Testimonials

Testimonials (100+)

Testimonials – Schedule 75 Office Supplies (OS2) Contractors

Creative Sales Solutions, Inc.

Creative Sales Solutions, Inc. has been a schedule 75 contract holder since March, 2001. We have served the federal government with excellent service, products, and compliant pricing for a decade. However, during this time we have also experienced growing bi-partisanship and apathy when dealing with GSA , especially when the people in charge have no clue as to what it takes in time, human resources, and capital to maintain compliance. I chalk this up to the fact that either they don't understand free market enterprise, or they don't care. In my opinion, it's probably BOTH.

Below is our GSA 1st quarter sales for the last 4 years. Please note 2010 & 2011:

2008: $276,895.00
2009: $229,283.00
2010: $171,174.29 (-25%)
2011: $93,884.33 (-45%)

In Nov.2009, I was given a new CO, who promptly informed me AFTER I had a " contactor assistance visit" the previous April, that he had no documentation that I was a full catalog dealer, and that I wasn't allowed to have my full-line catalog on GSA Advantage. I explained that I WAS a full-line catalog dealer, that it had been approved in 2001. Again, he stated he had no documentation of it. I countered that anything loaded in the SIP program HAD to be approved by the CO, that contractors cannot simply and randomly load any products they want on their GSA site and that surely he was aware of this. We went through this song and dance (compiling a lot of expense and time) until July 8th, 2010, when he finally approved my full catalog conversion. During this time, we were not allowed to update pricing or products on our site, thus the 25% drop.

Now, after enduring all of that, we face extinction due to the reckless and uninformed in Washington. I have lost 45% of my business as a whole, and just in the last month, laid off the best damn employee (10 years) any business owner could ask for. Telling a Mid 30's mother of two small girls that you cannot afford to keep her, and that she needs to get on unemployment( welfare) is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. If the FSSI is allowed to continue, I cannot foresee us staying in business past May. What do I do about my responsibilities to my family? Especially my Father-in -law, who has Alzheimer's and I provide the funding for his assisted living? What about my partner, who is responsible for two children, one in college and one in grade school?

Very Truly Yours,

Brian W. Cassidy
President
Creative Sales Solutions, Inc.

Federal Services, Inc.

When Federal Services Inc. received its GSA Schedule 75 in March of 2009 it was a SDVOSB.

Once FSI received it's GSA Sch. 75 MAS Contract, it immediately applied for a AbilityOne distributorship and were awarded one. In June of 2010, FSI was awarded the first every Newcomer of the Year Award from the National Industries for the Blind. Things were really looking up and two Vietnam Era Veterans felt that finally the US Government was trying to help VOSB's. WRONG!!!!!!!!

Along came the FSSI in October of 2010 and sales of office products dropped by 87%.

This FSSI is a genuine" Made in the USA" Kick in the Ass and Slap in the Face when two Veterans are told that the US government is only going to allow and recognize one SDVOSB to be part of the FSSI BPA.

If this is true, then there should only be one Marker on Normandy.

Sincerely,

Jim Matter
President
Federal Services, Inc.

Adams Marketing

Adams Marketing has been a successful schedule 75 contract holder for 27 years. We have provided excellent pricing and service to the entire Federal Government customer across the world. We have evolved over the years to be EDI friendly and increased our ability to supply over 25,000 office supplies in an inexpensive and efficient manor. We have always been ranked in the top 10 of the, over 500, schedule 75 contractors. Since the forcing of the FSSI BPAs, we have had an immediate and exorbitant drop in business in the past 6 months. We have laid off 3 employees (one with a son in IRAQ) , given salary cuts to many employees, and having to consider more layoffs in the very near future.

Our customers are being diverted by the FSSI mandates from the Agency head level. One customer from the Census Bureau spent 3 days getting 2 forms, one at their level, and one at the Dept. of Interior level, filled out and signed. This was in order for them to purchase an item from Adams Marketing, saving them $300.00 over what they could find it for on FSSI. Placing the order with Adams Marketing took 3 minutes and we shipped it out the next day. We are getting many customers venting their frustration over the additional paperwork and man-hours involved in getting the best value for their purchase. Also, GSA has instructed it's New York City, Global Supply purchasing agents to also go to the 15 FSSI BPA holders, which in totally out of the realm of the micro-purchase cardholder use noted in the BPA.

On page 11, of GSA's powerpoint presentation entitled, " FSSI Office Supplies Executive Summary", in regard to the 24 month postponement of schedule 75 new offers, it states "Schedule 75 sales, outside of FSSI BPA's, projected to decline as use of the FSSI BPAs increases." This has been an unbelievable attempt to put 500 small businesses out of business, during the worst economic time of our lives. And this is all done with no regard about the fate of the schedule holders by OMB and GSA. After meeting face to face with them in front of my Congressman Bobby Scott, they admitted that they did not do any study as to the impact this FSSI might have on small businesses across America and it is hard to believe the our President is supporting this initiative.

Alpha Sum Business Machines

To echo the stories of the many small business owners that have had to face the decline in sales due to the FFSI contracts, we have also had to face the harsh reality this arrangement has had on the business. We are grateful for our GSA contracts, a lot of time and resources went into getting and maintaining these contracts. We work hard to provide quality goods at reasonable prices, so you can imagine how disheartening it is to see the rewards going to Office Depot, whether they have the best pricing or not.

We want to stand with you and all the small business owners to ensure that "cost cutting" programs are not just a way to cut the small business owners out of the market all together.

Thank you,

Maureen O'Toole
Alpha Sum Business Machines

Cycle-Net Inc.

CycleNet is one of those grass root American stories. I was tired of the corporate grind in the late 90's and hitting the glass ceiling, so I started CycleNet a small woman owned business. The company started in my basement and has grown to a multi-million dollar business employing eleven people. The past years have not been easy. I had to juggle raising my son by myself and meeting all of the financial needs of a growing company. The GSA or government portion of our business has been a key dependable portion of our business. I wrote our original schedule and submitted it for approval six years ago. It took me five months to write and complete all of the paperwork working in the evenings and on weekends. It then took the government five months to approve.

We just had our GSA contract renewed last December for another five years. What is ironic is that we received an "exceptional " rating from our GSA auditor. Our GSA business was growing over 40% because our prices were fair, our customer service exceptional, our delivery perfect to all locations across the U.S. and dealing with the units in Iraq, Kuwait, Egypt, Djoubuti, etc... Our business was founded on "uncompromising integrity"; it is present in all we do. We do not lose customers or accounts. Our GSA business has been down 95% since the first of the year through no fault of our own. Our government clients tell us that they have been mandated to purchase off of the FSSI even though they don't want to. We are located in Virginia, so we are close to many of the government agencies.

CycleNet is responsible for eleven families and their livelihoods. We are a small company like the other companies on the GSA schedule that supports their local communities, pays taxes on time, contributes to the betterment of our communities and lead by example. It is the American Way ! Has this been forgotten in Washington? Please let someone walk in my shoes and see what we have to contend with on a daily basis. In order to compete in an ever changing market the least we can ask for is a fair chance to succeed based on merit.

Sincerely,

"Sue", Susan M.
Saxion Cycle-Net Inc.

Andrews Office Supplies, Inc.

We received the request for quote. It was all or nothing on the office products and/or just for the toner. The products were limited to products not on our contract so we could not provide a bid. There was nothing on the RFQ that mentioned or listed all office products.

We only had our GSA contract for approx. two years and due to the increase in sales last year, we started to interview for two new positions with the company. Currently, sales are down significantly and we have cancelled any plans on hiring. In addition, the owner is looking for employment and doesn't know how long the company will be able to continue operating. Our federal government customers have commented on the great prices and customer service provided by our company.

The actions imposed by this FSSI/BPA are illegal. Based on the Small Business Act we are not being treated fairly or equitably.

Thank you,

Andy Lempa
Vice President
Andrews Office Supplies, Inc.
GSA Contract#: GS-02F-0172V
Woman Owned Small Business

Deja'vu Laser Services

I am a Service Disabled Veteran, rated by the VA at 90%. When leaving the military I discovered that my 24 years of "Experience and Skills" were not in demand and add in the disability factor. After working through a temp firm, I decided to start my own business in 1992. Over the years I heard about the GSA and the contracts they offered, but was discouraged from trying to get one, everyone said how impossible they were to get.

In 2006, I decided to go for it, downloaded the paperwork and got started. I was told it could take months to get it all processed, but I was willing to try. By the time I had everything filled out and submitted; they had changed the forms and I had to redo the entire packet.It was a major highlight to my business life to be awarded that GSA contract on January 31, 2007. There is a lot about the contract system that takes time and effort, from the on-site inspections(nerve wracking to say the least) to the mandatory contract modifications. I have always followed the regulations, from researching every item I list( I now have over 6,000 line items) to be sure were TAA compliant, percentage of recycled content, etc. Over the past 19 years I have had many business ups and downs including taking out a very large second mortgage on my home for the business. The GSA sales were really beginning to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Like anything else it has taken a while for the GSA customers to build up, I understood and was in it for the long haul; knowing that the other Schedule 75 contract holders were in the same situation. Now comes the FSSI BPA.

No longer are things equal and fair. I had been growing at a rate where I had begun to contemplate rehiring assistance. At one time I was able to employ eight workers, but with the economy, employee benefits and taxes, I've had to cut way back. Now just as I was seeing things turn around, I am slapped in the face with FSSI BPA. 'Customers' I had been able to count on ordering regularly ; were now being told 'they had to purchase from FSSI BPA only' even though my pricing was a better deal for them.

I have done everything required of me, getting certified as a "Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business" by the VA, Center for Veterans Excellence, going to the GSA Expo and all of the other 'little' things that have cropped up. Not only has FSSI BPA made my business go down, it has made my wife's and my blood pressures soar. This has made our lives teeter between anger and depression. My wife and I spend about 60 or 70 hours working each week, sometimes more, seven days a week at the business. It never seemed to be too much until we could no longer see the results of our labors. Before FSSI BPA I was able to see a steady trend up to more than 60% of my total sales from my government sales, now I'm not even averaging one sale per day.

With the FSSI BPA injected into the equation, the mandated sales of $25,000 per year looms large over my head, fortunately,fortunately for this year I was able to make my quota before the FSSI BPA went into effect. But what about my new year beginning in July, never before have I had to worry about that. I went from growing and thriving to wondering how long I can keep the doors open.

And just this week I get a call from a GSA rep; it's time for my inspection again!

Dale L. Gettle
Owner
Deja'vu Laser Services

MMG Technology Group, Inc.

MMG Technology Group Inc is a small, disadvantaged, woman-owned business that relies heavily on our GSA relationship. MMG has a total of (9) employees.

MMG Technology Group Inc is a small, disadvantaged, woman-owned business that relies heavily on our GSA relationship. MMG has a total of (9) employees.

The FSSI has significantly impacted our overall business with the Federal Government to the point we may end up laying off long-time employees. MMG has had a very positive working relationship with GSA for (12) years and our service and commitment to GSA has been excellent. Needless to say our story is no different than any of the other Schedule 75 contract holders. The FSSI process created by GSA is irresponsible and without merit. With the exception of a few small and disadvantaged business the rest of the Schedule 75 contract holders have been hung out to dry.

MMG is currently is the process of turning the business over to our children and needless to say this FSSI program has been devastating to their long-term hopes of being able to carry this business forward as second generation owners of our family business.

This FSSI program needs to be terminated so that all small businesses have a chance to compete with our customers without them being told by GSA that it's FSSI or nothing.

Thank you,

Larry Marietti
Vice President Operations/Co-Owner
MMG Technology Group, Inc.

Western Technologies

We are a Viet-Nam small veteran-owned business and have serviced VA's and other government institutions since 1991. Our business has declined over 50% since this FSSI became in place. The contact people I work with in the government VA's are calling me and telling me they have been told they can no longer do business with us because of the FSSI mandate.

We went to considerable links and expense to get our GSA number and keep our prices very competitive with the other vendors. In fact, we had a lot of extra services that we gave to the VA's because we wanted to support our veterans and keep their cost at a minimum; however, we are rewarded with a "slap in the face" with this FSSI. This is not fair competition and goes against every facet of our American way - free enterprise and the right to compete. It is very autocratic and undemocratic. This is what happens when the "big" federal government think they know best.

We are discussing the possibility that we may have to close our business if something is not done in the very near future to allow us the right to service our government institutions.

Thank you,

Jackie Esnard
Vice President
Western Technologies
2401 Windy Ridge ~ Plano, TX 75025

Pacific Ink, Inc.

Pacific Ink, Inc. is a woman owned, small business that was awarded a GSA Schedule in January 2004 to sell printer cartridges. Over the last 7 years we have worked hard on our GSA Schedule both marketing it and keeping it in compliance and have bent over backwards keeping our government customers and GSA happy. Since October 1, 2010 we have experienced a critical drop in our GSA sales, which in real dollars comes to a difference of $417,000. The first quarter of 2011 has been the hardest to swallow as our sales are down 71% over 1st quarter 2010. Because we haven't changed anything with regards to our marketing efforts and our monthly contact with all of our government customers we know that the reduction in sales is due entirely to the FSSI BPA.

Our government business is very diversified which has helped us weather past budget delays, organization wide BPA's, etc. but approximately 32% of our government customers have contacted us to let us know that they are saddened that they can no longer purchase from us because they are mandated to buy from the FSSI BPA. Looking at our customer list we estimate that closer to 60% can't order from us anymore due to the organizations mandates on them to order from the FSSI BPA. We also have had reports from several customers that are able to order from us that they are having a hard time finding us on GSA Advantage the past few months due to the new GSA Advantage website. We have had a hard time locating our products as well due to the new site and its favoritism to FSSI BPA companies.

Due to the dramatic decrease in sales we have had to layoff 2 people that served our government customers and 1 warehouse employee during the last 3 months. We have had a difficult time paying our vendors and covering our most basic expenses of rent, medical insurance, etc. We are fighting for our livelihood and the livelihood of our employees. While we are doing this we have reports from our customers that have to order from FSSI BPA but have not received their product for over 3 weeks, are having a hard time getting a hold of anyone for customer service, and last but not least, paid more than they would have for the product had they purchased it from us.

As a tax payer this is very disheartening knowing that the government can buy it for less from Pacific Ink, Inc. and several other small businesses, get better service, but are being mandated to buy elsewhere due to a decision made by our government.

Sincerely,

Jaime Mautz
President
Pacific Ink, Inc.
GSA Contract#GS-02F-0073P
10531 4S Commons Drive, Suite 166-415 ~ San Diego, CA 92127-9212

Midwest Office Supply

Since this began I have lost 69% of my employees. I have had a reduction in revenue of 47 %( the percentage grows larger everyday). I had to reduce pay for all remaining employees. I have had to cancel all healthcare coverage for all employees including myself. I don't ever recall receiving an invite/solicitation for the FSSI. I went through the long ordeal of obtaining our GSA contract back in 2006 and I have greatly appreciated the support of the local base where I live up till 4Q09. As a veteran, it disheartens me that the committee didn't look into what the FSSI was going to do with all of the remaining vendors and their families. In October of 2009, the orders started to die off. We were told by numerous cardholders that where they were not allowed to purchase from local small business, they had to use advantage to enter orders. I said ok, I am on advantage, still no orders. We are lucky if I receive 1 order a day.

I finally learned of the FSSI in Jan 2011 and had a meeting with base contracting last month and they admitted to knowing about the FSSI and I was told there was nothing they could do. We are on the verge of closing the doors. We all need to fight this before it is too late.

Richard Finn
USAF Veteran Midwest Office Supply GSA Contract Holder

LCi Office Products, Inc.

My business LCI Office Products, Inc. is AbilityOne vendor and we never received a notification for it as well.

Kind regards,

Parvaneh Nobari
LCi Office Products, Inc.

Rita Hall

It's my understanding the only ones informed were the AbilityOne venders (approx 125). But would it have really mattered? Even if you had an opportunity to participate, there would still be 15 vendors chosen and 500 kicked under the bus!

ONYX Electronics, Inc

Have a Blessed Day,

Rita Hall
Head of Government Sales

Midwest Office Supply

Since this began I have lost 69% of my employees. I have had a reduction in revenue of 47 %( the percentage grows larger everyday). I had to reduce pay for all remaining employees. I have had to cancel all healthcare coverage for all employees including myself. I don't ever recall receiving an invite/solicitation for the FSSI. I went through the long ordeal of obtaining our GSA contract back in 2006 and I have greatly appreciated the support of the local base where I live up till 4Q09. As a veteran, it disheartens me that the committee didn't look into what the FSSI was going to do with all of the remaining vendors and their families. In October of 2009, the orders started to die off. We were told by numerous cardholders that where they were not allowed to purchase from local small business, they had to use advantage to enter orders. I said ok, I am on advantage, still no orders. We are lucky if I receive 1 order a day.

I finally learned of the FSSI in Jan 2011 and had a meeting with base contracting last month and they admitted to knowing about the FSSI and I was told there was nothing they could do. We are on the verge of closing the doors. We all need to fight this before it is too late.

Richard Finn
USAF Veteran Midwest Office Supply GSA Contract Holder

Central Florida Data Supply, Inc.

Central Florida Data Supply has had a GSA schedule under 75 200 for two years now. We are a Woman-Owned Small Business with 8 employees. As a recent graduate from the University of Central Florida, I was hired to head up the Government side of the business in September of 2010. Just as things got rolling, the FSSI was put into action, and we have ran into a brick wall. We have seen our GSA Advantage orders almost come to a stop since FSSI. Bids on E-buy are now being put out with FSSI restrictions on them. The GSA Advantage search engine directs every search to FSSI BPA holders first, regardless of price. These are all unfair practices that counter the sole purpose of having GSA MAS contract that we worked so hard for.

One of our sales representatives had been servicing a local VA office for two years. Once FSSI was mandated, the $20,000 a month in orders suddenly disappeared. Roughly a quarter of a million dollars in revenue lost, and this is only one customer. On top of that, our contact/purchaser with the VA is very unhappy with the switch. She has reached out to us asking to please find a way to get rid of the FSSI. They are not pleased with pricing or customer service associated with their newly assigned dealer. My sole responsibility here at Central Florida Data Supply is our GSA contract.

Therefore, if something is not done soon about FSSI, it is likely that my position and one other sales rep will no longer be needed.

Thank you,

Justin Harvey
GSA Sales Central Florida Data Supply, Inc.

LCI Office Products, INC.

Thank you so much for trying to fight for our right so hard and I hope to get somewhere with this huge problem we are facing and most of us suffering tremendously. My business LCI OFFICE PRODUTS, INC. is a small, women own and disadvantage business. After 4-years trying very hard and spending lot of time and energy, finally on 2002 I became a GSA contractor.

Since then I tried my best to be a perfect government contractor by giving the best pricing and the best service possible. Therefore until today, we never received any kind of complain from anyone for our misbehavior or mistaking in our invoices with higher prices! And through all these years each time we had a GSA officer to audit us here, we received (EXCELENT, OUTSTANDING REPORT) from them.

And now with FSSI issue which most of their pricing is higher than on the other GSA contracts on the GSA Advantage, my business is down 80%. Next month I will go to hospital and I am going to be there at least 1-month for a major surgery and my spouse is out of business for 2-years with no unemployment checks (It was his business) therefore I am providing for all family in this disaster situation.

I am hoping that the people who organized this FSSI! They will realize before we have close our businesses, how they are hurting all of small business contractors and they will reconsider their unfair decision.

Kind regards and good luck to you & all of us.

Parvaneh Nobari
LCI Office Products, INC.

S&B Computer and Office Products, Inc.

It took us years of effort to learn several regulations that we would need to comply and to fill multi page application before we could negotiate best prices for several thousand office supply items with Contracting Officer of GSA. We have GSA Schedule since 2000. Believe me that it was an expensive effort, both monetarily and precious time wise for a small business. We are a Woman-owned, small disadvantage business, who employed 15 employees and now down to 8 due to recession and impact of FSSI BPA.

All our customers were extremely happy as we would provide them with best possible customer service to meet their office supply needs. All gone in a matter of few weeks as most of our customers have been instructed to buy only through FSSI BPA. Our prices for several items are better than those of FSSI BPA awardees.

Ever Since the FSSI BPA started to implement, we have lost 90% of Federal Business. Recently due to loss of business we had to lay off 5 full time and 1 part time employees who are now collecting unemployment and may eventually become dependent on welfare. This is not a wise decision be Our Government.

We have communicated our concern to our Congressman Chris Gibson and both our Senators, Senator Gillibrand and Senator Schumer. I hope that GSA will realize that how FSSI BPA has hurt so many hard working small business. All of us put great effort in making sure that we provide best service to GSA and stay in compliance, looks like all those years of efforts are overlooked and GSA decided to pick and chose and reward few businesses,

Sincerely,

Seema Nepal
S&B Computer and Office Products, Inc.
Woman-Owned Small Disadvantaged Business

Complete Packaging & Shipping

The numbers are not in yet, so I can't tell you exactly what kind of loss we have suffered, but it is significant. I have worked extremely hard for the past few years to service the government in the best possible way, and was quite successful. It is unfortunate and unfair how this course has changed and how other's now benefit!! My competition used to be other dealers, now it's the government, who I worked so hard to please….…something is definitely wrong here!

Thank you Tom for standing up for us "little" people!!

Thank You and Have A Great Day

Joan Wunk
Gov't Sales Director
Complete Packaging & Shipping

ProSource Packaging, Inc.

As ProSource Packaging, Inc. enters the final months of our 5 year Contract, our company received an Exceptional rating from our GSA auditor. We are a Houston, TX based Hispanic woman owned business, heavily leveraged due to the collapse of the American economy since 2008. Our Exceptional rating wasn't a surprise to us as we focus on quality, service, and value to our customers. To further this effort we spent a large amount of money and effort to become the only Office Equipment Supplier registered with the International Standards Organization, ISO 9001:2008. Does the FSSI BPA recognize this business model? No. Stupid is as stupid does.

We had sales of approximately $2 million in fiscal year 2010 but I would guess that we would be lucky to achieve sales of $300,000 in fiscal year 2011. Our sales in the first quarter of 2011 were a miserable $55,000. In the past we would receive GSAadvantage orders of 3 to 10 per day. We are fortunate to receive 1 order per week due to the manipulation of the GSAadvantage website.

Upon release of the FSSI BPA, we were forced to lay off one employee. I see very dark days ahead. I can't sleep at night. I worry about becoming homeless. I worry about bankruptcy. How many Contracts will I be forced to break? Landlord, telecom, utility, insurance, the list is long. I worry about my employees. Suicidal thoughts reoccur daily. Suicide. Suicide. All because of this Anti American, Anti Democratic, Anti Competitive, Price Fixing business model of that thug, Daniel Gibson. 40 companies allowed to quote, must be Ability One and Schedule 75 in order to participate.

Thank you Daniel Gibson for my release from this earthly life. Daniel Gibson, the "man who has many friends at the GAO, I worked there for many years." Daniel Gibson, he has somebody at the GAO watching his back, his many friends…. Daniel Gibson the man who should be indicted for official intimidation.

Paul Baumgarten
Sales Manager
ProSource Packaging, Inc.

Desert Paper and Envelope

I do not have a downturn data specific to GSA because we have not been able to gain any momentum behind our GSA sales since the award in March of 2010. The assistance offered by GSA to obtain access to envelope rfp's and market our schedule have been less than helpful. To date our GSA sales are less than $5,000. We are currently in the midst of a GSA marketing campaign with a cost over $2,500. The unfortunate timing of the FSSI BPA's makes it difficult to forge ahead with such a hearty marketing project. We will continue to move forward however, due to the energy and encouragement provided by your initiatives.

Best regard,

Ella Leeper
President
Desert Paper and Envelope

Eagle Technologies

My company is in its 14th year of business. I have been proud to have applied for and been granted the privilege of selling supplies to my federal government, which is not (and should not be) a simple and easily attainable position. As such I have worked very hard to meet the very stringent standards for the approval process and then also to continue to uphold them. I am constantly told by my federal customers that our value is superior. We maintain levels of high quality and low pricing so that we are the best value to the taxpayers who fund these federal purchases.

Our nation deserves best value. As a veteran I can appreciate that at least as well as anyone. Being a veteran also affords me a nice ability to conduct business with the government, since there are mandates that a small percentage of purchases are made with special categories of vendors, like veterans. I have paid dearly to hone my business to be competitive in this area, running costly pricing analysis often, so I can adjust my prices if they need to be lower. Despite being the best value, I have lost almost my entire revenue from federal purchasing.

Within the last year, Blanket purchase Agreements (BPAs) have become mandatory in the practices of my customers, forcing them to buy from sources that are not giving them the best value and eliminating free enterprise from the field. I do not understand the details. I am told the government has maneuvered to get better deals. From my perspective, I hear that the prices are no better, but I am not doing that research. What I do know is that over 500 competitive vendors are no longer engaged in competitive business to win those purchases.

Capitalism and free enterprise seem to have died. The best products at the best prices - that seems the American Way. Putting that trade with only a dozen or so companies instead, with a quick flick of the hand, has been devastating. That competitive economic trade also fuels our local and nation economies. I employ several other people but we have shrunken. Our gross receivables in this recession are half what they were a year ago - half because we have lost all of our federal business. We have been treading carefully but seem headed down the drain.

I've laid off my office manager a few months ago. Those of us left are underpaid and barely employed. We are hoping for better. In this state, it is demoralizing to hear that a small handful of companies like Office Depot have claimed the near monopoly. I wonder, is that responsible for their stock price nearly doubling in value since late summer last year (2010)? Demoralizing, unfair, illegal, and …. Perhaps even other words yet unproven, like corrupt. People are out of jobs. And toner cartridges are no cheaper for the taxpayer-funded purchasing, regardless. I ask anyone to logically (and with evidence) justify this ugly misadventure.

Sincerely,

Craig Hall
Owner & President
Eagle Technologies

Lucille Maud Corporation

Lucille Maud Corporation has Schedule 75 since March of 2004.

We attended the Industry Day(s) in D.C. on both the original FSSI and the subsequent re-compete. It seemed unwinnable, although again, we spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars and submitted our proposal. (both times)

We have been audited by GSA many times, including not only our Industrial Analyst for IFF compliance, but also out of D.C. in late 2009 from the United States of America, Office of Inspector General (OIG), for every single order, for the history of our contract, (looking for COO compliance). This took hundreds of man-hours, and two trips to D.C to the OIG. We worked on the audit preparation and subsequent "squawk list" of requested items for three (3) months.

Our sales are significantly down. Orders now trickle in a few at a time.

If there is anything you can do to help, let us know.

Regards,

Todd Ricker
Vice President of Operations

Flex Imaging

Our company, SCS LLC, worked for close to a year to secure a schedule 75 GSA contract, issued in 2008. We have worked with narrow margins providing exceptional service and value to multiple government agencies. Our sales went from (2009 $50,000), (2010 $150,000), (2011 ytd $10,000) Now, no orders. All our GSA orders have stopped from 12 or more agencies. This shocked us as we have invested so much money and time into our GSA systems, and were counting on this initiative to drive our 2011 growth.

I have formally addressed this with my C/O and have not heard any response as of yet. During a recent onsite midterm audit, a GSA officer related that the GSA promotes small business more than large, and want to help us grow our business. Due to this sudden loss of business from GSA will be forced to lay off one full time employee by April.

A GSA schedule is worthless if there is an exclusive GSA BPA (FSSI) that locks most contract holders out of government agencies? Our pricing and service is better than the big box stores and we can compete if given a chance! What we would like to see is our congressman get involved and review the mission objectives of the GSA, the consider the impact that the FSSI has on small business like ours. I'll be contacting our representatives with this issue immediately.

All our 31 employees appreciate your efforts!

Don Hester
Southern Cross Systems, LLC DBA Flex Imaging

Lazer Cartridges Plus

Loss of Revenue: $42,000/mo loss of gross sales due to FSSI BPA (Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11), if continues will be an annual loss of $504,000 this year. Employees: We are a very small business, 1 full time employee and 2 part time employees, Feb 11 had to lay off our full time employee due to the FSSI BPA.

Sales have dropped 40% in our federal sector which is the majority of our business. This has been an extreme determent on our small, woman owned business and have had to recently lay off our only full time employee. We have had a GSA Schedule 75 for 10 years have grown every year until the FSSI BPA came along and set us on a fatal landslide. We are struggling to stay in business and many of our federal customers who purchased from us because of our free overnight service and price can no longer purchase from us, even though the items that they are purchasing are cheaper with us vs. the mandated FSSI BPA. We feel that this BPA was put together with little research on the impact on small businesses, is a restraint of trade, monopoly, and clearly against the SBA and GSA's original procurement mission.

In appreciation for your concern,

Dixie Liening
Lazer Cartridges Plus
GS14F0035M

FedGov Supply

We were awarded our 75 GSA Schedule in August of 2010. We were never offered a chance to compete for FSSI. We were never informed of FSSI. We were encouraged by GSA to spend the time and money to become a GSA Schedule holder. Everything was great............ for a month. Effective Oct. 1st, 2010 many of our most loyal customers informed us they could no longer use our company. They stated they were all forced to use FSSI vendors only. When I spoke to our GSA point of contact we were told that we just have to deal with it, we would not be allowed to compete for the FSSI, and there was no way they were going to let the FSSI collapse.

Half of the agencies we deal with have switched to FSSI Mandatory. Our sales are down close to 70% from last year. VA, DHS, EPA, Labor, Commerce, Navy, Education, DHHS, all former clients gone to mandatory FSSI.

We have been forced to lay off 1/3 of our workforce. If things do not change we will be bankrupt and out of business in the near future. We are losing money, our lives, our sanity, and everything we have worked for. We soon will be added drain on the US tax payer.

Matt Donnelly
FedGov Supply
GSA Schedule #GS02F0213W
A Local, Woman Owned, Small Business!!!

Computer Wholesale Products of America, Inc.

Since October 2010 we have had a critical drop in GSA orders. We now receive only 1 GSA order a day on average (2 orders a day would be considered lucky at this point!). This dramatic reduction in our business is directly related to the FSSI contracts. For many years our GSA sales have helped sustain our business and provide growth opportunities, but our livelihood is now threatened.

We bend over backwards and jump through GSA's hoops each year to ensure contract compliance, we endure the intimidating feel of annual audits, and we take whatever else they throw at us. Years of effort, time and expense have essentially been rendered useless! This is now a very one-sided "partnership".

A sad sales tale: •57% drop in GSA sales from Sept. 2010 to Oct. 2010 (impact of the FSSI program was immediate) •46% drop in GSA sales from Oct. 2009 to Oct. 2010. •Number of GSA orders continues to diminish (compared to September of last year): Oct. 2010 vs. Sept. 2010 Down 62% (this is when BPA's were kick-started) Nov. 2010 vs. Sept. 2010 Down 48% Dec. 2010 vs. Sept. 2010 Down 54% Jan. 2011 vs. Sept. 2010 Down 37% Feb. 2011 vs. Sept. 2010 Down 59% (most likely reflects changes made to search features on Advantage web site)

Michelle Kalkhoff
Computer Wholesale Products of America, Inc.

Chip Jones

Thank you for contacting me and adding me on your email list, and for taking your precious time and resources working on the FSSI issue. We have all been affected by and large negatively by the FSSI directive. I was not sure if you are familiar with NOPA, our national industry association, which is why I am bringing this to you. During this time NOPA has been working hard to build a significant message to the legislators. NOPA employs an extremely well known lobbyist in DC. As such, NOPA is employing a defined strategy to battle FSSI.

Have you spoken with Chris Bates, the president of NOPA with regard to this? I believe that you may find a tremendous common ground that can add many more resources to our FSSI fight. There have so many dealers affected by this and we need to find a unified industry voice and a way to pull together on this. I will copy Chris on my email to you in hopes that you can contact one another and see if we can find an optimum united approach to our FSSI problem. I am always here to talk if you wish.

Thank You,

Chip Jones

American Toner & Ink

American Toner & Ink received it's GSA Schedule 75 MAS contract in April 2008 after almost a year of preparations and going through the GSA contract application process. We sell printing supplies such as ink, toner, ribbons, etc... In FY2010 we averaged over $20K/month in GSA sales. ($242K total for 2010) For the first quarter of 2011 we are on pace to achieve $23K total GSA sales for 3months. This constitutes an over 60% reduction in our GSA sales, and I fear it will get worse as FSSI compliance within government agencies spreads.

As such, ATI is struggling financially and we are quickly trying to develop private sector sales to offset this loss of revenue and keep us going. It is particularly disheartening given the considerable investment in time and resources we spent getting and maintaining our GSA contract only to have the rug pulled out from under us after our investment. With our GSA contract award, I expected only a seat at the table in a fair marketplace and knew we would have to earn our business from there. With the exclusivity of the FSSI BPA's we have lost our ability to compete based on value and performance as should be the case in any fair market.

We offer the same products available on FSSI BPA's at a lower cost and therefore better value to the government in many cases, yet buyers are encouraged to go elsewhere. How is this in the American taxpayers' best interest, let alone the best interest of the hundreds of small businesses that will be damaged or destroyed completely by this unilateral action? The fact that Office Depot has seen the greatest gain due to FSSI implementation is further proof that this program runs at the expense of small businesses like mine. Corporate fat cats get richer, more people work for meager wages instead of pursuing a dream, and small businesses and the communities around them suffer... Is this truly the American way now? I sincerely hope someone that matters will see the folly and smell the stench of corporate kickbacks in this program and do something to save the hardworking small business like ours that truly made this country a land of opportunity.

Sincerely,

Jeremy Meyer
American Toner & Ink

Topsail Enterprises

My name is David Fox owner of Topsail Enterprises and I can't understand what is going on when the President is heard saying that small businesses are the life blood of the country for jobs and it would really help our countrys economy if small business did well.

My co. a small business has the hardest time getting business with the government. There is no way to market to the buyers and all the business that are bigger get better prices because they do more business with their suppliers. To me it's a catch 22, and then this fssi story happens and all of a sudden business really slows down and there is nothing we can do. The office supply business is really strange and has a bad rap because many people can get into it easy and sell bad products( compatible toners made wrong) Compatible toners are the life blood of my business which by the way I have been in for twenty years. And why is the government using so much HP product, its not made in the us.

How can we stop the people in government from acting like this. why can't we work together to better the situation for all of us not just one side or the other I never heard about the Fssi until last week WHY, we all should be able to be on the same playing field .WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS WORLD.

David Fox
Topsail Enterprises
GS02F0057S

iBuyOfficeSupply.com

We have seen purchases from GSA diminish considerably. We used to write 20-25 orders per day and now are averaging 2-3. As we are a fairly new contract holder (August 2010)we do not have much history to compare to. It has not affected our staff as the vast majority of our business is not GSA. We viewed earning a GSA contract as way to diversify our business and grow. We do about 95% or our business via our internet sites. We sell to some other smaller companies that are schedule 75 contract holders and we have seen their orders drop off to next to nothing. One example, is California based company. Last year they started buying from us and they were buying $30K per month.

They would receive the GSA orders via Advantage and send them to us to fulfill. Their business is almost nothing. We went from receiving 12-15 orders per day to 4-5 per week. GSA has clearly rigged the GSA Advantage website to favor FSSI BPA holders. As our business is selling on the internet we understand price comparison websites. The old GSA Advantage site was pretty comparable to sites like Amazon, Google shopping, Nextag, etc. GSA buyers used Advantage in much the same way they would use the internet to shop by price.

Now product results from searches bring up BPA holders first and they bring up several results for the same sku number because contractors have different descriptions. This did not happen before. If a sku was entered in a search results came up and the buyer could choose a source by socio-economic categories, price, etc. This rigging of the search results to BPA holders is wrong. GSA always wanted to encourage competition, which is why there are 516 contract holders on the schedule. This combined with the mandating of use of FSSI BPA contracts is what has dramatically changed the rules of engagement that GSA established a long time ago. The bottom line is that by making the changes they have the following is happening:

1. Jobs in small businesses are being lost and I am sure some businesses will fail that are not diversified enough outside GSA. This is completely counter to what the Obama administration wants to promote (job growth) in America. 2. Big companies are being rewarded more business. This is very ironic in that one of the BPA holders is Office Depot which is under federal investigations by the U.S. Justice Dept. for alleged overcharging of government agencies over the last several years. Depot has been found guilty and has paid restitution plus legal fees to many public agencies already. The federal government has yet to state their findings, but I would think it would make sense to NOT award a BPA to a company that is under federal investigations. In fact, I would expect it as a tax payer. 3. Ultimately, the tax payer will suffer as limiting the choice to purchase supplies from 15 BPA holders (that have been proven to have higher pricing in 70% of the skus in question) will cost the government more for the same products. We hear GSA buyers mention all the time that they have to buy from a BPA holder even though they know they are paying more. This is simply wrong. What makes America great is the ability to buy freely in a competitive marketplace. Limiting the people we tax payers pay to find the best deals possible makes no sense. These buyers are trained to find the best deals they can for their public agency and now they are being told to not do that and just buy from a BPA holder without concern for price. Does not make a lot of sense considering the financial woes of our country. 4. Lastly, contract holders will find ways around the FSSI initiative. Contract holders without BPAs will find ways to partner with those who have them to be able to sell to public agencies that are mandated to use BPA contract holders only. I have heard deals like this are already done. It may even open the door for a company that is not a contract holder to partner with a BPA holder to solicit business of a public agency, which is definitely not what GSA wants to see happen.

FSSI is severely limiting small businesses from competing for government business for the reasons I have mentioned. All we ask is an even playing field with NO MANDATES to buy from BPA holders. It is fine with us if buyers are told to look at BPA holders first and then if they can buy better from a non-BPA holder to do so. Mandating is not the answer. We compete with the biggest players in the office products industry on the internet every day. We started our business in 2008 and have grown from zero to $5 million in sales and have created jobs for 6 people in one of the worst economies in American history. If we can do this in an open market competitive environment against $25 billion companies like Staples we can do the same for GSA. We just need the rules to be the same as the open market. FSSI BPA mandating changes those rules to a closed market which limits small businesses from growing by competing for market share of federal government business.

Ron Weber
iBuyOfficeSupply.com
Plymouth, MN

TRC Office Supplies

In reference to FSSI,here are my comments. I am classified as a Veterans Small Business. I have been a schedule 75 GSA contractor for about 6 years. The Economy being so bad has caused me to live almost solely off of GSA in my business. Because of the issuance of FSSI my GSA business has gone from about 20,000 a month to about 400.00 a month.

Due to the Benevolence of the dear Congressmen in Washington DC I had to take out a reverse Mortgage on my Home because I cannot pay my taxes to the local politicians and my friends in Washington D.C.

The way FSSI has been set up for Office Depot and Staples I will very shortly be a ward pf all Government facilities,State and Federal. This is without a doubt the beginning for Staples and Office Depot of a very lucrative business scheme between them and some government officials to give them the business that should have come to small business but is now going solely and only to 2 of the largest office Supply Companies in our Grand and Glorius United States of America that is now OWNED and controlled by LARGE business.

I say yes to you and your efforts with this matter. I will be happy to participate in your endeavor to correct this criminal action that has been approved by the Government of the United States that was voted into office by all the people of this country who are presently taking a ROYAL SCREWING from the pweople who owe their jobs to us at the polls. I am sure that much trouble is coming to them to repay them for their wonderfull efforts pon all our behalfs.

Tom Constantino
TRC Office Supplies

P.S. By the way I see that business is booming in the Washington DC area since Mr. Obama has created so many $150,000 a year jobs for his poor constituants. How would our congressman like to get on to an income of 0.0 dollars a week like I am now receiving. God Bless America. We need HIS help!

M3 Technologies

I am Lujuanne Holland President of M3 Technologies, a minority woman-owned small business enterprise currently on GSA Schedule 75. We have been a contract schedule holder since 2003. We have spent a great deal of time and money acquiring the GSA Schedule 75 and staying compliant.

The FSSI BPA has caused great financial strain to our business and my family. My husband who works with me had to get a second job just to pay bills during the holiday season things were so bad. I have children preparing to leave high school for college how do you tell your child they cannot go to school to further their education. If our sales continue to decline we will longer be able to operate our business. Mr. Ubl thank you for time and care.

Lujuanne Holland
M3 Technologies

Zee Technologies, Inc.

We are a small minority (Native American) owned company dealing with mainly Information Technologies. We have been doing business with the federal government since 2004. We have worked hard each and every day to maintain a client base and have it grow at a healthy rate each year. We have formed wonderful relationships with a lot of really great people whom we have helped to save money and keep within their budget requirements. Our clients love us because of the hard work and honest prices and great service that they receive when they do business with Zee Technologies, Inc.

In the recent months, there has been an unfair blanket purchase agreements within our federal government. Our government spends millions every year to keep our country in operation. These purchase card holders buy large amount of office supplies. They have over the years fairly spread the wealth to many small disadvantaged businesses around our country. Now, they are being forced to purchase unfairly from 13 companies. Our company has been devastated by the FSSI II which we were never were aware of and never given the opportunity to quote. We have lost over half of our clients overnight due to the mandatory implementation of the BPA.

We work hard each day to provide for our five children. Our company also employs others whose families depend on them. Answer me this: Why would you do this to our citizens and to the small businesses in America? To quote our President, "Small businesses are the backbone of our country." Please help us to get back on track. Please stop this unfair act and spread the wealth.

Sincerely,

Scott Zumbrum
Zee Technologies, Inc.
GSA Contract #GS-02F-0100U 8A
Small Disadvantaged Native American Owned Business
SBA# 302939 SB/DVBE 1057240 SBA Disadvantaged #P0635275

ONYX Electronics, Inc.

In FY11, the FSSI purchasing program paralyzed small businesses across the country. By giving ALL of the office supply business to just 15 selected companies, the monstrous Office Depot and Staples being two of them, they have kicked the 500 other schedule 75 companies under the bus while these anointed 15 are getting richer and richer and richer.

My company, a small woman owned business has been severely affected. In an effort to keep my business afloat, I maxed out all of my resources, all my credit lines and even cashed in my retirement funds to stay afloat until someone realized the damage the FSSI is causing the small business and our economy. I believed things would soon get back to normal, but it never did. I was forced to file Chapter7 bankruptcy August of the year.

The FSSI has caused hundreds of businesses to fold and sent thousands of their employees to the unemployment lines. And what’s worse is what is about to follow. GSA plans to roll out the FSSI program to ALL other schedules causing thousands more to loose their jobs. And it doesn’t stop there. There is a domino effect taking place, my suppliers, who rely on small businesses have also been affected and are being forced to lay off employees. Even GSA themselves have thinned their herd since they now only need to support 15 companies (whom by the way are paying them an additional 2% more in fees.) How many more jobs will have to be eliminated before someone wakes up?!

Rita Hall
ONYX Electronics, Inc

American Warehouse

Many of us small businesses that went through the process to become a GSA contractor of office and computer supplies are being hurt by the FSSI restriction. It seems the government would want to limit the number of suppliers as well as limit the optimum pricing and service the tax payers must pay. Please repeal this so that all of us can participate and EARN the business that we get from the buyers we've worked so hard to please over the years.

Sincerely,

Pat Migliaccio
American Warehouse
GS02F0213P

Future Solutions, Inc.

Future Solutions, Inc. has had a GSA contract for more than 10 years. During that time, our business has steadily grown across the government sector providing products to all facets of the federal marketplace, that was until FSSI Generation 2. Since the implementation of FSSI and mandating the use of that vehicle within government agencies we have seen a dramatic decline of sales that are equivalent to 75% reduction in revenue. That has resulted in the elimination of 90% of my workforce (which those people are now on unemployment with no end in sight).

Many of our long term customers are complaining that under the FSSI mandate they receive inferior products, some higher prices, inadequate customer service, and are unable to go elsewhere because of the mandate. The FSSI mandate has destroyed multiple businesses including my own. As I strive to keep the doors open and still service my government clients, the opportunities have been eliminated going only to 15 businesses that have the FSSI BPA.

To add insult to injury, the 15 companies on the FSSI BPA have been provided preferential treatment by the contracting officers looking to preserve their own jobs. The FSSI BPA holders get their contracts uploaded in a timely fashion, whereas the rest of us have to wait for months for a modification to be approved while losing money because of the delay in pricing uploads. Since GSA has implemented a 2% IFF vs. the .75% for schedule holders, GSA is unfairly directing business to those BPA holders in order to receive a higher Industrial Funding Fee based on the FSSI structure. Clearly GSA has a conflict of interest when they have two different industrial funding fees and funneling all the business to the BPA in order to make more money for GSA. All the while ignoring the FAR 9.104 requirements for a responsible, ethical and compliant contractor. This behavior by GSA sends an unwelcoming message to contract holders that you can cheat and get ahead as long as it makes GSA look good and they get a higher IFF to pad their coffers.

GSA has destroyed the free marketplace by eliminating competition and directing millions of dollars to a handful of companies while crushing those contractors who play by the rule and operate honestly and ethically. There is a cost to compliance and evidently GSA has no regard for that when all they are looking for is the lowest price from whoever wants to play the game. All the while GSA has millions of square feet of real estate that is going unused and the taxpayer is continuing to pay for empty space! The waste, fraud and abuse that GSA has engaged in would be frowned upon by our government if it was another country acting in this way.

So meanwhile you and I the taxpayer is having our hard money wasted by this same agency who thinks they can save a few million dollars on office supplies and yet GSA continues to pay for empty/unused real estate that exceeds any so called “savings” by mandating FSSI. For the more than 500 companies that were affected by the mandate of FSSI and the amount of jobs lost is catastrophic for a weak economy. This is just for the office supply arena. Wait until the FSSI mandate goes across the rest of the GSA Schedules. These numbers will be compounded in a way that will destroy our economy and make Spain, Italy and Greece look like a robust economy. Our government has given GSA a free pass to destroy small businesses, job creation and spin the economy in a downward spiral with the mandate of FSSI.

Vanessa Navarro
President
Future Solutions, Inc.

Anonymous

I have lost 80% of my business since we last talked. I am still hanging in there with my GSA Contract but probably not for very long – We will survive as a much smaller company via the free marketplace but unfortunately we laid off eight employees handling our federal sales. My story is the same correlative to the 1,000’s of companies downsizing because of FSSI I totally understand the government wants to see on paper cost savings for all to see.

The only way we will resolve our common dilemma is to introduce an alternative procurement solution. I won’t whine or complain about our dilemma but want the opportunity to challenge GSA’s FSSI with my procurement solution which I call: The 21st Century Federal Strategic Sourcing OPEN COMPETITION Procurement Initiative In a nutshell this is how it works:

On an annual basis each company that holds a GSA Schedule Contract should be allowed to bid on given schedule so the government can obtain the lowest cost / highest quality on visible paper for all to see. The winning BPA GSA vendor can be rewarded with 5% of the total sales of a particular schedule. The other vendors would be required to match or provide a lower item price provided by the winning GSA vendor. Also, the non-winning BPA vendors cannot upload given item(s) to gsaadvantage.gov or offer given item to the government unless they can provide a lower price or match the winning vendor item prices. Hence, reward the winning bidder with 5% total sales of a particular schedule but allow other non-BPA-competitors to offer a lower or same price entailing 95% of total sales.

This GSA procurement solution can be funded via putting all nonessential GSA projects on hold or lay off GSA employees or increase or maintain current GSA vendor schedule fees. No additional taxpayer dollars are required for this project. This procurement solution is only a foundation base to work from and should be changed, tweaked and enhanced via an open inclusive democratic process.

Other things GSA must do to handle unlimited competitors : a) Automate as much as possible any GSA human labor via software to downsize GSA staff while simultaneously handling unlimited vendors, hence generating savings for tax payers b) Consolidate & automate schedules to downsize GSA staff giving savings to taxpayers c) Enhance GSA current software to control buyer spending d) Several software companies should be allowed to present alternative cost saving solutions e) GSA’s current FSSI procurement solution is nothing similar to Corporate Mass/Bulk Purchasing – Walmart has 66,000 vendors and growing. My 21st Century Federal Strategic Sourcing Procurement Solution truly emulates Corporate Mass purchasing.I want to challenge my fellow vendors. The time has come to put our entrepreneurial creativity capabilities together and present with one voice alternative OPEN COMPETITION procurement solutions vs FSSI - Lets all step up to the challenge.

Anonymous

Michelle D. Kalkhoff

RE: NEGATIVE IMPACT OF FSSI BPA’s

After experiencing the detrimental impact of the FSSI BPA’s for Office Supplies for a couple of years now it has become clear to us that the program’s “goal” of saving the government money is just a farce! The real impact of the program has been to stymie overall competition within the GSA environment, and small businesses have been the ones to suffer the blow.

Since the end of FY2009 we have had a critical drop in GSA orders each successive year. While it’s customary to see some drop off in business right after the new federal fiscal year kicks in, to be receiving only one (1), or maybe two (2) GSA orders a day is definitely not our norm! It’s logical to make the connection between these FSSI contracts and the dramatic reduction in our business.

Computer Wholesale Products of America Inc. is a small, woman-owned family business and we have been doing business with the federal government for close to 20 years. Prior to these BPA’s being instituted, our GSA sales helped sustain our business, and provided opportunities for long-term growth. But the FSSI dynamic has threatened the profitability and livelihood of our business.

Increasing numbers of roadblocks and stringent requirements, put forth by GSA, have created new challenges to overcome each year, but we have been able to weather those changes over time. Notwithstanding the current economic climate, the implementation of the FSSI BPA’s, and mandatory dictates for many federal agencies to use them, has further crippled our opportunity to do business with the federal government.

Is it honestly the government’s initiative to minimize competition and reduce economic growth -- especially among small businesses? This country’s future development depends heavily on the role small businesses play – continually limiting our opportunities hurts individuals, businesses and the nation as a whole.

Below are some very telling statistics for our company regarding the negative impact that the FSSI BPA program has had on our GSA contract #GS-14F-0659G (Schedule 75) fiscal year sales since 2009: ² FY 2009 Sales: $550,500 ² FY 2010 Sales: $456,900 ² FY 2011 Sales: $290,500 ² FY 2012 Sales: $328,900

Compared to the end of FY2010 (this is when FSSI BPA’s began in earnest) our GS-14F-0659G contract annual sales decreased by 36% for FY2011, and by 28% in FY2012.

We did a snapshot analysis of just the 4th quarter for each fiscal year -- typically a very heavy buying season. The basic downward sales trend continues even more sharply. Below is a comparison of our GSA contract #GS-14F-0659G 4th quarter sales (July-August) since 2009: ² 4th Q. 2009 Sales: $215,900 ² 4th Q. 2010 Sales: $160,100 ² 4th Q. 2011 Sales: $102,900 ² 4th Q. 2012 Sales: $108,900

Compared to the end of FY2010 (this is when FSSI BPA’s were kick-started) our GS-14F-0659G contract 4th Q sales decreased by approximately 36% for FY2011, and by about 32% in FY2012.

In fact, the onset of the FSSI BPA’s in October 2010 produced immediate effects, and reflected a 57% drop in GSA sales from September to October 2010. Our typical fall off of GSA sales from September [heavy buying month] to October [when new fiscal year kicks in] is generally only 30%. As a family-owned company with only four (4) employees we have done what we can to reduce overhead and expenses so as to avoid letting any employees go, but sacrifices are being made in other areas as our sales continue to decline.

I hope our opinion on this matter and the figures I’ve provided are helpful as you gather statistics from other small businesses such as ours. We really do appreciate the time and effort you’re putting forth to shed some light on this subject within the right circles in Washington. I will be certain to keep up on future requests and emails.

Best regards and gratitude,

Michelle D. Kalkhoff
VP, Marketing

John

We have been a GSA vendor since 2003 and have consistently had Excellent reviews and a steady sales increase. I was unaware of the GSA FSSI and strongly oppose this change. It will threaten all small businesses and result in having to eliminate jobs and potentially shut down businesses. Additionally, it puts small businesses at an unfair advantage and defeats the very nature of the GSA program to allow small businesses a chance to offer their products and services to the government. We have over 10 years invested in our two GSA contracts and cultivating the relationships we have with the various government agencies. It\'s a sad statement by the government to simply throw away all of our work to shift to this FSSI program that will result in more costs to the government at the expense of the many small businesses who are to backbone of our economy!

John
Westfield, IN

Dale

To update you on how FSSI is impacting my business is very painful. I was doing very well before FSSI was implemented. Now with the current level of participation by GSA, I am hard pressed to justify continuing to do business with them. Last week I received no purchase orders and just today I got one for less than $200.00. I am not getting very good return on my dollar for the time that GSA demands in upkeep of the website information.

If, as I suspect the goal was to get those of us who did not receive a BPA to drop out of the program I think it must be working. I am sure there must be others who have decided it is not worth the time and effort to continue in the program. If things do not turn around soon I may be forced to join their ranks.

Thank you Sir, for your efforts.

Dale
Brandon, FL

Kevin

There is one thing that I hope is focused on in your upcoming hearings. The FSSI is a money maker for GSA, not the small businesses or large businesses that are awarded. Here is why. By consolidating the spend to a small pool of vendors GSA effectively can manage, monitor, and audit the spend much easier than when dealing with 500 or more vendors on a given schedule. They increase the IFF fee on normal schedules from .0075 to 2.0 of the total sales on the FSSI contracts. This is a substantial number when you are looking at a 599 million spend. In addition they can capture much of this spend through audits and strong arming the winning vendors so that they get ALL of the 2%, ie nothing slips through the cracks. At the end of the day this contract is not about simplicity for government it is about increasing the inbound revenue to GSA who is a self-proclaimed \"money maker\" for government. With all the budget cuts GSA is counting on the increased revenue from FSSI contracts to help fund their highly inefficient organization. All GSA is doing is squeezing the margin of the winning vendors, increasing their inbound revenue, and lowering their management costs by eliminating a massive number of smaller vendors.

Kevin
No address

Richard

Thank you very much for taking the time to take up this important issue on behalf of small businesses, which are the life blood of this country. We have been essentially removed from DoD Emall as an administrative move. We have our own GSA schedule and have done business with a few government contacts on DoD Emall. We delivered everything on time without a complaint, but one day we were told that we could not be on DoD Emall, because GSA did not load our contract into their electronic data base. Granted, we have fulfilled all requirements to be on DoD Emall, before the administrative change. We purchase the secure token, had a log in and could upload our catalog. We waited for almost two years to get this problem rectified and it took numerous calling on my behalf. We are finally in the electronic database and then we are told that we needed a sponsor. I finally got a sponsor and now we are told that we would have our account reviewed and we will get an answer in the near future.

I have voiced to the lady responsible for our account that I think that we are being penalized unfairly. With the past and lingering economics issues, this is a slap in the face. We are not only be squeezed by the sequestration, but also by trumped up rules that go against small businesses. I hope this information is helpful. Please keep me posted about the outcome of the meeting if possible or point me to a website, where I can get some information on the outcome.

Richard
Cleveland, OH

Edward

The FSSI has had a Tremendously Devastating Negative effect of my Small Business. The FSSI has shut down our Federal Office Supply Business which was a huge percentage of our office supply business, around 60%.

My company, xxxxxxxx has serviced BPS's for the US Army and US Air Force. We serviced Homeland Security with copy paper by the truck load. We serviced the USDA and many other federal agencies. Since the implementation of the FSSI, we have been told by these agencies that they can no longer do business with us. Though we have provided award winning services to federal agencies such as (SBA Federal Procurement Award of Merit, USDA HubZone Small Business of The Year, USDOE - ORNL HubZone Supplier of The Year, Boeing NASA HubZone Supplier of the Year).

xxxxxxxxx once employed as many as thirteen employees and was on a road of growth. Now we only employ three employees including the owner, and facing a possibility of closing our Small Business. Most of the employees (65%) that were employed by xxxxxx live in the HubZone Census Tracks. The primary goals for the start up of xxxxxxxxx was to provide a Professional Certified Minority firm in the office product industry for the servicing of Federal Agencies and to Create Jobs for the residents of the HubZone Districts and other Distressed Low Income Communities in our City and County.

And we were on track of doing so until FSSI. The FSSI was implemented at a time when the economy was already in a disastrous state. The FSSI has CLOSED many Small Office Supply Businesses already, who relied on their Federal accounts for office supply business and it is continuing to close Small Businesses.

The FSSI is a prejudice program. Because it is saying to me that I do not have the right to sale my product and service to my Government, but these other companies do have that right. And there seems to always be a spot for Large suppliers like Staples and Office Depot. I can pay taxes, Federal, State, County, City and all others. But, I can not do business with the Government in which I pay these Taxes to.

TOTALLY UNFAIR and UNACCEPTABLE. Thank you for your efforts.

Edward
Chattanooga, TN

John

I am concerned about the negative impact of a new strategic sourcing initiative for Jan/San products just like what was instituted for the Office Products Industry.

1. Reduction in dealers allowed to sell to the federal government-This may put some companies out of business.
2. Removal of items from current GSA schedules for items that are on the FSSI Jan/San BPA. Loss of sales for all non-mandated departments.
3. GSA EBuy bids that are required to utilize FSSI Pricing not available to dealers without a BPA or as an APD.

John
Baltimore, MD

Kevin

Our Government sales have been impacted so bad by the FSSI our firm has been contemplating bankruptcy.

Kevin
Norfolk, VA

Bruce

Why does FSSI want to take the competition out of this process. Three large companies are not in the best interst of the tax payers money. Small business still employs more people than large business. We should have the right to sell the goverment, no matter what our size. The goverment should support the people that support it!

Bruce
Pocatello, ID

R

Business is already down with the fssi for office products, jan-san will make it worse.

R
CA

Pat

My comments surround mostly the impacts of FSSI to MAS 75 in the office supplies category. We were a top 50 federal contractor on MAS 75, an Army supplies BPA holder, and on a continuous pattern of growth from 2005 to 2010. When FSSI OS II hit the street, we honestly did not anticipate that all other supplies awards would be rolled into FSSI, and we would lose our supply contracts. We had just been awarded an Army supplies BPA (one of the largest supply contract available, and the largest we had ever won) when FSSI came out, and we decided not to bite off more than we could chew. Then our Army BPA options were not exercised, regardless of the savings they represented over FSSI posted prices, so the Army could move to FSSI. When we requested the ability to onramp to the FSSI OSII BPA\'s we were promptly denied by GSA, regardless of any potential savings represented by our existing BPA pricing, or glowing past performance reviews.

As a result of FSSI, our year over year sales decreased >60% in 2011, and >70% year over year from 2011-2012. We shudder to see what the number is for 2013, but I assume it\'s another 50% or more year over year.

Our federal supplies sales have been all but wiped out entirely, and we luckily diversified our business into IT hardware and managed print services over the past five years, so we only noticed the impact of a loss of three or four million in revenues per year. Many of our government sales representatives are no longer pursuing federal business, or have moved on to greener pastures. I have started a not for profit, StopFSSI.org, with a handful of some of the more successful contractors on MAS 75, only to have logic thrown out the window on responses received from OFPP and GSA with regards to the impact to small business nationally that has come from these vehicles. We have been trying to engage the Office of Advocacy, Congressional leadership, other not for profit industry associations such as NOPA, ASBL, NASB, and SCORE to support our efforts.

Regardless, our pleas for an analysis of the impact to small business have fallen on deaf ears up to date, or rather even when the powers that be agree with us, they will not take action due to the fact that this policy is originating from OMB. We pray that the Committee on Small Business will recognize that the current FSSI vehicles, and GSA’s use of strategic sourcing as a central means for negating the value of having a GSA MAS contract, represent a reversal in the government’s small business utilization policies. We believe that central contracts of this nature are in direct violation of the limitations on bundling written into the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

Pat
Santa Ana, CA

Marvin

We are a 51V Contractor for the past 10 years. A large portion of our overall business comes from selling to Military bases our Tool Box Foam drawer Liners. All foam is a Certified Small Woman Owned Company

Marvin
Buffalo Grove. Il

Tami

This initiative has already impacted my business. I am a small business, and an estimated 70% of my total sales are to government agencies. Even though I have a GSA MAS, many of my customers have had to stop purchasing items that are offered by Ability One vendors regardless of pricing. My concern is that these Ability One sources may not be owned or completely run by disadvantaged persons, but rather by large companies trying to gain a greater share of business set aside for small businesses.

Tami
No address

Anonymous

Please check out the below link to GSA's latest quarterly newsletter. They are prompting vendors to list environmental cleaning products in GSA Advantage. How ironic, considering they are going to just a few BPA\'s.

No name
San Diego, CA

Felix

With the FSSI I have lost the ability to pay for Medical Plan. My credit has being affected. Can not change my 10n year old SUV. My revenues has provided very hard times for me and Family FSSI has created situations with Suppliers FSSI is discriminatory, since you have open market , you will have better price and service from different competing vendors.

Felix
San Juan, PR

James

Not only will this modification take away our direct business, but will also take away business from our distributors that sell through our contract. This will limit competition and hurt small businesses. Local businesses that have serviced the government locally will now be excluded from participating.

James
Philadelphia, PA

Ken

As a small business owner, our GSA contract for Schedule 73 has helped our business through the tough economic times that we have seen. If the JanSan FSSI were to be instituted, it would result in job losses for our employees, and financial stress for our small business. I don\'t believe there would in fact be a cost savings for GSA customers. There would be less choice and less quality and service.

This measure would infact bring economic hardship to all small business oweners who currently hold GSA MAS contracts.

Ken
Scottsdale, AZ

Patricia

I am a small business and I believe that the companies that will be awarded are usually larger businesses. We have a hard time currently getting awards, but it will force all our current customers to buy from different vendors and therefore removing the relationships that we established for years. This will impact small business across the board. It is my undertanding that agencies will be purchasing more from small businesses, but the FSSI will not help the small business community, but instead they will put small businesses such as myself out of business. Small businesses have worked hard over the years to keep their schedules current and in compliance, but this effort will be for nothing in the long run.

Small businesses can not compete in pricing against large companies and therefore it is affecting all the schedules as large business a aware of the issues that small businesses are having based on pricing. A small businesses will never be able to have the volume of sales that a large business has with the manufacturers, therefore small businesses don\'t get the discounts that large business get. This policy is a setup for small businesses to fail as they can not compete against large businesses.

Patricia
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Jerry

My daughter, who is totally disabled is the fifth generation Service Disable Veterans in our family going back to the War between the States. Father lost both legs in WWII, Grandfather was \"gassed\" in WWI, and so on.

My business was started in 1997 selling to the government. FSSI for Schedule 75 has devastated my family. I care for my daughter, Totally Service Disabled, in our home. This business has allowed me to hire caregivers to assist my wife and myself to work.

Our GSA Sales have gone from $1,149,082 in 2011 to $42,097 thru June 14th of 2013. I have laid off all of my employees and have taken another part time job to pay the bills. My business was always built on service to my customer. Now my local VA can\'t buy from me due to Mandated FSSI and VA requirements to purchase from Staples or Office Depot. The VA Administration has vilified all Veteran Owned and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business as \"pass throughs\"! Nothing could be further from the truth, we purchase our products in the same manner as Staples and Office Depot, often from the same Vendors, same warehouse. For some unknown reason, many of us are now relegated to the \"Secondary View\" on GSA Advantage where we can not be found by the government purchasing agent without great effort. My business was eliminated completely for about six months due to an \"unfortunate error\" by GSA Advantage programming.

It can not be overstated how devastating FSSI has been to my family. I now plan to close my business in September of this year and not renew my schedule 75. The cost of maintaining it to government regulations is about $1,200 per month and that exceeds my sales at this date.

My humble opinion as a \"combat helicopter pilot and veteran\" from the Vietnam era, Service Disabled, is this is the biggest bureaucratic injustice and farce to the Veterans of all wars the government could possibly enact. Figures don\'t lie, but Liars figure, and that is what has happen in the justification of the FSSI program. I no longer trust anything the government or the VA says about helping or doing business with Veterans. After 15 years, I\'m done. Will gladly testify anywhere at anytime at my expense to expose this travesty.

Jerry
Tontitown, Arkansas

David

looks like GSA wants FSSI to include janSan along with the 75. If they are allowed to study themselves, WITHOUT input from the private sector, they will find figures to support their position!

David
Savannah, VA

Pat

Still suffering. Our business is off 10% = Congress, please help.

Pat
Santa Ana, CA

Alan

As both a manufacturer that sells to various GSA contract holders and a contract holder that sells through a dealer, our company is impacted in different ways. Our dealer sales reps say that many federal agencies continue to buy from them because the product bought from FSSI vendors is often inferior and they need to buy things that work. Without a GSA contract they and we would lose that business, even for products that our not on our GSA contract (“open market” purchases in GSA terminology). From a manufacturer standpoint, the FSSI vendors tend to buy from a small group of manufacturers with price being the primary consideration.

Hence they often buy lowering performing product while creating more concentration in the ranks of manufacturers. This would seem to set up a more anti-competitive situation at both the manufacturer and distributor levels.

Alan
Woodland Hills, CA

Wayne

If the GSA goes ahead and issues this contract and the government agencies make it mandatory most of the Jan San companies including SDVOSB that the VA is suppose to support will go out of business.

Wayne
Duluth, GA

Bill

Economics 101 tells us that the fewer companies to buy from the less competition there will be and prices will be higher accordingly. Also service levels will deteriorate causing much more time lost trying to expedite products purchased. This is not factored in the actual costs to the government. The government cannot save money with only 15 vendors to buy from. In addition The prices on non bid items will be sky high because there is much less competition. On another note, enabling Staples and Office Depot to be part of FSSI without having bid is unfair to all of the other vendors. Their service levels are not nearly as good as the independent dealer.

Bill
Lake Hopatcong, NJ

John

This initiative if successful would devastate our small Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business. Our ability to meet the strict and uncompromising specifications is extremely limited. Our ability to secure EVERY product in order to be viable is almost impossible. Our ability to continue to grow our business would be non-existent in the future. I\'m so terrible worried and concerned GSA has taken steps to initiated such a potentially devastating program!

John
Palm Desert, CA

Chuck

xxxxxxxxxxx is a Woman Owned/Veteran Owned Small Business that serves primarily the Defense Department in supplying meals to our military. If the GSA adopts any policy that limits our ability to sell then they will essentially be putting us out of business. Small business is and has always been the backbone of our economy and it is not in the best interest of our country to limit any opportunities to grow business and be successful.

Chuck
Hollywood, CA

Thomas

Because the federal government formed FSSI and gave all the Office supply business to Staples I was forced to put a reverse mortgage on my house which I am loosing. I am trying to stay in business inspite of the crooked politicians who did this to small business veteran owned businesses.

Thomas
Copiague, NY

LINDA

AT ONE TIME THE GOV TRYED TO GO TO ONE VENDOR FOR THE SMITHSONAINS BY USING THE TERM VENDOR MANGEMENT AND MANY SMALL COMPANYS IN THE JANSAN INDUSTRY GOT TOGTHER AND STOPPED THIS ACTION...NOW WE ARE LOOKING AT SOMETHING SORT OF THE SAME THING...THE GOV PRIDES ITSELF ON THE SMALL COMPANYS BUT THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON...NOW WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT AND HOW ARE THE SMALL JANSAN COMPANIES GOING TO GET HURT..i am suprised that ISSA & DPA are not at these meeting to understand firsthand what is going on

LINDA
Baltimore, MD

John, Baltimore, MD

Here are my complaints regarding FSSI:

Here are my complaints regarding FSSI:

1. If you currently had a GSA Schedule 75 for Office Supplies and wanted to become a BPA Holder or Authorized Participating Dealer (APD) for the FSSI propram, we had to remove all items that were on the FSSI program (Contract and Non Contract) from our 75 schedule. This left only 3626 items left on our 75 schedule from over 30,000 items. These items were wholesale furniture items, wholesale janitorial, wholesale sanitation and wholesale break room items. We lost over $750,000 in sales from previous year.
2. These items also need to be removed from our GSA Adavntage and DOD EMall Site which we lost additional sales.
3. Must have a current GSA 75 Schedule active in order to bid for the new FSSI BPA going out in 2014.
4. Rules have to be followed regarding marketing our government customers or face possible termination of BPA or as an APD.
5. GSA EBuy bids could only be priced with FSSI pricing unless otherwise stated on bid (Most bids required FSSI prices). This meant that if you were a BPA Holder or an Authorized Participating Dealer and your FSSI prices (our BPA holder pricing came in 7th out of 15 dealers) were higher than another BPA Holder, you could never win the business unless the only bidding BPA holders or APD’s pricing was higher priced from their FSSI contract. The example is this we are number 8 (GS-02F-XA008 ) on the pricing list and if all companies bidding were 9-15 (GS-02F-XA009- GS-02F-XA015) we may win the bid.

John, Baltimore, MD

Michael, Dallas/Fort Worth Texas

Thank you for being involved in finding out the real effects of FSSI on small businesses and their employees and taking action by testifying before the Congressional Committee.

xxxxxxxxx has certainly been negatively affected by the FSSI as a Schedule 75 Office Supply Contractor. GSA revenues have declined by 84% since FSSI introduction and continues to trend downwards. As you can imagine, this has affected our human resources and our company's bottom line in a negative way. We see fewer orders and fewer opportunities to sell to government agencies, and it is getting worse. It is becoming more difficult each year to compete with the FSSI companies as agencies are told to purchase office supplies from them which leaves companies such as ours on the outside looking in.

Please contact us if we can be of further assistance. Thank you,

Michael, Dallas/Fort Worth Texas

Carl

We appreciate your efforts in opposing the FSSI. Below we have outlined the negative effects these contracts are having on ours, and many other small businesses. Due to our necessary affiliation with a FSSI Coop, which is not going very well, we would appreciate your confidentiality.

15 companies have cornered 70% of the business. Once this BPA is rebid it possibly may ruin some of these companies if they aren’t renewed. This is a short term bonus for them and a long term disaster for the rest. This cyclical business is very difficult to manage. This is not in the spirit of open competition. If GSA would simply manage the existing schedules, delete those that are inactive or don’t perform, small business would find a way to compete and offer the lowest prices. Currently much lower prices are already offered on GSA Advantage than FSSI prices however are restricted for many agencies

The following is what has happened to our small business:

• • Revenues down 40%
• • Layoffs in the last 6 months 30% of employees
• • Average Order size down 150%(due to splitting orders, defeats the greening initiative set by the government)
• • We joined a co-op however the learning curve for this may take longer than we will be able to hang on. The end users do not find the websites friendly and they make it hard to consolidate and choose specific vendors who are part of these consortia’s.
• • There seems to be no value for customer service and relationships when it comes to commodities.
• • Customers seem unhappy and the emalls have restricted access such as GSA Advantage and DOD Emall

Currently these various government ordering portals lead the customer to split their orders among numerous vendors for small orders. The sole purpose seems to be to find the lowest price for every line item. This is neither economical nor complies with the greening spirit. The customer ends up with multiple packages, multiple line items to reconcile their credit card purchase from a variety of vendors. If they simply stayed with the most competitive existing schedules open competition would win every time.

Carl
Chantilly, VA

Steven

There are already companies who are forced to agree to such low prices so that they can have government contracts that hire illegal contractors doing work outside of their specialty electrical licenses to get the lowest price to service the government. This low ball work from our government is allowing and agreeing with illegal activity and must be stopped.

It is also hurting our small business in the fact that we cannot compete with the illegal contractors and wages because they pay lower workers comp ect… and expect less because they are not licensed properly.

Steven
Oregon City, OR

Anthony

Thanks for standing in the gap on our behalf. This FSSI issue has hit me like a world wind, after being a very prosperous and productive business for the first 6 years and being able to employee a staff of 6 people, I don’t know what to say other than the fact that I had to let all of my employees go but one, the number of orders that I would normally get dropped down to as little as 3-7 orders in a month total. House went into foreclosure as direct result of FSSI, majority of the regular customer who I might order from me maybe on a monthly basis now tell me that they cannot order from me anymore, I also had to drop my health insurance because I could no longer pay for it, and my car got repossessed.

This FSSI, has been a terrible thing for me and many others, several of the people I know who also use to be in business are no longer self employed. I still struggle to keep my business up and running even though I have a GSA Contract it has not done a thing for me since the beginning of FSSI. FSSI has hurt a lot of good people who want to make a difference in their communities by being able to employee others. I hope and Pray that this FSSI hurry and goes away Before it is too late.

Anthony
No state

Anthony

I just got notice that my GSA contract will be canceled do to low sales. direct result of fssi.

Anthony
No state

Edward, No state

The FSSI has had a Tremendously Devastating Negative effect of my Small Business. The FSSI has shut down our Federal Office Supply Business which was a huge percentage of our office supply business, around 60%.

My company, xxxxxxxx has serviced BPS's for the US Army and US Air Force. We serviced Homeland Security with copy paper by the truck load. We serviced the USDA and many other federal agencies. Since the implementation of the FSSI, we have been told by these agencies that they can no longer do business with us. Though we have provided award winning services to federal agencies such as (SBA Federal Procurement Award of Merit, USDA HubZone Small Business of The Year, USDOE - ORNL HubZone Supplier of The Year, Boeing NASA HubZone Supplier of the Year).

xxxxxxxxxxx once employee as many as thirteen employees and was on a road of growth. Now we only employ three employees including the owner, and facing a possibility of closing our Small Business. Most of the employees (65%) that were employed by Bentco live in the HubZone Census Tracks. The primary goals for the start up of xxxxxxxxxxxx was to provide a Professional Certified Minority firm in the office product industry for the servicing of Federal Agencies and to Create Jobs for the residents of the HubZone Districts and other Distressed Low Income Communities in our City and County.

And we were on track of doing so until FSSI. The FSSI was implemented at a time when the economy was already in a disastrous state. The FSSI has CLOSED many Small Office Supply Businesses already, who relied on their Federal accounts for office supply business and it is continuing to close Small Businesses.

The FSSI is a prejudice program. Because it is saying to me that I do not have the right to sale my product and service to my Government, but these other companies do have that right. And there seems to always be a spot for Large suppliers like Staples and Office Depot. I can pay taxes, Federal, State, County, City and all others. But, I can not do business with the Government in which I pay these Taxes to. TOTALLY UNFAIR and UNACCEPTABLE. Thank you for your efforts.

Edward, No state

Wayne, No state

I Read your email below and have some input you may find helpful. Recently, the DOD in conjunction with GSA decided to remove and re-input all GSA schedule 75 vendors in to the EDA. As a result, our company, along with many other schedule 75 contract holders, were removed from DOD Emall because we were not listed on EDA. After many phone calls in which DOD said it’s GSA’s responsibility to reload our contract and GSA said it’s DOD’s responsibility to reload our contract, I received the following email from the GSA section chief for our area after going “up the ladder” to get answers. Since I received this email in Oct. 2012, in which we were told that we have to be patient, our account has been completely deleted from DOD Emall due to “account inactivity”. The reason the account is inactive is because they can’t get around to loading us back on EDA. Additionally, in discussions with our SAM, I can confirm that DOD is looking at only doing business with the 15 FSSI holders in the near future.

Their logic is that there are way too many people holding contracts that aren’t really in business. They got awarded the GSA contract and just upload an entire wholesaler’s catalog with a markup on each item. In essence, they are selling 50 to 60,000 items and know nothing about what they are selling.

They just field orders from GSA advantage and DOD Emall and have the orders drop shipped. In my opinion, if they did a better job of vetting who gets the GSA contract, this would not be a problem. Even our SAM agreed that 15 companies is far too few and that in his opinion, a few hundred at minimum would be better. Instead, as you mention in your email, they pick only 15 out of thousands of vendors, many who are actual retailers like our company, xxxxxxxxx and kill free enterprise for all of us.

We were one of the last companies to receive a schedule 75 contract before it was closed in 2010. I sure wish I had known then what I know now. I would have saved the thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours that it took to become a GSA contract holder. If you have any questions or I can be of any help, please feel free to let me know.

Wayne, No state

Small Disadvantaged Business

Our DoD has already been pulled.

Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business
HUBZONE Certified
Small Disadvantaged Business
SWAM Vendor
DBE Certified, AbilityOne Vendor

Dixie

That would devastating to our small business if DOD Emall was taken from us as well. Is this something that are considering at DOD or that is officially coming?

Dixie
Walla Walla, WA

Jim

Our business has certainly been affected. We had noticed a drop in GSA business over the past 2 years, and military/govt. business in general. We lost our GSA contract in July (after 15 years), due to not meeting the $25,000/ year sales requirement (on a $8 avg. priced item). We were never informed, or made aware of the FSSI until after everything was decided.

We have been training and employing the disabled for over 25 years in our community-based rubber stamp/engraving shop. We have been a reliable source and business partner with the govt./military for at least as long.

More recently (past 3 years), we've been trying to crack the , "Ability One" code. We don't have a "project", so we can't get certified to sell as an Ability One provider (?) How do we get a "project"?

It seems that the govt. isn't interested in helping and rewarding those of us who are, "fighting the good fight" any longer. I'm sure politics and politicians were hard at work with both the FSSI and the Ability One requirements. They both seem to be exclusive clubs, open to only a select few.

Jim

Alan, Woodland Hills, CA

As both a manufacturer that sells to various GSA contract holders and a contract holder that sells through a dealer, our company is impacted in different ways. Our dealer sales reps say that many federal agencies continue to buy from them because the product bought from FSSI vendors is often inferior and they need to buy things that work. Without a GSA contract they and we would lose that business, even for products that our not on our GSA contract (“open market” purchases in GSA terminology). From a manufacturer standpoint, the FSSI vendors tend to buy from a small group of manufacturers with price being the primary consideration. Hence they often buy lowering performing product while creating more concentration in the ranks of manufacturers. This would seem to set up a more anti-competitive situation at both the manufacturer and distributor levels.

Alan
Woodland Hills, CA

Maury

If DOD Emall restricts purchasing to only FSSI vendors it would be devastating for our company. We would immediately lose 15-20% of our business or about 1 millions dollars in revenue. For a small business like ours, it would result in the loss of several jobs and the long term impact may be to much to overcome. Please keep me updated with you progress and thank you for your hard work.

Maury

Greg

DOD EMALL IS NOT THE ONLY WEBSITE THAT IS EXCLUDING US .>>>

IMPORTANT >>>

DOD EMALL IS NOT THE ONLY WEBSITE THAT IS EXCLUDING US .>>>

PLEASE INCLUDE GSA ADVANTAGE , AF ADVANTAGE AND GSA GLOBAL WEBSITES THAT ARE SEVERLEY IMPACTING THE SCHEDULE 75 SMALL BUSINESSES AS WELL WITH THEIR BPA'S AND MANDATED SOURCES.THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR THOSE WEBSITES.

ALSO,ABILITY ONE HAS TAKEN A HUGE PERCENTAGE OF BUSINESS AWAY FROM US ALSO. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS MANDATED TO USE THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. THEIR STORES ARE LOCATED ACROSS THE UNITED STATES ON MANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROPERTIES AND THEIR PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AFORMENTIONED WEBSITES.

LASTLY,DO NOT FORGET MILSTRIP ON DOD EMALL.

Greg
GSA #GS
DOD CAGE #
Certified Small Business
CA

Greg

AS YOU SEE,THE NAVY AND MARINES USE MILSTRIP TO PURCHASE OFFICE SUPPLIES AND OTHER OFFICE RELATED ITEMS. I LOST ALL MY TONER INK BUSINESS WITH MY NAVY AND MARINE CUSTOMERS DUE TO THIS WEB BASED PORTAL ON DOD EMALL.

AS YOU SEE,THE NAVY AND MARINES USE MILSTRIP TO PURCHASE OFFICE SUPPLIES AND OTHER OFFICE RELATED ITEMS. I LOST ALL MY TONER INK BUSINESS WITH MY NAVY AND MARINE CUSTOMERS DUE TO THIS WEB BASED PORTAL ON DOD EMALL.

THEY ARE GOING TO CRUSH EVERYONE SOON AND NO MORE SMALL BUSINESSES. IN ADDITION,THIS WILL IMPACT OTHER SMALL BUSINESES I PURCHASE FROM ALSO.

*** FYI > YOU CAN USE THIS QUOTE WHEN YOU TESTIFY THAT A SMALL BUSINESS SAID THIS TO YOU >

QUOTE: " THE FSSI IT IS LIKE AN OKLAHOMA TORNADO DESTROYING EVERYTHING IN IT'S PATH...BUT INSTEAD OF HOMES BEING DESTROYED,THEY ARE SMALL BUSINESSES NEVER TO BE REBUILT AGAIN...TRAGIC. "

Greg
GSA #GS
DOD CAGE #
Certified Small Business
CA

Andy

The FSSI program is basically putting us out of business, even though our pricing is lower than what is offered by the 15 companies. We have reduced our full time staff to one person from three.

Thank you,
Andy
Woman Owned Small Business

Paul

Implementation of DOD emall has hurt us greatly. I got a call last week from an individual that was forced to use DOD emall. This person found a product costing more than $200 on DOD emall and it did not meet the needs. This person found the better product at half the price on gsaadvantage and bought it from us instead of DOD emall.

Best regards,
Paul
An ISO Registered Company
Texas

Anonymous, CA

What Sales ? That is my response.

PS : Good luck turning this situation around - logically they have created a new interest group backed by lobbyist

I want this response to be confidential.
Anonymous, CA

SWAM Vendor

Our loss in business from Schedule 75 and DOD has us on the verge of bankruptcy.

Thanks,

Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business
Small Disadvantaged Business
SWAM Vendor
DBE Certified, AbilityOne Vendor

David

We are not receiving any orders from DOD at this time.

David

G C

As a small business & the holder of five GSA contracts, this decision effects Pro-Link distributors in a negative manner. Schedule 75 represents approximately $100,000.00 in government business for our member distributors, which are also small businesses. Restricting inclusion & limiting it to only 15 contractors creates an unfair monopoly. I believe this decision actually destroys the spirit of GSA contracts in terms of limiting competition. In the long run, I believe this will actually end up costing the government more money. Having only 15 contractors as suppliers will eliminate the potential for better pricing.

Schedule 75 is only the tip of the iceberg. Eventually, more schedules will go this route.est

Regards,
G C

Felix, Veteran Owned

1) Lost my income lost great credit ratings
2) Unable to pay Medial Plan for Family
3) Problems with suppliers Financially
4) Same SUV for 10 years for deliveries, can buy a new one
5) Provide better price and service customers want to purchase but can't

Felix, Veteran Owned

Heather

I would say that our company has been impacted by the Schedule 75 FSSI BPA agreements, in that half of all RFQ's that I see for the products that our company offers have a Schedule 75 FSSI BPA bidders only requirement - so we are losing out on 50% of the opportunities out there, and this is only what's published on eBuy.

Heather

Federal GSA Contract #GS
US Dept. of Energy Contract #DE
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Contract #SRNS
Savannah River Remediation Contract #SRR
California CMAS Contract #
California Superior Court Contract #
Los Angeles County Santitation District Contract #
Oklahoma State University Contract #

Richard

Thank you very much for taking the time to take up this important issue on behalf of small businesses, which are the life blood of this country. We have been essentially removed from DoD Emall as an administrative move. We have our own GSA schedule and have done business with a few government contacts on DoD Emall. We delivered everything on time without a complaint, but one day we were told that we could not be on DoD Emall, because GSA did not load our contract into their electronic data base. Granted, we have fulfilled all requirements to be on DoD Emall, before the administrative change. We purchase the secure token, had a log in and could upload our catalog. We waited for almost two years to get this problem rectified and it took numerous calling on my behalf. We are finally in the electronic database and then we are told that we needed a sponsor.

I finally got a sponsor and now we are told that we would have our account reviewed and we will get an answer in the near future. I have voiced to the lady responsible for our account that I think that we are being penalized unfairly. With the past and lingering economics issues, this is a slap in the face. We are not only be squeezed by the sequestration, but also by trumped up rules that go against small businesses. I hope this information is helpful. Please keep me posted about the outcome of the meeting if possible or point me to a website, where I can get some information on the outcome.

Sincerely,
Richard
Cleveland, OH

Jim

We still are getting only a fraction of the military/government work we once had. I did follow-up on your suggestion to forward same letter to Rep. Graves. To date, only a rep from Susan Davis' office has contacted me. She was very nice and sympathetic to our situation, but knew less about the overall picture than me.

Curiosly, in march we received a $500.00 order from Homeland Security in L.A. After promptly filling and shipping the order, we were denied credit card payment. Why? The purchasing agent had subsequently learned that she was not to have ordered from us. The order was returned, and though we were able to re-inventory some of the parts, we had lost labor and shipping expense.

I wish you only the best with your testimony, and if I can be of further assistance, don't hesitate to ask

Warm regards,
Jim

Dale

To update you on how FSSI is impacting my business is very painful. I was doing very well before FSSI was implemented. Now with the current level of participation by GSA, I am hard pressed to justify continuing to do business with them. Last week I received no purchase orders and just today I got one for less than $200.00. I am not getting very good return on my dollar for the time that GSA demands in upkeep of the website information.

If, as I suspect the goal was to get those of us who did not receive a BPA to drop out of the program I think it must be working. I am sure there must be others who have decided it is not worth the time and effort to continue in the program. If things do not turn around soon I may be forced to join their ranks.

Thank you Sir, for your efforts.

Sincerely,
Dale

V

My experience with FSSI has caused the loss of 90% of my government business, the loss of all my employees and revenues that were $6 million down to less than $750k. It has been nearly impossible to stay in business and maintain my GSA Schedule with all the requirements and red tape that is required and yet no sales.

Hopefully this helps in your testimony. Please let me know if there is anything else I can provide for you. Thank you for your testimony.

Sincerely,
V

P

This is how Staples and Office Depot are playing the game.They are deleting items from their FSSI BPA and then are probably increasing the skus available on their regular contract. This is how they game the system. They go to a manufacturer and tell them to delete sku # xyz, upc # abc.

Then they can go to the GSA and say the item has been discontinued, delete from our FSSI schedule.The same manufacturer now creates the same product but with a different sku number and upc number. The new product is now higher priced and get moved to the GSA regular schedule 75. You need to ask somebody to get a product listing under FSSI for each year by Office Depot and Staples and see how the catalogs have been reduced in FSSI.

Thanks Dr. Bornstein!
P

JT

I am one of the small service connected disabled veteran business who have been negatively affected by FSSI. I have lost my distributor status with one of my major suppliers which means I no longer get the discounted pricing I once received.. I almost lost my business because I received no orders form the government for a long period. I only receive orders now for products that are made by ABILITYONE. I am barely keeping this business alive.

JT

TA

I have been asked to relay the following information from our company’s President. “as a previous Army BPA holder (our BPA was cancelled by GSA to support the FSSI contracts) our small business has seen a loss of 30-35% in revenue and has resulted in a reduction of 7 employees.”

TA

CG

Our sales went from over $225,000 annually to zero or near zero most fiscal quarters. We’ve nearly gone out of business as a direct result. We employ 8 people, and reduced our force to 5 during that impact. We have regrouped but taken 3 years to grow our meager GSA sales back to a number that is still less than a few hundred dollars monthly. We just learned from our GSA contracting officer that we will be reviewed to see if our contract should be revoked due to small sales. OF all the nerve – take our customers then cancel our ability to sell because we have made any sales as a result! I hope we can keep our GSA contract, and keep rebuilding. Thanks for your efforts.

CG
Veteran-Owned Small Business

RPH

First off I wanted to sincerely thank you for all your hard work and support. You asked that we share any information with you that might be helpful in your meeting on Monday. I believe I have something that might be of importance.

Over the past year or so, I have made several attempts procedurally to add new products to my GSA schdule75 only to be denied. In the past, my pricing needed to be within a reasonable range between the highest and the lowest currently listed on GSA Advantage. But this is no longer the case. I am being told I have to match the lowest price on GSA Advantage and each and every time, these prices have been below my wholesale cost, leaving me no alternative but to withdrawn my modification request. I have even taken screen shots of my suppliers pricing to show them it is below my cost but they still refuse to make any allowance. I have therefore been unable to grow my catalog and over time, my products will become obsolete. I believe this is just another way GSA is preventing the small business from doing business with the government. They are slowly squeezing us out. I will forward my last correspondence emails with them to you.

RPH

ML

Thank you for being involved in finding out the real effects of FSSI on small businesses and their employees and taking action by testifying before the Congressional Committee.

xxxxxxxxxx has certainly been negatively affected by the FSSI as a Schedule 75 Office Supply Contractor. GSA revenues have declined by 84% since FSSI introduction and continues to trend downwards. As you can imagine, this has affected our human resources and our company's bottom line in a negative way. We see fewer orders and fewer opportunities to sell to government agencies, and it is getting worse.

It is becoming more difficult each year to compete with the FSSI companies as agencies are told to purchase office supplies from them which leaves companies such as ours on the outside looking in.

Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Thank you,
ML

ST

We have since removed all of our products from DOD Emall as a result of there being very few orders. We receive very few orders off of our GSA Schedule 75 contract. As a result of the lack of sales, our Contracting officer with the GSA has told us she is going to cancel our contract. We have tried to plead our case and explain to her that our lack of sales is a direct result of the FSSI and not a result of any wrong doing on our behalf.

Regards,
ST

Anonymous

If I was a betting person - I would guess toner and inkjet purchases consist of 30%-40% of all office supply costs - not sure For that reason I believe below is very important to present - I am not a very good writer so feel free to rewrite to your liking.

Hello,

The FSSI recycled toners and inkjets purchasing experience is definitely creating big issues and let me explain via below:

Every toner cartridge re-manufacturer rebuilds and recycles toners differently. There are no mandates or government expectations "how" a toner should be rebuilt to meet government expectations.

Probably via your personal experiences you are aware many companies re-manufacture junk toners. Trust me all government and private buyers have stories about buying junk re-manufactured toners (probably including the Committee Congressmen staff members, your own family members and friends).

Go to: https://www.ebuy.gsa.gov/advantage/ebuy/start_page.do & www.fedbid.com & www.fbo.gov and numerous other portals to many to mention. Go through archived history since FSSI has been implemented. Numerous government agencies buying OEM toners vs remanufactured toners. I guess your 15 FSSI companies are offering junk re-manufactured toners forcing these agencies to buy OEM toners via government portals costing the tax payer up to 80% more for the same toners. Trust me government buyers know who the best Recycled toner companies are out there. Again, we all had personal experiences being cheated via buying junk re-manufactured toners giving low page counts, streaking, leaking etc. Private companies tend to stick with companies that offer quality re-manufactured toners that work. Many government workers definitely know the companies offering excellent recycled toners but have their hands tied by FSSI. All customers want the Best Value at the lowest cost but not junk toners at the lowest cost.

Let me use this analogy : If your brand new car needed body repair : Would you take it to Maaco or a Superb Top Notch Body Man. Unfortunately most toner re-manufactures can only be compared to Maaco in this analogy. Logically there is a 99.9999% chance you want that car to look brand new again. You get what you pay for. Shouldn't a government buyers decision be based on personal experiences when buying re-manufactured toners? They want hassle-free re-manufactured toners to work like the OEM's and there are GSA vendors offering recycled toners up to 80% less in cost vs the new OEM toners.

In closing only the government buyer can decide if a company is selling junk or excellent re-manufactured toners via his/her personal experiences. Ask anyone how & why they buy re-manufactured toners from selected companies. Via your own personal experiences I am certain you stick with specific companies selling re-manufactured toners for reasons stated above. This is a common sense conclusion that needs no research and can only be evaluated via a buyers personal experiences.

Government Buyers do not want to waste money buying junk re-manufactured toners. They deserve obtaining the highest value at the lowest cost via their personal experiences with companies selling excellent re-manufactured / recycled toners and not junk.

For reasons mentioned above I am asking that re-manufactured / recycled toners and inkjets be immediately removed from given FSSI mandates (GSA Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative). I am certain all government buyers would agree with me including many of The Congressmen/women staff members.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Anonymous

J

I just filled out the survey. I can't believe when I tallied the losses since 2010 it came to $2,335,663!!! Please let me know if there is anything else I need to do besides filling out the survey which is complete.

J

C

I just filled out the survey and was hoping there was a space for me to put in what happened to my company. In 2010 our GSA number was due to be renewed. Here's what happened. Upon trying to renew we were passed around to 4 different people. Each time we tried to submit what was requested we were told it had was being reviewed by someone else. When we contacted that person they didn't want anything the person before them wanted from us, always something entirely different. This run-around went on for months leaving us completely exasperated and befuddled. In the middle of all this we received an e-mail that there would be no more Schedule 75 numbers awarded. It was then we realized that included renewals also, as we were finally declined. By doing this, I no longer have a GSA number costing me offers from the DOD Emall. So I lost over 35 accounts at Davis Monthan Air Force base, numerous customers at Fort Huachuca, and all of the on-line ordering from the DOD Emall nation-wide.

This is all due to GSA becoming mad because they weren't included as one of the 19 BPA's issused to the DOD Emall, and that's because they couldn't guarantee the delivery time. So it falls back on the little guy, the small businesses. I have a copy of the 84 page report that was done at a 2009 meeting held by GSA. In that report it was stated GSA was going to cut back on businesses that had GSA numbers. We are definite proof of that. Please keep me informed on all this illegal, underhanded, and under the table graft that continues.

Thank You,
C