This is the second part of a six-part article on upcoming changes in federal contracting.

Until now, FSSI focused solely on commodities, such as office supplies, wireless devices and, most recently, janitorial and sanitation products.

“GSA recognizes that the approach to an FSSI solution for services will differ from the approach to commodities, but that in both areas there are opportunities for administrative savings through reduced contract duplication,” says Battaglini.

When a federal agency wishes to purchase janitorial supplies, it can access the JanSan purchase channel to receive discounts from one of the 18 distributors. Those distributors were selected in part because they can, or already do, ship janitorial supplies throughout the country.

“Commodities are the low-hanging fruit,” says professor Samuel D. Bornstein, a lead researcher with Bornstein and Song Research, Oakhurst, New Jersey, who has been studying small business issues since year the 2000. “Services are more complex.”

The BMO Services strategic sourcing solution comprises a whole host of operations maintenance and facility support services: HVAC, elevators, plumbing, electrical, building management, waste management, pest control and janitorial.

The federal government contracts with more than 13,000 building maintenance and operations vendors for approximately $6.4 billion in government spend, according to fiscal year 2013 contract awards data. The specific numbers for building service contractors are harder to nail down, since many contractors provide multiple services. The total lies somewhere around $1 billion spent on janitorial services provided by almost 2,500 BSCs, says Battaglini.

GSA does not yet know how many bids will be awarded to BSCs under BMO Services FSSI, she says.

But based on previous FSSI examples, the number should be significantly less than 2,500.

“I suspect a substantial decrease in the number of contracts awarded,” says Bill Balek, ISSA’s legislative affairs and environmental services director.

For example, 1,000 jan/san distributors used to sell cleaning supplies to the federal government. But under FSSI, that number is limited to 18.

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Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative Targets Government Contractors
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GSA Takes Suggestions From Cleaning Businesses