GSA teaming provides real benefits for businesses:
- Satisfies the customer with a single solution;
- Increases competitive edge;
- Increases market share;
- Increases visibility;
- Focuses on core capabilities;
- Obtains complementary capabilities;
- Integrates different skills;
- Offers additional opportunities with customers;
- Builds direct relationships with customers;
- Maximizes use of one or more GSA Schedule solutions;
- Shares risks and rewards;
- Allows more opportunities for small and small disadvantaged businesses; and
Reduces the number of items Schedule contractors need to carry on their Schedule contracts, thus reducing inventory and tracking costs.
Whether responding to an RFQ distributed to schedule holders or to other kinds of solicitations, there are many instances where MBEs find that they do possess the requisite capabilities, technical skills or past performance documentation to submit a credible offer as a proposed prime contractor. GSA encourages the formation of contract teams, particularly among small businesses, to provide government purchasers with “total” solutions. Under a Contractor Team Arrangement, two or more GSA schedule contractors work together, by complementing each other's capabilities. This arrangement allows the team members to compete for schedule orders for which they may not independently qualify. A teaming arrangement increases a schedule holder’s competitive edge by allowing them to pool their capabilities with those of other team members and focus the contracting officer’s attention their combined core capabilities.
There are significant differences between a teaming arrangement formed between schedule holders and a traditional prime contractor-subcontractor relationship, and SGA desires to be very clear about the distinction. To that end, GSA strongly recommends that an ordering agency's RFQ indicate that all teams must be specifically identified as such. The team responses to the RFQ should designate all team members, their corresponding GSA Schedule contract numbers, and describe the tasks to be performed by each team member, along with the associated proposed pricing. The ordering agency should then be able to verify that any proposed prices do not exceed the prices awarded under each team member's GSA Schedule contract and avoid any misunderstandings regarding each team member's responsibilities and prices. Regardless of the arrangement that an MBE may enter into with another company to pursue a contract opportunity, it is critically important to develop and execute very specific teaming agreements between all participating firms. The teaming agreement between schedule team members should be developed in advance of preparing an offer to the RFQ, and should clearly and unambiguously define the terms of the arrangement. The agreement should set forth each participant's roles, responsibilities, and obligations. The agreement should identify the scope, period of performance and termination provisions. of the arrangement. The agreement should also identify remunerations for functions performed and establish how disputes will be addressed and resolved.
It should also be noted here that non-schedule holders may serve as subcontractors to schedule holders on GSA schedule tasks using more traditional subcontractor arrangements. However, unlike a GSA schedule contractor teaming arrangement, the prime contractor, or schedule holder, will have will have the traditional privileges, including billing, payments and customer contact, accorded to the prime.