Blog | PROPRICER: Proposal Pricing Software

Somebody Messed Up a Cell in Excel, and Now We're Lost

Written by PROPRICER Team | 10/17/17 12:47 PM

Excel Woes? PROPRICER can help

Responding to U.S. government requests for proposals (RFPs) usually involves inputting a complex array of costs into your price estimating tool. If that tool is Excel and someone has made an error, you could face days of tracing labor and resource estimates; as you struggle to track down the cell in question, you’re stalling the business and wasting valuable time you should be using to pursue deals and differentiate your company.

Excel wasn’t designed to support complex estimating and pricing projects, so these common scenarios lead to business-halting errors in Excel: 

  • Someone entered an incorrect formula or incorrectly modified an existing formula 
  • Someone keyed data incorrectly
  • Someone ran a ‘what-if’ scenario and neglected to save the original file
  • A task was time-shifted, but the related data didn’t adjust or flow through properly

When these mistakes occur, you often have no idea where to begin your error-tracing exercise.

And imagine how massive the problem is when you’re assembling an estimate or price that relies on data from tens or hundreds of spreadsheets, all formatted differently. When there’s an error, you have to manually recheck everything – losing time and putting revenue at risk – because you’re delayed in both your current estimate and the pursuit of other opportunities.

The only thing worse than spending excessive amounts of time tracking down the cause of Excel errors is not knowing your pricing estimate had errors in the first place. Spreadsheets don’t sanity check your results; as a result, estimators often fail to catch mistakes when assembling complex quotes. Often, the only time a vendor realizes mistakes were made is when it’s too late. Whether the estimate is way off or an audit flags improper pricing, unseen errors negatively affect customer relationships, earnings results and statements, and your overall business reputation.

PROPRICER Eliminates Errors and Maintains Correct Data and Formulas

PROPRICER’s market-leading position in the estimating solutions market is due to the tool’s ability to help you avoid errors throughout the entire quoting process, from start to finish to reuse.

At the outset, you can enter and ‘lock down’ your pricing algorithm(s) so no one can make erroneous changes. With your algorithm protected, you can establish detailed access rights, preventing unqualified people or restricted personnel from changing and entering data and formulas where they shouldn’t be doing so.

Error prevention occurs further downstream via the PROPRICER testing feature. It provides sanity checks on all your formulas, enabling you to spot formulation errors and remedy them before data input. When it’s time to input data, the tool minimizes the need for manual data entry by managing your company’s library of cost data for reuse (i.e., rather than you manually inputting data for each new project or task within a project, the tool brings cost data from one proposal to the next). This ensures your data remains correct and consistent across projects and phases.

Finally, PROPRICER’s ability to automatically time-phase your data prevents errors and saves you from the burden of recalculating line-by-line estimates when the U.S. Government inevitably delays the start of your project and requests a revised estimate. With just a few clicks in the tool, you can time-shift any data elements you want, knowing the integrity of the estimates is maintained over the revised timeframe.

Conclusion

Using PROPRICER can free your organization from the labor burdens and costly errors inherent in an Excel-based quoting process. With PROPRICER, you can create estimates and pricing much faster and rest assured everything is accurate and ready for reporting to any output. Learn more about PROPRICER.