GSA Formatted Product Tool 2018 update

Discover the 2018 updates for the GSA Formatted Product Tool, aimed at streamlining product listings and facilitating easier comparisons for government buyers.

Title: GSA Formatted Product Tool 2018 update

The Formatted Product Tool (FPT) introduced by the General Services Administration (GSA) is an automation tool designed to standardize and streamline product listings on GSA Schedules. Here are the key points and updates as of 2018:

1. Purpose of Formatted Product Tool (FPT)

The FPT has several key objectives:

  • Standardization: FPT automates price comparisons for identical products by standardizing Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), UPC-A data, and product descriptions.
  • Pricing Outliers Identification: It helps companies to identify pricing outliers and automates some of GSA’s market research.
  • Ease of Comparison: The tool allows government buyers to easily compare identical products on GSA Advantage!.
  • Automation: It eliminates the need for separate GSA Advantage! uploads because listings are automatically updated with approved proposal or modification.

2. Differences from Transactional Data Reporting (TDR)

While both FPT and TDR were introduced around the same time, they serve different purposes. TDR focuses on reporting transaction-level data for pricing analysis and eliminates the need to track the Basis of Award (BOA) and Price Reductions Clause (PRC). FPT, on the other hand, is about standardizing product listings and does not relieve companies of the BOA and PRC requirements.

3. Applicability of FPT:

FPT affects companies that hold or are looking to obtain certain GSA Schedules. As of the latest update, the affected schedules include Furnishings & Floor Coverings Schedule 72, Professional Audio/Video Schedule 58 I, and Scientific Equipment & Services Schedule 66. Participation in FPT is mandatory for new contractors on these schedules, but optional for existing contractors prior to FPT's introduction.

4. Process for Existing Contractors:

Existing contractors have the option to participate in FPT. If they opt in, they must submit a baseline modification within 60 days, involving uploading their current GSA Schedule catalog to the FPT module in GSA eMod.

FPT will generate a report standardizing part numbers and flag pricing outside of the established range. Contractors have the opportunity to adjust pricing or provide explanations for any discrepancies before submitting modifications to their Contracting Officer (CO).

5. The Future of FPT:

GSA has indicated that FPT is a long-term part of the GSA Schedules Program and plans to roll it out to all schedules. However, the initial implementation plan has seen delays and changes.

After its initial release to Schedules 72 and 58 I, there was a stall in further implementation. The program resumed with the addition of Scientific Schedule 66 in December 2017.

In conclusion, the Formatted Product Tool is a significant step towards automation and standardization in the GSA Schedules Program. It aims to facilitate easier product comparison for government buyers and streamline the listing process for vendors. However, the implementation has been gradual and selective, with certain schedules yet to be incorporated.

Contractors should keep abreast of the latest updates from GSA regarding FPT and consider the implications for their business, including whether to participate and how to comply with the new processes.

For those needing assistance or clarification, consulting with a GSA Schedule expert or utilizing GSA resources is advisable. Led by former GSA Schedule Reviewers, we offer the best GSA Schedule Consulting services.

Pedro has extensive background as a Contracting Officer and Contract Specialist, has worked across seven federal agencies, managing contracts totaling over $1 billion in the professional and tech sectors. His notable tenure includes serving with the DoD/DARPA during the inception of their robotics program. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in initiating the Cyber Special Item Number (SIN) within the GSA's IT Schedule 70 as a Team Lead. After graduating from Harvard, he started Blackfyre to help you win your next contract.

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