Global Pricing Strategies

Specific pricing strategies must be developed for each individual situation. Frequently, however, one of two situations prevails when one is pursuing project acquisitions competitively. First, the new business opportunity may be a one-of-a-kind program with little or no follow-on potential, a situation classified as type I acquisition. Second, the new business opportunity may be an entry point to a larger follow-on or repeat business, or may represent a planned penetration into a new market. This acquisition is classified as type II.

Clearly, in each case, we have specific but different business objectives. The objective for type I acquisition is to win the program and execute it profitably and satisfactorily according to contractual agreements. The type II objective is often to win the program and perform well, thereby gaining a foothold in a new market segment or a new customer community in place of making a profit. Accordingly, each acquisition type has its own, unique pricing strategy, as summarized in Table 14-1.

Comparing the two pricing strategies for the two global situations (as shown in Table 14-1) reveals a great deal of similarity for the first five points. The fundamental difference is that for a profitable new business acquisition the bid price is determined according to actual cost, whereas in a "must-win" situation the price is determined by the market forces. It should be emphasized that one of the most crucial inputs in the pricing decision is the cost estimate of the proposed baseline. The design of this baseline to the minimum requirements should be started early, in accordance with well-defined ground rules, cost models, and established cost targets. Too often the baseline design is performed in parallel with the proposal development. At the proposal stage it is too late to review and fine-tune the baseline for minimum cost. Also, such a late start does not allow much of an option for a final bid decision. Even if the price appears outside the competitive range, it makes little sense to terminate the proposal development. As all the resources have been sent anyway, one might just as well submit a bid in spite of the remote chance of winning.

Clearly, effective pricing begins a long time before proposal development. It starts with preliminary customer requirements, well-understood subtasks, and a top-down estimate with should-cost targets. This allows the functional organization to design a baseline

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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