You many have noticed that earlier this summer GSA released a new proposed pricing spreadsheet template. One major change on the template was a new statement that says: “Offeror must ensure the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Manufacturer Part Number or Wholesaler Number for each product proposed reflects the actual part number assigned.  If the OEM, Manufacturer, or Wholesaler Part Number is submitted incorrectly or not submitted, the product offering will not be awarded.”  One reason for this new language has to do with GSA’s new price analysis tool.

When analyzing product pricing on a modification or new offer, GSA Contracting Officers (COs) now have a new price analysis tool called Price Point. Price Point was developed by XSB a data management firm based in New York. Cos have started using it as a tool to help them decide whether or not proposed pricing is considered fair and reasonable. The Price Point User Guide is available online and reading through it will allow you to know exactly what your CO will use to make their decision. Price Point data is pulled from a variety of government websites including  GSA Advantage and DOD EMALL as well as other commercial manufacturer/distributor websites.

A CO can upload a catalog into Price Point and view a report that displays a variety of pricing information:

  • Risk– Price Point calculates the risk of the proposed price versus other vendor prices and ranges it from 0-100; 0 being low risk and 100 being high risk
  • Comparable Prices– Price Point calculates and displays the minimum and average prices from other vendors
  • Evidence– Price Point also provides the “evidence” of the minimum and average prices including contract name, contract number, how many matches the system found, and the website where the evidence was pulled from (Advantage, EMALL, etc.)
  • Price Point allows the CO to apply a filter to distinguish between shipping terms which can be helpful when they are trying to conduct apple to apple comparisons. It also gives the CO the ability search the product on Google or Amazon straight from XSB reporting system.

Having insight on the Contracting Officer’s price analysis can help when proposing your pricing or responding to a clarification/rejection based on pricing that was determined to be not fair and reasonable. One thing we fear is that the cost of running a business gets lost in the lowest price determinations and this may or may not be taken into consideration when CO’s do their price analysis. Recently, it has become more challenging to make a case to GSA in regards to their price comparison tool. If, after a price analysis, GSA has found the proposed pricing not to be fair and reasonable, I’ve always required the Contracting Officer shed some light on their price comparison, however the responses are always mixed. Some are very hesitant to share their source and respond with “I am not authorized to give that information” and others will share a spreadsheet detailing their price analysis. Without this information, it can feel like an uphill battle to make the case of “fair and reasonable” pricing. We are hoping GSA COs will keep an open mind and consider more variables other than price when determining if pricing is considered fair and reasonable.

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