5 Reasons Government Contractors Seek PROPRICER Alternatives

Are you evaluating options for proposal software? Taking the time to articulate your business objectives and what problems you are trying solve can help you define how an estimate software tool can simplify life for proposal teams and improve the quality of cost estimate data. Do you need a single point solution for proposal pricing, or do you need something that supports the entire proposal development process? A credible cost estimate requires verifiable source data and supporting narrative information that discusses the assumptions, logic, methodology, and calculations used to develop the basis of estimate.

Working with numerous clients over the last 10 years, we are often replacing PROPRICER with our proposal software, BOEMax. Here are the top five reasons these clients have switched to BOEMax or chose BOEMax over PROPRICER.

1. PROPRICER is a pricing tool and that’s it.

PROPRICER has a single purpose in life – to price the cost estimate. The downside? You must purchase the Estimator add-on for proposal teams to enter the cost estimate data or they must import the data. The functions are not integrated. Proposal teams waste time continually importing and exporting data between tools – often Microsoft Excel for the cost estimating data. If your proposal teams are using Excel, you also need to purchase the PROPRICER Excel add-on.

In addition to the automatic process penalty when the data doesn’t reside in a single, central database, it creates data traceability issues. Excel is a powerful and flexible tool. However, it doesn’t have the built-in functionality to create and organize time phased cost estimate data – especially when multiple people are developing the cost estimate content.

And, what about all the other components proposal teams need to build a complete cost estimate such as bills of material and supplier basis of estimates? Everything is piecemeal – the proposal team must spend extra time to ensure all the pieces fit together and tell the same story.

2. PROPRICER charges extra to interface with Microsoft Word.

The narrative information is a critical part of the cost estimate development process the proposal teams need to document their thought process and how they arrived at their cost estimate. And where do most people document their rationale? In Microsoft Word. PROPRICER doesn’t make this easy. You have to pay for a Word add-on, the narrative information is not part of the database.

Once again, the proposal teams have to figure out how to manage the set of related Word documents for the proposal narrative information. How do they organize the documents so the proposal manager as well as the customer can follow how they developed their BOE? There is also no way to produce a report that combines the time phased cost estimate details and Word narrative information.

3. PROPRICER doesn’t integrate with schedule tools.

This is often one of the top challenges for proposal teams. How they ensure the proposal schedule and cost estimate are telling the same story? When the estimating/pricing tool doesn’t integrate with scheduling tools such as Oracle Primavera P6 or Microsoft Project (MSP), it is difficult to maintain a reliable level of data traceability between the schedule and time phased cost estimate data.

Proposal teams often resort to manual data comparisons or a power user writes a series of data calls and macros to do a comparison between toolset outputs. Another major time-consuming process for the proposal team. It also reduces the overall quality of the cost estimate when it isn’t easy to demonstrate traceability between the schedule and cost data.

4. PROPRICER has limited workflow functionality.

Managing the proposal development process isn’t easy. How do you track who is responsible for developing the basis of estimate and where they are in the development process? Who is responsible for approving the basis of estimates? How do you track changes to the cost estimate data and who made those changes? Without a robust workflow process and automatic transaction audit trail, the proposal manager must spend extra time managing the development process and verifying the cost estimate data to check for any “stealth” changes that didn’t go through the approval process.

5. Unable to leverage PROPRICER data after contract award.

PROPRICER wasn’t designed to provide project control teams with the data content they need to develop the project’s schedule and budget baseline after contract award. The cost estimate content isn’t organized into a single database the project control team can leverage.

When it is difficult for a project control team to figure out the proposal team’s thought process and cost estimate details, they quickly conclude it is easier to start from scratch. The result? It increases the duration of the startup and planning phase for the project. The project control team has also lost the benefit of the proposal team’s knowledge and expertise in developing the basis of estimate. Were different assumptions used? Were all the risk factors considered? What was lost in translation between the proposal and startup/planning phases of the project after contract award? 

Why BOEMax?

You do have alternatives to PROPRICER. PROPRICER is a legacy single point solution for pricing cost estimates that requires you to purchase add-ons for Excel and Word increasing the total cost of ownership. It takes longer for proposal teams to organize and manage all the cost estimate pieces. It is also more difficult to ensure data traceability and to create a data driven cost estimate.

Here’s why BOEMax proposal software is a better option. BOEMax:

  • Is an all-in-one cost estimating and pricing software tool. It is designed to help proposal teams create data driven cost estimates easier and faster. And, they can include the narrative information for the cost estimate data in a single database. No add-ons required.
  • Integrates bi-directionally with schedule tools such as P6 and MSP so you are confident the proposal schedule and cost estimate are telling the same story.
  • Includes a robust built-in workflow process to manage the proposal development process and track all changes. You define the roles and responsibilities, approval forms, and routing rules. BOEMax automatically tracks the work queue and estimate versions so everyone on the proposal teams know who is responsible for what and when they need to complete something. It also automatically tracks those “stealth” changes that occur during the development process. The proposal manager can quickly trace who did what when to the cost estimate data.
  • Enables closed loop cost estimating because it helps proposal teams to routinely collect and organize relevant source data they can use to substantiate their basis of estimates. You can use BOEMax to create a single searchable database of reliable source data so they can produce data driven cost estimates.
  • Is designed to help proposal teams build hierarchical bills of material (BOM) for their proposal project from a common master list of parts or components complete with manufacturer and unit pricing. They can use the BOM content to quickly build out the work package material requirements. Proposal teams can also leverage the project’s BOM to document supplier basis of estimates.
  • Includes a set of built-in standard cost summary reports and robust ad-hoc reporting functions so proposal teams can easily produce required reports for internal management or to submit to a government customer. For proposal submissions, proposal teams must be able to demonstrate how they arrived at the estimate and pricing data. This includes the assumptions, rationale, estimating parameters, formulas, and other BOE details so the customer can perform a data trace and verify the results. This is easy to do with BOEMax because the complete set of data resides in a single database. The data is fully traceable from the top down or bottom up along with narrative information.
  • Is designed to share data with ProjStream’s MaxTeam, a cost management tool for the project execution phase. Project control teams can leverage the proposal source data, including the basis of estimate details, as the foundation to create the project’s schedule and budget baseline. The benefit is it reduces the time required for the startup/planning phase of a project. It also increases the quality and traceability of the schedule and cost data.

Schedule a demo today to see how BOEMax can simplify life for your proposal teams and helps them to create data driven cost estimates easier and faster.

Topics: proposal software, estimating and pricing, schedule integration, BOEMax

Author: Jeff Lutton