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January 2014: Automating BOE Rollups vs. Pricing Compare With Simple VBA Tools

Thank you for engaging Black Dog Technology LLC in 2013 and best wishes for a prosperous 2014! This article is a followup on the same topic to November's Automating Review Comment Management With Simple VBA Tools. Over the past several years, I've been writing about the 25%+ range fraction of BOE development cost relative to the overall proposal cost. A large contributor is the seemingly endless changes/updates made to the BOEs/pricing to meet the price-to-win, most often at the last possible minute. These last-minute changes often cause disconnects between the BOEs and pricing, which can spell disaster in the Cost Volume. Of course you know by now I am a huge advocate of standardization, using common forms, templates and the like to achieve repeatable, predictable process results. BOE form standardization (in Word or Excel) augmented by some simple VBA tools enables common format extraction of labor grades, hours, company names, etc. from the BOE forms into an Excel spreadsheet. Once there, further rollups and manipulation of data are easily performed to cross-check the BOEs with pricing data in a rapid, repeatable fashion. As a real-life example, in one particular engagement there were about 300 BOEs and a number of teammates. We developed a BOE template with a standardized table section for pricing data, which included labor grades, hours, company names, and rollup sums. Over several days I spent some hours developing the VBA code which internally updated the hours sums, and extracted the data into an Excel worksheet. In any 20 minute timeframe, we were able to repeatably extract all of the data out of the 300 BOEs for pricing inputs/cross-check, and also perform subtotals on teammate hours targets. The realized benefits and cost savings of this approach, enabled by unique Black Dog Technology LLC expertise:

  • Set the risk of Cost Volume pricing vs. BOE disconnects to virtually zero

  • Eliminated the entire labor cost and time to manually extract the BOE data for pricing input and cross-check

  • Accommodated the predictably last-minute changes/ updates to price-to-win

Contact us to arrange your Proposal Navigator® system capability demonstration.

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Synthesize and package the capture team’s vision into a compliant, convincing and compelling offering whose selection can be successfully defended ... without breaking the pursuit budget “bank”...

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