Roadmap to winning in proposal cost volumes

Although the government often states that cost is the least important factor in proposal evaluation, and that they buy on best value, recent statistics show that cost is the deciding factor in most, if not all, of the federal contract awards. In other words, cost is incredibly important if you want to win. Proposal managers, however, work very hard on the technical volumes and wield little influence over this all-important volume.

The truth is that cost volumes are often developed behind closed doors. Proposal managers often must resort to merely checking when the price proposal be done, assisting with scheduling a cost volume review, and praying the cost volume team does a good job. While the technical team follows a more or less disciplined process, the cost team often runs ad-hoc and crams everything the last week before submission, patching together boilerplate that is often at odds with the statements made in the technical volume.

The reason for this unfortunate situation is that many proposal managers don’t know how they can influence cost proposals for the better – they feel powerless to change anything. They consistently lose to teams that have mastered cost volume development techniques. There are 10 areas where proposal managers can make a significant positive impact on cost volume development WITHOUT being a pricing expert, some of which are shown on our roadmap to winning in proposal cost volumes. This roadmap is a four-level learning curve that yields consistently winning results:

Level 1. Understanding the terminology and the basics of cost volumes

Level 2. Learning where you can make a difference throughout the cost volume development process, and how

Level 3. Figuring out how to help with key pieces requiring proposal manager’s involvement:

  • WBS
  • Assumptions
  • BOEs
  • Price-to-win and pricing strategy

Level 4. Create a winning cost volume narrative.

For more information, check out our Developing a Winning Cost Volume course: https://ostglobalsolutions.com/events/

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