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Government Contract Pricing Blog

Why Pricing Federal Bids with Spreadsheets is Risky Business

Posted Jan 29, 2019  by  PROPRICER

A Better Way to Price and Analyze Cost Proposals for Federal Contracts

If you’ve prepared a response to a government RFP, you are aware of the struggles that come with the process. Developing and managing cost volume proposals can be long and tedious; however it is an absolute necessity to the company’s lifeblood. Estimating and pricing teams must work together to ensure that the company wins the business, ultimately helping to stay in business.

Typical pricing processes often rely on data that originated from custom built systems or Excel cost models which provide little insight or context behind the data. Making matters worse, these systems are designed in such a way as to make error-checking and analysis by project estimators extremely difficult. Any of this sound familiar?

Avoid the Risk

Often times, cost engineers get so frustrated with their current pricing system, they will circumvent it altogether when developing cost estimates. In a short amount of time, spreadsheet estimates are only connected by an unchecked/unverified array of formulas and links. Errors rise, along with the number of hours wasted trying to diagnose the origin of each error. Was it a data input error? Was there a wrong formula? Did someone change the correct version to something else? Was this used on other proposals? Even when errors do not occur, using spreadsheets drastically slows down the estimating process.

PROPRICER was created with all of this in mind. PROPRICER, among other features, incorporates features that enable estimators to perform sanity checks on data and formulas. Additionally, the lockable pricing algorithm helps your data go from a mess of spreadsheets and formulas to a clean and organized environment.

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A Better Way: Secure, Database Driven Pricing

  • Start with locked down rates in a secure environment

Once the pricing logic of your cost model is built and roles and responsibilities are set up in PROPRICER, spreadsheet madness turns into a clean, standardized methodology. If needed, data from Excel can be easily imported into the system and automatically populated at the press of a button; PROPRICER’s unified database can receive inputs from a variety of tools, such as MS Project.

  • Workflows and prompts help pricers follow a process of reasoning that creates estimates faster.

Although each estimate is unique, PROPRICER provides workflow features, and ‘sanity checks’ that help pricers follow a process of reasoning that creates estimates faster. Estimators will commonly adjust labor estimates without also adjusting other related costs. With PROPRICER, you can set up resource relationships that automatically adjust these costs proportionally. The database properly enforces all pricing formulas to prevent inaccurate estimates. Additionally, the workflows provide prompts and complete sets of information so users do not become preoccupied with just one cost element, such as labor. The system helps them avoid the trap of glossing over critical parts of the cost estimate.

  • Version Control allows you to create new and different versions of your proposal in minutes.

Create different versions of your proposal in seconds for any comparison or updates needed. With all of your data loaded in PROPRICER, your estimating teams can manage and reuse the entire library of cost data from one proposal to the next- even from one proposal scenario to the next. This dramatically reduces the potential for human error by eliminating duplication of data input. Manual input can be further reduced by PROPRICER’s time-phasing features, which allow estimators to shift time-phased data in a mere three clicks.

  • Standardized, FAR- Compliant Reporting

Beyond streamlining and improving the accuracy of your proposal process, PROPRICER’s standardized reporting templates offer an even greater value.

Comply with FAR requirements with in-depth data to support your cost estimates. Report to auditors with ease, and deliver the exact data required by your partners and colleagues. With PROPRICER Reporting, you have the ability to export formula rich Excel models from the top down or bottom up.

A Fast and Accurate Solution to Help you Win More Bids

PROPRICER was designed based on the first-hand needs of proposal teams and knowing the laborious process of developing competitive cost proposals that meet the detail requirements set forth by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). With standardized cost data format, locked-down rates and cost model logic, PROPRICER eliminates the redundant process of developing one cost proposal after another while being bogged-down by the limitations of their homegrown or spreadsheet-based pricing systems.

Schedule a demo today to see how PROPRICER can streamline and improve your cost estimating process.

Topics: federal proposal management, cost volume, proposal pricing software, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), proposal process, proposal software

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