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After you have updated your stylesheet, make sure you turn this module off

Government Contract Pricing Blog

When You Know It’s Time to Part Ways with Your Homegrown Pricing Tool

Posted Feb 28, 2017  by  PROPRICER

Inertia is a force difficult to overcome. Whether it's vegging on the couch or continuing to use an outdated, error-prone, Excel-based proposal pricing tool, cutting the cord takes courage, vision and a burning desire to achieve something better.

If you have been using a homegrown proposal pricing tool to prepare bids for RFPs, how do you know when it's time to bid your tool adieu?

Here are three clear warning signs:

  1. Developing Cost Estimates Takes FOREVER. Even when using a computerized spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel, it is common for contractors and government agencies to spend weeks if not months preparing prices to include in their RFP and RFP responses. As RFPs become more complex and pricing requests more detailed, the process can become a huge time-suck that leaves little room for anything else.
  2. Your Pricing Tool has MULTIPLE VERSIONS. Many companies use an Excel-based pricing tool originally conceived to meet the needs of one particular project. When this tool proved successful, employees copied it and modified it to help with their own estimating jobs. This sharing/modifying/copying cycle continues over months or even years, so that today no two people are using the exact same tool. The result: estimates vary wildly depending on which employee -- and which tool version -- is doing the estimating.
  3. Price Estimates are Frequently WRONG. When homegrown pricing tools are shared, copied and modified, errors inevitably creep into the programming. Because the people modifying the template are rarely experienced coders, these errors pile up, conflicts are hastily patched, and the entire tool becomes a sputtering machine held together with baling wire and chewing gum. The final estimates the tool produces are sometimes right and sometimes wrong, with no clear way to discern the difference.

If your price estimating is showing any -- or all -- of these warning signs, it's time to consider a better system.

Realize it’s time to change your system? You have options! Other Pricing Options.

Topics: Microsoft Excel, homegrown pricing systems

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