Government Facts & GSA Information


October 18, 2019

Did you know that among its list of satisfied, repeat customers Datum can proudly count the single largest purchaser of goods and services in the world today?

The General Services Administration is a federal agency established on July 1, 1949, by President Harry Truman. Created to streamline the federal administrative work and involved in the disposal of war surplus items, today the GSA serves as the primary purchasing authority for all federal government agencies. Taken as a whole, U.S. government agencies are indeed the world’s largest buyer of goods and services. Almost $425 billion are spent annually by these agencies on everything from office furniture to storage cabinets to pens and pencils to professional services.

When a vendor like Datum decides they would like to do business with any agency of the federal government, including any branch of the military, that vendor applies for a GSA Schedule. A fairly involved vetting process helps the GSA determine such things as the applying vendor’s credit-worthiness and stability and history as a viable business. The vendor provides a price list, which the GSA then negotiates a volume discount against, usually on a sliding scale. If both the vendor and the GSA agree to the pricing terms, that vendor gets a GSA Schedule.

That Schedule is the vendor’s “ticket in the door” to the world of government agency sales, mainly behaving as a price menu for whatever goods or services that vendor offers. When an agency makes the decision to purchase something, they will only purchase from a vendor with a GSA Schedule.

Once a GSA Schedule has been procured, the vendor’s next step is to bid on a contract for specific items with the specific agency or agencies that vendor wishes to do business with. Of course, the vendor must honor the pricing agreement as stated in its GSA Schedule, but in order to win a contract the vendor may well offer an even steeper discount than originally negotiated. The competition for contracts is fierce, and the result is a sort of reverse-auction where the lowest bid wins.

All contracts bid under GSA are IDIQ contracts: indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity. In other words, the contract is the conduit through which a sale can now take place, but no sale is guaranteed. The salesman still has to do his job and sell! However, he is part of a narrowed-down group of individuals who have the ability even to present to these valued buyers.

Datum is proud to be a GSA Schedule vendor, which allows us to provide storage systems and solutions to various state and federal government agencies across the country.

Government agencies have storage needs that are not only very similar to those of our civilian clients; in some cases they exceed them by orders of magnitude. Consider the sheer number of files and assorted documents that need to be archived and stored by any government agency. Not only are space considerations great, but there is also the issue of security. Government files are often far more confidential than day-to-day business files would be, and need to be treated with care. The ability of Datum’s High Density Storage Systems to be both space-efficient and adaptable while also offering a high level of security make it a perfect solution for those needs.

One of the more uncommon storage needs that certain Government agencies have is the storage and protection of weaponry. Again, security is a major consideration in keeping guns and ammo stored and protected. Whether locked away in an enclosed storage cabinet or stored in a more open rack system for ease of access when needed, the utmost precautions must be taken to avoid injury, theft or loss. Here again, Datum has the right fit: Our unique line of Argos Weapon Storage Cabinets, Racks and Mobile Storage Systems mean different agencies with different needs can each find the solution they need.

Datum is pleased to be able to offer these agencies storage solutions that provide both efficient storage and reliable security. With GSA sales making up fully 30% of our annual sales and a 20-year history as a trusted GSA vendor, we look forward to continuing to provide more of the same in the years to come.

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