Insight by the Government Contract Pricing Summit

Contract pricing professionals get rare opportunity for collaboration at GCP Summit

It’s been said that bringing together government and industry to talk about improving the acquisition process is futile. But that hasn’t stopped ProPricer f...

This content is provided by the Government Contract Pricing Summit.

It’s been said that bringing together government and industry to talk about improving the acquisition process is futile. But that hasn’t stopped ProPricer from hosting its Government Contract Pricing Summit (GCP Summit) the past five years. And it hasn’t stopped government and industry attendees from shaping the future of government contract pricing together, through their participation in the event.

The GCP Summit evolved from ProPricer’s annual user conference, originally designed for customers of its contractor proposal pricing software. After ProPricer released its Government Edition for proposal analysis, it became apparent that it was time to expand the conference. So in 2016, ProPricer opened the event to anyone who worked in government contracting, whether in the public or private sector, and renamed it the Government Contract Pricing Summit.

“Once we had a product for both sides of the acquisition process, we thought the conference should be designed to support the entire government contract pricing community – and not just ProPricer users,” said Ken Silver, vice president of corporate communications at ProPricer. “What ProPricer has done from a technology and process standpoint, the GCP Summit is doing by bringing contract pricing professionals together to discuss and collaborate on current initiatives and issues that are impacting the pricing community. So it’s a perfect fit for ProPricer to host such an event. And we’re seeing attendance grow each year.”

ProPricer allows contractors to submit their cost proposal in a format that gives agencies the ability to instantly view the contractor’s cost and pricing data — exactly as it was submitted – with the contractor’s fully-functional cost model intact and ready to use in their own analysis. That means agencies no longer have to recreate entire proposals to analyze them. They don’t have to go through multiple Excel files, double check formulas, and hunt for inaccurate numbers.

The government contracting professionals who use ProPricer are a tight-knit community. But opportunities for those in the public sector to rub elbows with those from industry are few and far between. That means chances to collaborate, discuss common challenges, and propose solutions are rare. That’s what makes the GCP Summit so unique.

“Bringing industry and government together to discuss the current state of the contract pricing industry, from numerous perspectives, I’d say is at the heart of why the GCP Summit exists,” Silver said. “The conference offers government and industry attendees the opportunity to meet with their leaders, peers and partners on both sides. That just doesn’t exist at any other event – especially at this scale. In addition, attendees have opportunities to share ideas, best practices and initiatives that can help shape the future of contract pricing.”

That happens through both plenary and breakout sessions, where attendees have the opportunity to get specific questions answered. Most return from the conference with lessons learned and best practices that can not only benefit their organizations, but potentially fast track their careers as well.

Contract pricing and acquisition professionals at any level are welcome at the Summit, from pricing and contracts executives to cost/price analysts to technical evaluators and estimators. And it’s the only large conference that offers content specific to these types of positions. The GCP Summit does not do Government Contracting 101. Everything is focused specifically on contract pricing and federal contract pricing compliance.

“Let me give you an idea of the types of sessions we will be having in 2021,” Silver said. “Our government keynote interview is with John Tenaglia, the principal director for Defense pricing and contracting at the Defense Department. We’re having a federal executive panel that will discuss the future of contract pricing. There will be an industry keynote interview as well, with our 2021 Service Recognition Award winner Denyce Carter, vice president, contracts & purchasing at General Atomics. And then we’ll have a pricing and compliance panel discussion with reps from both government and industry. DCMA and DCAA will be participating in multiple sessions. That’s just to name a few.”

And that’s on top of a full day of workshops and think tank sessions, where attendee participation will be solicited. Each session will feature a Q&A portion, so attendees can get their questions answered by experts in the field. Networking opportunities are also built into the format.

The 2021 Government Contract Pricing Summit will occur virtually over three four-hour days this year, though Silver said ProPricer plans to go back to an in-person format in 2022.

This kind of opportunity, that allows professionals from both government and industry to come together at a grassroots level and affect policies, procedures and processes across an entire field, is rare at best. And it also allows contract pricing professionals to shake off that workstation tunnel vision and expand their perspectives beyond their own four walls.

“This is at the heart of what we’re trying to do with the conference: That attendees can see firsthand that it is possible to discuss and collaborate with peers and reps from the other side, so to speak,” Silver said. “By coming together for the common goal of improving the acquisition process, each side may have a different perspective. But innovative thinking with those willing to get things done is a great way to see lasting improvements.”

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