In May GSA held their first in person Quality Partnership Council (QPC) meeting since 2019. Per the GSA QPC website, “The Quality Partnership Council is the GSA Integrated Workplace Acquisition Center’s (IWAC) Supplier and Industry Engagement Forum. QPC exists to foster a common understanding between customer, contractor, and GSA. Council communication, education and collaborative efforts are focused on continuous improvement of processes, policies, and service to customers and each other.” The QPC was first created 30 years ago in the 1990s when Jack Williams was running the furniture center (for those who have been in the industry for awhile heard that name and thought “ah, the good ol’ days!!”)
I wanted to take the opportunity to share with everyone some of the highlights from this year’s QPC meeting as I think there was a lot of great information shared. Outside of the IWAC speakers, guest speakers included the Air Force, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), NAVY and Public Building Services (PBS.)
The meeting allowed us the opportunity to walk through the Innovation Lab (refer to my article in June for more information on that.) In June’s article I did not know about the technology aspect of the lab, and I will say that is the most impressive part of the lab. The Cisco technology was very impressive and worth the visit.
Some interesting updates and data from the GSA QPC taken from the in-person meeting as well as the slides provided to attendees:
• The SIP program is on its way out. The new FAS catalog is in Beta test with 3 office supply companies so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
• GSA thanked everyone for their efforts to support and elevate small businesses and partnership with them.
• They announced a new GSA SBA 8a program.
• Fiscal 2023 (Oct 2022-April 2023) has already surpassed total fiscal 2022 sales.
- Furniture & Furnishings sales on contract us up $121M (+20%)
- Office Furniture +$85.8M (+28%)
- Packaged Furniture +$33.6M (+25%)
- Dorm & Quarter +$7.5M (+17%)
• The GSA NSN program has reached its highest revenue in over a decade up 84% over last year. Offices are returning to work and the Air Force and NAVY are utilizing it more.
• Maximum Order Threshold (MOT) for packaged office decreased from $5M to $250k. This was done since the POC holders can only offer services on their contracts directly and now team with manufacturers versus letters of supply.
• Upcoming projects to be watching EBUY for RFIs:
- Veterans Benefit Administration (Several projects nationally)
- Possible FBI BPA for Demountable Walls
- IRS project in Baltimore under PBS 1-4BPA
- Small Projects BPA Tracking Multiple Projects Opportunities
• PBS Future of the office and path forward.
Driving to 5 outcomes:
- 1. Shape the Future of Work
- 2. Aim for Net Zero
- 3. Maximize Economic Impact
- 4. Enhance Mission Delivery
- 5. Empower a Diverse Workforce
• Workplace 2030 Guidelines:
- Work can be done anywhere, at any time.
- Distributed work is trusted work.
- The office is necessary, and its purpose is shifting.
- Agencies are willing to share space.
- Talent recruitment and retention can benefit from distributed work.
• NAVFAC, USACE and Air Force walked through how the process works when working with them.
• The Air Force announced they were moving the Furniture program from 773 Enterprise Sourcing Squadron at Wright Patterson Air Force Base to 771st Enterprise Sourcing Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base. Over 3 years/7 categories of contracts they have shown a savings of $3B to the Air Force.
The QPC usually meets twice a year in May and November (no word yet on the next meeting date or whether it will be virtual or in person) and, if you sell GSA, I highly recommend that you attend in person if you can. There is so much networking and opportunity to build relationships as well as to ask questions on site that you do not get virtually. For more information on the QPC and to join so you receive the notifications for the next meeting go to www.gsa.gov. GSA requests input on the agency speakers you would like to see at these events so don’t be shy when they ask!!
For more detailed information on the 2023 QPC meeting, the recording is posted on the GSA YouTube channel.
ABOUT MICHELLE WARREN
Founder, President - Catalyst Consulting Group
Michelle is a leading force in the commercial furniture industry with 27 years of experience. Holding executive positions on the manufacturing and dealer side, she is known as a strategist with a passion to distill difficult topics for easy learning and selling. Her talents resulted in unprecedented sales growth throughout her career and ultimately led her to the public sector; demystifying how to position product sales to the government. Her success and easy to understand approach lead her to open Catalyst in 2021.
Michelle has been recognized as an innovator in strategic selling to the Federal Government, State/Local Government, Higher Education and Cooperative Purchasing. She is also known for her willingness to mentor and elevate women in the furniture world.
On a personal note, Michelle has never met a dog she didn’t like. Her beagle, Zoe is her pride and joy. She loves meeting people (and dogs) and making connections happen. She is a serial networker at heart. Michelle resides in Dagsboro, Delaware.
As seen in Delve | July 2023 V.40