Quotations
Identify Relevant Best Value Factors Services • Price • Past performance on previous orders (should be considered for all orders) • Experience in performing similar services • Any other factors that: • Represent the key areas affecting the quote’s value to the Government. • Support meaningful comparison and discrimination between and among competing quotes.
Review Question Which of following is true of a maximum order (MO) threshold? • The MO is a limit on the maximum order size. • The MO is the same for all contracts. • The Order Limitations clause of each Schedule contract includes an MO. • The Schedule user does not need to determine the applicable MO prior to evaluation.
Review Question The selection of factors to consider in identifying the best value offered by Schedule contractors should be based upon the information from the following source: • Catalogs • Pricelists • GSA Advantage! • Schedule contractor’s response to RFQs • All of the above.
Determine the Method for Issuing the Request for Quotation (RFQ) Issue an RFQ using any method acceptable to the user, the user’s organization and agency. Common methods include the following: • Written RFQs • Oral RFQs
Best Practices for Using an RFQ • For services that require an SOW, use a written RFQ to obtain the information needed to evaluate alternatives available under GSA Schedules. • For products and services that do not require an SOW, don’t use a written RFQ unless it can be used to gather Schedule contract information more efficiently than using GSA Advantage!, contractor catalogs, orcontractor pricelists.
Prepare Request for Quotations Divide into five sections for clarity: • The RFQ form, letter, or other document requesting quotations • Special requirements • Information and instructions for quoters • Evaluation criteria • Applicable attachments (e.g., the SOW)
RFQ Form, Letter, or Other Document Include proper information and follow appropriate guidelines. For example: • An e-Buy RFQ must follow e-Buy guidelines. • An RFQ prepared using other forms or documents must follow FAR, agency, and organization guidelines.
Special Requirements Consider the following requirements when appropriate: • Pricing arrangement • Blanket purchase agreement • Performance incentives • Defense Priorities and Allocations System
Information and Instructions for Quoters Consider the following when determining the need for information and instructions: • Existing Schedule Information • Contractor Teaming Arrangements • Pricing • Past Performance • Technical qualifications and experience • Performance planning • Oral presentations
Pricing Information Require each quoter to provide information including: • Estimated labor hours by labor category, the rationale used in preparing the quote, and the labor rate for each category of labor included • Estimated travel expenses • Any other item included in the price quote with rationale • Estimated quantities for any product included in the price, the rationale used in preparing the estimate, and the price for each item included.
Past Performance • If adequate past performance information is not readily available, the Schedule user may request references from the contractors • Ask the Schedule contractor for references who can evaluate relevant past performance from a customer’s perspective.
Technical Qualifications and Experience • Require offeror information on technical qualifications and experience (when necessary) • Establish any minimum technical or experience requirements • Experience performing contracts with the same or similar requirements • Information on task manager • Key personnel names and qualifications.
Performance Planning Whenever an SOW requires the contractor to meet functional, performance, or design requirements, the quoter should provide at least a brief explanation on how it intends to manage the work effort.
Evaluation Criteria Provide information on how quotes will be evaluated, including the: • Method of evaluating quotes for multiple items • Method for evaluating quotes for order options • Significant factors that will be considered in quote evaluation • Method for evaluating factors other than price
Method of Evaluating Quotes for Multiple Items State whether the government intends to: • Issue a single order for all items • Issue a single order or multiple orders by line item, whichever is most advantageous to the Government • Some other scheme for issuing orders based on the Government’s evaluation of the quotes received
Method for Evaluating Quotes that include Options State how quotes with options will be evaluated. • If there is a high probability that the option will be exercised, it should be included in the evaluation. • If there is a low probability that the option will be exercised, inclusion of the option in the RFQ should be reconsidered
Significant Factors to Be Considered in Quote Evaluation Price and past performance must be considered. Other factors include: • Technical qualifications • Performance planning • Preference small business concerns when two or more items at the same delivered price will satisfy the requirement (FAR 8.404(b)(6))
Applicable Attachments Identify RFQ Attachments: • For a service that requires an SOW, the primary attachment is the SOW. • Depending on the acquisition situation, other attachments may be appropriate.
Distribute the RFQ • Solicit quotes from the contractors that appear to offer the best value • Consider including one or more small, small woman-owned small, and/or small disadvantaged Schedule contractors • Consider the relationship between the estimated price and the Schedule MO in determining the number of sources selected • Consider special DoD requirements
Evaluate Quotes Quotes must be fairly evaluated based on the criteria established in the RFQ. • If the Schedule user needs assistance in evaluating quotes, assure that anyone assisting is aware of the quote evaluation criteria • Maintain a record of any oral presentations to document what the Government relied upon in its evaluation
Selection Decision • Select the Schedule contractor whose quote represents best value to Government considering evaluation criteria set forth in RFQ. • When the evaluation includes both supplies and services, select the solution that represents best value based on RFQ criteria • Give preference to small business concerns when two or more items at the same delivered price will satisfy the requirement
Review Question When notifying the Schedule contractor of any special requirements that are intended to be included in the order or BPA, the Schedule user should consider all of the following EXCEPT: • Pricing arrangement • Quote evaluation requirements • Performance incentives • Defense Priorities and Allocations System applicability
Review Question If adequate past performance information is not readily available, the Schedule user may request references from the contractors in the RFQ. References should be unlimited in number to give an accurate reflection of past performance and be limited to only current contracts. • True • False
Using a GSA Advantage! e-Buy Request for Quotations GSA Advantage! e-Buy - an integrated system that permits Schedule users to: • Prepare an RFQ on-line • Distribute it to selected Schedule contractors • Evaluate their quotes • Issue an order
Preparing an e-Buy RFQ e-Buy RFQ is a 2-step process: • Step 1. Assign category and select vendors • Step 2. RFQ information
E-Buy RFQ Information The Schedule user must: • Enter an RFQ title • Select number of days the RFQ will remain open • Specify delivery requirements • Enter item specifics • Select “Add Additional Items”, if necessary • Insert additional necessary description information and evaluation criteria
Evaluating Quotes Each “Vendor Quote” page includes information such as: • RFQ identification • Quoting firm’s name • Contact person information • Total quote price • Line item information • Any documents attached to the quote • A variety of other information
Review Question The Schedule user must demonstrate authorization to use e-Buy. The Schedule user can indicate authorization by entering a Governmentwide commercial purchase card number, a GSA Activity Address Code, or a valid Government email address in the User Profile. • True • False
Review Question Which of the following correctly lists examples of key RFQ information that is presented on the e-Buy “RFQ Summary” page? • Names of the Schedule contractors solicited, contents of documents attached to the RFQ, line item specifics, and a description of products and services • Names of the Schedule contractors solicited, file names of documents attached to the RFQ, line item specifics, and a description of products and services • Number of Schedule contractors solicited, file names of documents attached to the RFQ, line item specifics, and a description of products and services • Number of Schedule contractors solicited, contents of documents attached to the RFQ, line item specifics, and a description of products and services
Issuing and Documenting a Schedule Order General Services Administration Federal Supply Service Office of Acquisition Using GSA Schedules – Customer
Identifying and Evaluating Alternatives Available Under GSA Schedules Key topics covered in this lesson: • Issuing a Schedule order • Establishing a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) under a GSA Schedule • Communicating with others concerning order decisions
Methods to Order from a Schedule Contract • GSA Advantage! order using Governmentwide commercial purchase card or GSA Advantage! purchase order; • Oral order using Governmentwide commercial purchase card; • Written order using OF 347 or another agency-prescribed form • Order under a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA).
Edit Detailed Information for a Line Item This page permits user to edit order, including: • Changing unit price(If the contractor agreed to a one-time price reduction.); • Adding: • Shipping address • Appropriation data • Requisition reference number • Marking instructions • Special note(s) • Removing an item from the order.
Verify Purchase Cardand Other Information Verify and, if necessary update: • Cardholder information • Shipping information • Receiving information