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Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) - Office Supplies (OS3)

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For Review: FSSI OS3 Draft RFP for Purchasing Channel

The Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for the new FSSI OS3 Purchasing Channel has been released and is now available for viewing and comment on this OS3 Community Page.  The RFP is part of the FSSI OS3 Draft SOW Issued for Purchasing Channel package  (refer to 11/25/13 post). It is the solicitation document which communicates the Government requirements to prospective contractors and to solicit proposals, with requirements, anticipated terms and conditions, evaluation factors and their relative importance that will be utilized for evaluation purposes, along with Statement of Work (SOW) and previously posted draft attachments. THIS IS A DRAFT RFP.
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1supplyx

In reviewing Attachment 1 (Excel file with market basket items), the first column of the "Toner", "Paper" and "General Office Supplies" tabs is labeled "Sample Manufacturer's Part Number or NSN".  Can GSA explain what they mean by "Sample"?  Are contractors expected to bid on these exact market basket items or on sku's with equivalent specs?  Please elaborate on what will be expected during the final RFP.  Thank you. 

JoelHerringa

Given that GSA's OS3 FSSI and Office Supplies Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts are being treated as independent contracts without interrelation, has the OS3 Contracting Team gven consideration to a MAS contract holder who wins an FSSI award potrentially losing their MAS contract to low sales since all OS3 pricing would need to take precedence? All Schedule 75 MAS contract items would need to be included in the contractor's list of OS3 non-market basket items?

fssios3blogger

OS3 contracts will be independent from MAS 75.  An MAS 75 contractor would not be prohibited from making sales under MAS 75 if they are awarded an OS3 contract, such as in circumstances where a customer specifically cites the MAS contract number when making a purchase.

pencil83054

The DRAFT RFQ states that a Non-Manufacturer Rule Waiver has been requested and pending approval for the above NAICS codes for this solicitation.  While I think that I have a very basic understanding of the Non-Manufacturer Rule which allows agencies to make purchases from small businesses even though the actual product that they are buying is actually manufactured by an Other Than Small Business.  It is my understanding the SBA routinely authorized use of the Non-Manfacturer Rule Waiver in these instances.  It is not my understanding that the rule can be used for Large Retailers such as Office Depot, Staples, and WB Mason who for years have been known to channel business through "Pass through" where the large retailer completes much of the work including but not limited to    order placement, logistics using large retailer distribution system (trucks), the large retailers "customized web platform, IT infrastructure including reporting requirements, etc.  The small business is nothing other than an adjunct customer service department.  While it is my belief that this may appear to be a solution, it should not replace any actual small businesses that do all of the work necessary to compete for this contract.  Will GSA clarify the purpose of the request and approval of the Non-Manufacturer Rule Waiver?

 

JoelHerringa

Section 5.5.5 Volume Discounts

FYI. This section may be problematic for GSA and FSSI suppliers as written, particularly as it relates to Economic Price Adjustment requests. Consider the following scenario and how clause 5.5.5 would affect EPA requests in real time, potentially creating a catch-22 situation:

Manufacturer of product XYZ has a 25% increase in raw materials and increases their prices to all resellers by 25% as a result. Since FSSI margins will be assumedly very small, all FSSI awardees would potentially need to increase their prices on product XYZ by 25% in response to the manufacturer increase. Lowest priced FSSI contractor for product XYZ is $100.00 and the next lowest priced supplier is $105.00. The lowest priced supplier cannot increase their FSSI price for product XYZ by 25% since that would put them more than 10% higher then the current second lowest priced supplier. The second lowest priced supplier cannot file to increase their prices 25% since that would put them more than 10% over the current lowest priced vendor. No FSSI supplier could file for a 25% increase on this product even though all FSSI suppliers would likely be losing money on this item as a result of the manufacturer increase.

sourcetech1335

While trying to  prepare to submit a proposal to apply for FSSI OS3 as I'm sure lots of other vendor's are.  There are just a few things I would like to clarify while going through this process.  My question's are based on the OS3 draft RFP and after attending the industry day on 12/10/13.  My company uses an agent to process or current GSA Advantage orders.  Will that pose a problem when applying for OS3? In the terms of past performance what constitutes as a contract? While reading through the draft proposal there is a big emphasis on EPA items. Do we need to have and maintain some type of record on EPA items? This is a very large project and want to make sure that I'm clear on what is being asked so that we do not make a simple mistake that could cause a disqualification.

sourcetech1335

While going through the FSSI OS3 packet there is an emphasis on letter of supply from manufactures.  I usually purchase from united stationers and Sp Richards.  I have an active letter of supply from them but,do I also need a letter of supply i.e.. Sanford and other brands that are carried by united stationers?  There is a letter of supply that is part of the FSSI OS3 proposal I just want to be clear on exactly where the letter of supply needs to come from.

JoelHerringa

Does the DMR2700 sample model number in the market basket meet the 30% postconsumer copy paper requirement? The standard EarthChoice line doesn't appear to meet that requirement based on the manufacturer's website although their Earthchoice 30 line does.

JoelHerringa

The Office Supplies 3 FSSI Market Basket appear to contain a number of items that GSA's various Contracting Offices, including for Schedule 75 Office Supplies, have ruled are not office supplies. This is also affirmed by GSA's Schedules eLibrary database. Could GSA comment and/or remove any market basket items that are out of scope with office supplies as defined by GSA on GSA's Schedule eLibrary. We are assuming that these items were included in error in the OS3 market basket and GSA is not using the fact that OS3 is not an Multiple Award Schedule contract as free license to redefine what is or is not an office supply item.

  • Batteries are classified by GSA as being an Industrial Services and Supplies item (Schedule 56 SIN 383 5). SIN description: Batteries and Battery Chargers - Including, but not limited to, rechargeable batteries (carbon zinc, alkaline manganese dioxide, mercuric oxide), non-rechargeable batteries, dry cell batteries, stationary batteries, storage batteries, motive batteries, vehicle batteries; automotive and industrial truck battery chargers, stationary battery chargers; parts and accessories.Examples on the market basket include: DURDL123ABPK, DURMN1500B24, DURMN15RT12Z, DURMN16RT4Z, DURMN24RT12Z, DURPC1300, DURPC1400, DURPC1500BKD, DURPC1604BKD, DURPC2400BKD, EVEA91BP24HT, EVEE91SBP24H, EVEE91SBP36H, EVEE92FP12, EVEE95FP8, EVEEN22, EVEEN91, EVEEN92, EVEEN93, EVEEN95, EVEL91BP4, EVEL91BP8, EVEL92BP4, RAYALAA. NOTE THAT BATTERIES ARE ALSO ALREADY BEING REGULATED UNDER ANOTHER OPEN FSSI SOLICITATION AND WOULD CAUSE UNNECESSARY CONTRACT DUPLICATION.
  • Calculators are classified by GSA as an Office Machine item (Schedule 36 SIN 50 281). SIN description: Calculators - Includes a wide range of calculators such as basic, business, electronic, fraction, metric conversion, programmable/non-programmable, scientific, statistical, printing, graphic, web-site/financial. This SIN includes directly related accessories, attachments, supplies and software. Market basket example CSODRT220
  • Electronic Date and Time Stamps are classified by GSA as an Office Machine (Schedule 36 SIN 50 177). SIN description: Date and Time Stamps - Includes electric/non-electric date and stamps which automatically print date and time (e.g., month, date, and time, number and date, TEXT stamp for signature or message and check signer. Includes directly related accessories, attachments and supplies.Market basket examples include: ACP016000001, LTHLTT.
  • Dry Erase Marker Boards are classified by GSA as a furniture item (Schedule 71 SIN 711 20). SIN description: Display and Communication Boards, Wall Stations, and Accessories - Includes all types of bulletin boards, changeable letter boards,, marker boards, control boards, combination boards, presentation systems, sliding multi-boards, communication centers, wall stations, portable boards & kits. Wall-mounted boards are complete and ready for mounting, hardware included. Market basket examples include: BLT2029H, BLT219PC, BLT219PG, GHEPA23648VX18, QRT2548, QRTP557M, QRTP558A, QRTP558M.
  • Packaging Tape is classified by GSA as a Packing and Packaging Supply item - (Schedule 81 I B SIN 617 3). SIN description: Wrapping and strapping materials - Air bubble protective wrap, kraft paper, steel strapping, plastic strapping, stainless steel wing seals, strapping and sealing kit, steel strapping cart dispenser, sealer, stretch wrap, pallet, stretch wrap, machine stretch wrap, hand stretch wrap dispenser, shrink wrap, packaging tape, paper band, steel strapping edge protector, glassine paper, volatile corrosion inhibitor treated paper, chemically neutral wrapping paper, dispensary wrapping paper, laminated & creped wrapping paper, meat wrapping paper, plastic coated wrapping paper, tissue wrapping paper, freight retaining strip, gummed tape and tie wire. Market basket examples include DUC0007496, MMM1426, MMM34508, MMM35006, MMM385018CP, MMM38504RD, MMM38506, MMM3850CS36.
  • Certificate Holders are classified by GSA as an Awards item (Schedule 78 SIN 402 5). SIN description: Awards - (including Eagle Awards and Military Statues), Plaques, Trophies, Ribbons, Medals, Lapel Pins, Badges, Buttons and Patches - SET ASIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS. Market basket examples include: ESS29900055BGD, ESS29900235BGD.
sourcetech1335

I went to the event day and still have a couple of questions:

How is our pricing being determined?  Is it based on what people currently have listed on GSA Advantage or is their a different formula being used to determine price comparison.  When submitting the catalog for FSSI can it be different from my current GSA catalog and if so is their an option for me to have two different terms and conditions and Minimum order amounts?  I'm trying to understand If I have to change everything to reflect FSSI or if I can keep my current GSA catalog and offer different catalog when applying for FSSI OS3. 

JoelHerringa

The following sample model numbers appear to be United Stationers references. According to United's most recent country of origin file, the country of origin for the listed products is China. Can GSA affirm if this assessment is correct? If so, can GSA reference a different sample model number that is compliant or should those items be removed from the market basket? HEWC4901A, HEWC9381A, HEWC9382A, HEWCE262A, HEWCE401A, HEWCE402A, HEWCE403A, HEWCE411A, HEWQ6473A, MMM680PPBGVA, MMM680RYBGVA, MMMWL854C, XER106R01370, XER106R01371, XER106R01412.

Also can GSA comment at its earliest convenience on the Coalition for Government Procurement's assertion that the Buy American Act is applicable to this solicitation? If so, most offerors will need to look at resourcing applicable non-USA TAA-compliant products where BAA takes precedence as soon as possible.

JoelHerringa

Question: AbilityOne ETS and Market Basket items. According to the solicitation, offerors cannot provide a commercial item essentially the same (ETS) as an AbilityOne item. The sample model numbers of the draft market basket list the following items which according to the AbilityOne Comission's latest file are ETS items or are in process for ETS evaluation: AVE5931, HSM1343, MMMPF317, MMMPF319, QRTP557M, SAN61256. Should the references in the solicitation be changed to the AbilityOne product references?

JoelHerringa

Clause 5.5.5 Question. My apologies in advance for any naitivity or misreading of the solicitation but is there anything legally  preventing the following scenario from occurring according to how the draft solicitation is currently written: an offeror with extensive resources bids all CLIN0004 market basket items at one penny, regardless of their cost, with the intention of limiting the number of awardees and/or future onramp offerors. Per clause 5.5.5, only companies who followed suit would be able to remain or onramp to the OS3 contract? An offeror under this scenario might presume that profits for nonmarketbasket items would more than offset any loss on the market basket items. Note that it is probably not necessary to actually offer all items at one penny in this scenario, just low enough to restrict competition.

bhusted77

Can GSA please clarify the expected number of awards anticipated for CLIN 0004 under OS3? 

fssios3blogger

There will be an anticipated maximum of one award to a large entity in CLIN 0004. The number of awardees of other SBCs and other than small business firms will be predicated upon receipt of qualified technical and price proposals. CLIN 0004 is not set-aside therefore listed as "Unrestricted."

Copy Supply Store

<p><br type="_moz" />Can we participate in the bidding if we only sell toners?</p>

aubreyw

OS3 is an important acquisition for government and industry. The Coalition for Government Procurement's members have a number of questions and concerns that we believe should be addressed before GSA issues a final solicitation. We urge GSA to take the time for a robust discussion of the long term impact of its acquisition strategy. Please see our comments posted at this link--

Coalition Comments:
 
svail

Would the GSA consider adding HUBZone set-asides to the General Office Supply group?

I also ask the GSA to consider expanding the number of awards for the General Office Supply group. The current estimated number of awards is 12 (excluding the SDVOSB set-asides) and that is an extremely low number when one considers the number of small business office suppliers capable of supplying the government. Expanding the number of awards will increase competition and in turn lead to better pricing for purchasers.

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