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Freyr

Pricing Tables for RFPs

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Good morning and happy holidays WIFCON!

 

 I’ve been reading these forums/blogs since I started in Federal contracting as a Copper Cap (just over two years now) and have gained a ton of valuable knowledge and viewpoints, this really is an amazing resource for contracting knowledge.

 Over the past year I’ve started working large dollar service contracts and have found myself in a position where I’ve had to develop IDIQ pricing tables for RFPs twice now. I’ve gone through the CPRG and found it useful but not in the way I’m looking for, it's more what to do what the numbers once you have them than what to do before you get them. I very much enjoy this type of work and it seems like there’s a lack of know-how around me in this area. I’d like to think I’m pretty good with excel, I can use tables/pivot tables/named ranges/advanced formulas and code in VBA to an extent. It was simple when all I had to do was make a spreadsheet for supplies, but with all the variables from services and IDIQ type contracts it’s getting more challenging (and fun).

 

 Bottom line: I’d like to know what techniques/courses/resources/templates/books etc anyone would recommend for learning more about things such as developing pricing tables and proposal modeling. I'd also like to know what your opinion is on using MS Access for this type of work.

 

 Thank you all for your contributions to this site and all the knowledge you’ve already passed on to me!

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PepeTheFrog suggests that you develop friends, colleagues, and professional contacts in private industry-- who develop proposals and prices-- to gain insights and understanding from the private-sector viewpoint. There are several industry trade groups or networking organizations like National Contract Management Association that can facilitate this. Also, during the market research stage, pick up the phone and call vendors and contractors to ask about these topics and how strategies might change based on contract structure, requirements expanding, delivery schedule, pricing mechanics, etc. They will provide free information and advice. They are usually happy to bend the ear of a Federal contracting professional, especially if it concerns potential revenue.  

MS Access seems like MS Excel: a powerful tool that can be useful when you know how to use it properly. Is there a particular feature or function in MS Access you find useful for developing pricing tables and proposal modeling?

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Guest Vern Edwards
20 hours ago, Freyr said:

Bottom line: I’d like to know what techniques/courses/resources/templates/books etc anyone would recommend for learning more about things such as developing pricing tables and proposal modeling. I'd also like to know what your opinion is on using MS Access for this type of work.

You use the term "pricing table" as if it referred to a specific thing. I've been around a few RFPs, but I'm not sure what you mean specifically. What information do you want to include in your tables and show to the user? Do you just want to display the information, or do you want to reveal patterns of relationships among cost elements, or do you want to compare proposals? See Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Do you want interactivity? 

And what do you mean by "proposal modeling"? Are you talking about that article in Contract Management from a couple of years ago, "Breaking It Down - Proposal Modeling," in which "proposal model" is a fancy term for price or cost analysis breakdown, and in which a "proposal model" is a table or spreadsheet that displays cost information. When I think of a "model" I think of an equation that reflects the relationships among variables into which you can use to plug in numbers in order to predict the result of changes in variables. Something like an economic model. Like this: C = x +p(x)[y + z + e(x, y, z)],  which was used in an essay about contract interpretation to help decide whether it would be worth devoting more effort to contract writing and negotiation in order to avoid litigation. So what do you mean by "proposal modeling"?

You devoted more words in your post to telling us about you than to telling us what your specific needs are and what you want to know. Try to be more specific.

 

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