RELEAse Notes

Version 1.2 - February 2020

 

Confidence Roll-up

Confidence is calculated for labor estimates based on the estimating method (e.g. level of effort, imported resource plan, parametric or based on actual performance history) and for materials based on the age and quantity variance of the “best-fit” source document such as the purchase order or routing. Confidence is now rolled-up from each estimate to the WBS, and up the WBS hierarchy to the proposal level. As confidence is aggregated or rolled up each estimate’s confidence is weighted based on the cost of each estimate in your company’s currency. Users also have the option to select a manual confidence “5-star score”, in the same way as you give feedback on smart-phone apps, at WBS element level. The single-user input confidence score (1-5) and system-generated score (as a %) can co-exist, though the “5-star” scores can also be derived from the system calculated % if you prefer, based on a configurable rating scale

Costing based on Production Order History

Up until now make parts were costed based on SAP routing labor standards. We now provide a standard API for costing based on production order history, with a preconfigured estimating method for costing based on routings and then production orders, if the routing standards were not found. Fundamentally we average the hours, by work-center, across the range of production orders with options to:

  • Define in configuration of the estimating method how far back to scan in terms of either number of orders or how far back in time

  • Exclude or include zero-hour production orders, i.e. production orders in SAP with no labor confirmations

  • Select which standard values (e.g. set-up, processing, machining etc.) should be included in historical production order hours

  • Exclude or include outliers, namely the highest and lowest hours recorded for a specific work-center

We are planning future enhancements to limit production orders by SAP plant, to weight production order hours based on recency, and to automatically calculate learning curve factors based on the rate of improvement and the number of orders at each work-center

Independent Assessments     

The Pricing tab of the proposal was cleaned up and Independent Assessment results moved to a new Advanced tab with inputs for both the entire proposal and by phase (in the Phase tab) of:

  • Minimum, max. and most-likely cost of the proposal from an independent assessment. This data is used to compare risk-adjusted proposal costs to the independently assessed cost range

  • Performance risk factor which is used to give an independent assessment of the sum of weighted risks from the risk register

  • G&A % baked into the business plan for the company, to model how not all the G&A cost associated with this new proposal need to be included in a proposal-specific profit margin analysis

Performance

Major improvements to performance were made in response to customer volume / stress testing including:

  • Generation of the proposal cost model automatically in real-time using stored procedures, a fast SAP HANA database level script

  • An option to run material consolidation and costing in “net change” mode which means that only materials where the data has changed (e.g. new or deleted BOM items) will be costed instead of re-costing thousands of products / materials each time

  • Implementation of SAP HANA “workload classes” to streamline the background processes and to prevent long running background jobs – such as a full BOM explosion, lot-sizing and material costing for 50,000 parts – from delaying smaller, more urgent jobs such as proposal copies or new versions

  • Database tuning and memory optimization including a recommendation to restart the servers on a round-robin basis when deploying updates or bug fixes in a production environment

  • Optimization of bill of material import, cascade data or tags down large bills of material, copying or versioning large proposals and their underlying estimates, and opening very large estimates

Primavera P6 Integration  

The integration between iPE and Primavera, which currently relies on Excel files being transferred between the two systems, was enhanced as follows:

  • Updating of user date fields in Primavera from the resource or task start/end dates in iPE. This is necessary because Primavera does its own scheduling and does not accept external dates

  • Configurable WBS and task P6 ID naming standards so that your company can match-up how iPE and P6 generate WBS and task internal ID’s

The current interface supports creation of tasks and resource assignments in either direction (P6 à iPE or iPE à P6) but currently only supports the creation of WBS elements separately in both systems

Project Baseline

When generating the project baseline in SAP, for proposal estimated costs, we discovered that SAP flatly rejects planned proposal costs if the work-center, plant, and activity type combination are not defined and planned properly in SAP in transactions CR02/KP26. Consequently, we enhanced our project baseline interface to look up the work-center, activity type, cost-center, and plant combination in SAP and if not found, then search for the same work-center in another SAP plant and use that work center instead

 

At the same time special characters such as “%”, which are permitted in the SAP material master description, were being rejected by the middleware which is SAP’s Cloud Platform Integration (CPI) toolset. Consequently, we enhanced the SAP material master interface to strip out any invalid CPI characters, and to only retain 0...9 aA...zZ

Proposal BOM

Enhancements to the proposal bill of material (BOM) in this version include:

  • Option to cascade supply site, complexity and tag values assigned down the bill of material structure

  • Option to search and filter the indentured product configuration or bill of material (BOM) to focus on specific part numbers

  • Improvements to the BOM cost roll-up including calculation and display of the make or buy labor or material cost, burdens, summary of lower level component costs, and the equivalent cost of the BOM assembly (and its lower levels) for one end item

Proposal Bus. Unit

During the proposal set-up you specify the leading business unit as well as other units contributing resources to the bid. You can now select either a company or site as both leading and supporting business units. While companies map to SAP companies, sites in iPE typically map to your SAP plant codes, but could also map to your profit or cost-center hierarchy. If you select a site as the leading unit then the site’s parent company is automatically adopted as the proposal company, with internal proposal costs computed in this currency

 

At the same time, we added a delivery-from site to the proposal line item, which defaults from either the assigned WBS or the proposal set-up. The line item site, equivalent to the delivery-plant in SAP, informs iPE which SAP plant to check first when importing the bill of material (BOM) for any line items which are hardware or assemblies with a BOM. If there is a special procurement key in SAP which maps to an alternative “supply site” in iPE then the BOM for the material’s supply site is imported instead of the BOM for the site from the proposal line item

Proposal Scheduling

Rescheduling an entire proposal was included in this release with options to reschedule based on changes to the period of performance start date, end date, adjust all estimates to fit the new proposal dates, or stretch/shrink phases, WBS elements, tasks and labor estimates to fit the new proposal schedule and WBS/task durations. You now have the option to specify whether you want to reschedule or retain existing proposal dates when copying another proposal or importing from a template. Rescheduling is based on lead-time offsets and is not constraint-based at this time

Reports Menu

The reporting menu, which invokes SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), Web-Intelligence (WebI), SAP Lumira or other reports built in your company’s preferred data visualization toolset via a URL, is now configurable. To define your own reports menu in iPE, add entries into the TwentyFiveConfig table of type report with the display name and URL for each report

Usability

When you open each application you will now be automatically placed on whatever tab or page you were on last time you were in the same application, regardless of what proposal or estimate you were working on

 

Version 1.3 - June 2020

Consolidated Material Buy Part Popup Improvements

Some improvements to the popup for material cost, for purchased materials include:

  • The option to show historical purchase orders (PO’s) based on unit or actual cost of each historical PO, vs. adjusted unit cost which is actual PO unit cost x inflation adjustment factor x quantity adjustment factor, for each historical PO

  • Fixes to calculation of the inflation adjustment factor (IAF) from changes to the source document date including month-by-month calculation of the inflation factor, pro-rated from the annual inflation based on banking industry best practices, and a consistent approach to calculating the IAF in both the popup and the background costing procedure

Consolidated Material List WBS

Some improvements to the consolidated material list include:

  • Displaying the WBS which led to a specific material cost in the consolidated material list within our material estimating application, together with an option to filter the list on this WBS. Because we ‘consolidate’ multiple material requirements for the same part number from different instances within the proposal BOM, one single consolidated material cost could be based on multiple different proposal BOM requirements, each with its own WBS element assigned. For this reason, we currently display and filter on the first BOM requirement WBS in the consolidated material list. To see each individual BOM requirements and their associated WBS, open the popup and click on the proposal requirements tab

  • Add commodity code (material group from SAP) to the consolidated material list, as well to the SAP material interface

  • Option to search through the consolidated material list

Field Help

Tooltips – or little speech bubbles that appear on mouse-over with helpful field explanations – were added to all of our screens covering fields and table columns across our entire application where further explanation was warranted. This is in addition to our end user help docs

Filtering on 1.1

Many of our applications allow filtering based on the WBS number which follows the convention 1.2.3 for each level in the program WBS. Our UX framework (Sencha Classic) and JavaScript treats a dot as a field/value separator so entering it e.g. “1.2” into the filter confuses the system. This has now been fixed so you can search for WBS elements starting with 1.2

Labor Groups

A new application for admin. maintenance of labor or resource groups was delivered in this version including features to:

  • Map labor resource groups in iPE to SAP activity type/cost center/work center combinations and to Primavera P6 resources

  • Map manufacturing resources (e.g. SAP work-centers) to costing resource groups (e.g. SAP cost-centers) to allow your company to estimate costs and maintain rates at a summary or costing resource group level vs. having to maintain rates for every individual SAP work-center

  • Edit labor rates by fiscal year or other date-periods with the option to calculate future-year rates based on % uplifts

Edit realization factors which are in turn copied into make part labor estimates and applied to run-times from routing standards or production order history

Live Model Download

A fix was applied to downloading our cost/price review report to Excel as a proposal “Live Model” for labor costs with no burdens or indirect cost rates being applied

Material Cost Distribution based on a Curve

Material costing, or the process of consolidating the bill of material (BOM) by part number/option/estimating method/site and then costing each part based on purchase order, production order or routing history, uses a unique “lead time offset” approach to time-phasing the material cost. This means that material costs will be incurred ‘x’ days prior to the date when the next higher assembly costs are incurred, where ‘x’ is the lead time which defaults from the SAP material master MRP view. This rule is applied even when consolidation or economic lot-sizing such as fixed or time-phased results in a single material make/buy supply proposal across multiple distinct BOM requirements. The cost of each BOM requirement will be incurred based on that BOM’s aggregate lead time offset from the end item’s manufacturing completion date in the proposal line item tab.

 

We now provide the option, for specifically marked part numbers, to cost materials based on a distribution curve maintained in the basis of estimate work breakdown structure element or BOE WBS. Rather than spreading the cost of each widget, nut or bolt across perhaps 60 months of the BOE WBS delivery period of performance, we re-assign material proposals from a cashflow perspective to available calendar months based on the best-fit of the overall material cost profile vs. whatever distribution curve has been set in the BOE WBS. In this way the combined total material cost for all components where cost distribution is based on a curve will closely match the BOE WBS’ distribution curve and period of performance

 

We do not consider routing lead times when costing make parts - only the SAP MRP basic date lead time offsets - because routing lead times are typically less than one month which is the granularity of our cost model

Product/Service

Products or services are normally interfaced from SAP’s material master, with the option for estimators to create ad-hoc estimating materials or services, or to edit the estimating parameters which defaulted from SAP, in the iPE application directly. Some improvements to the product / service master application in iPE include:

  • Option to cost or price materials based on a “price-book” or catalog, allowing more than one cost or price for a part number

  • Option to input dimensionless unit of measure conversion factors directly into the product master in iPE, such as “box” to “carton”

  • Hiding travel-only estimating attributes, such as how to calculate the travel expense quantity per trip, for non-travel material items

Layout improvements especially for make/buy planning and estimating properties

Project Baseline

Our interface which creates a project estimating baseline based on the planned proposal cost profile was enhanced to allow editing of WBS master attributes such as the control account and work-package indicators from iPE to SAP, as well as some cleaning up of the baseline log menu with improved display of previous job run times and status

Proposal Line Item Copy

You can now copy proposal line items. You have to assign a BOE-WBS and material costing WBS and check the “cost BOM” flag to re-import the SAP or proposal-specific bill of material if the copied item is an assembly

Running Cost Consolidated BOM

The option to run cost consolidated BOM from the proposal was removed since material cost estimators have this responsibility, not the proposal mgt. team. Always run cost consolidated BOM from the estimating application. Users are now also prevented from running cost consolidated BOM and roll-up BOM unit cost on the same BOE WBS at the same time

SAP BOM Import

Some enhancements to the SAP BOM import comprise:

  • Ability to define a minimum or “as required” quantity threshold in the SAP BOM view

  • Detect SAP alternative item groups and multiply the imported BOM component quantity by the alternative’s planned % in SAP

  • Better management of BOM changes made with reference to an Engineering Change in SAP, picking up the latest configuration

  • Enhancements to how the supply site is processed for products procured from another site in the company, based on SAP’s inter-plant special procurement key concept. We now check for BOMs in the product’s supply site, then we check for group-level BOMs defined across all sites or SAP plant codes

  • Organizing imported SAP BOM items in the same sequence in iPE as they were in SAP, namely in SAP BOM item number sequence

Stability

We now set background jobs as terminated if the server is re-started, to permit graceful job restarts or re-runs after server re-starts. At the same time, we made numerous fixes to transaction deadlocks, a situation where SAP HANA’s database gets all confused and goes to sleep for a few minutes because the same record is being updated concurrently by two different users

Top N Reporting

To support the requirement for reporting on materials which make up the top 80% or top 20% of material cost we now track, in descending order of total cost in company currency, the percentile on which each material make/buy proposal falls. For example, the most expensive material will be 1% of top cost, and if that single material makes up 12% of the total material budget for all purchased parts in the entire BOE, then the next most expensive material will fall on the 13% percentile. This makes reporting of the “top n%” of material costs easy

Users

iPE’s users are managed in our user database with single sign-on integration to SAML 2.0 tools such as OKTA. A new application was rolled out with version 1.3 to edit:

  • User attributes such as contact information (email, name etc.)

  • User preferences for each user including date/number formats and language

  • Authorization roles to control iPE menu access rights.

 

Version 1.4 - September 2020

BOM Performance

Several enhancements have been implemented to BOM performance to cope with bills of materials for material estimates in excess of 50,000 parts, including:

  • Separation of BOM and consolidated material views into two tabs to avoid users from loading both datasets into local memory twice by opening separate browser tabs for BOM vs. consolidated

  • Processing of the full BOM on the server instead of loading the entire indented BOM structure down to the user’s browser for the purposes of searching, filtering, and downloading to Excel. Now search, filter, and Excel download are all managed in the server, hidden away from the user, and results are returned to the user just as before. It should be noted that server calls are now made anytime the user expands a BOM node, resulting in a delay of up to half a second. This is offset by much faster initial BOM load times and is consistent with how other web-applications such as Google Drive handles large data lists

BOM Usability

The indentured bill of material (BOM) item details and quick-create product or service popups were both optimized and combined into a single popup for consistency and ease of use. At the same time, the import BOM popup and the “make similar to” popup (which imports the similar-to part’s BOM) were optimized and combined into a single popup. As you review and edit the proposal bill of material you can add new items - including the creation of material master records and marking items as similar-to known products with cost history, and complexity. The BOM application context menu (gear menu) has also been cleaned up

Consolidated Material Buy Part Popup Improvements

The popup in the consolidated material list is still vital for reviewing the different purchasing sources. Some usability improvements include:

  • Common header fields in all tabs with similar-to p/n, supply site, estimating source, and the option to retain costs

  • Color coding to indicate which historical PO’s in the chart come from the same vendor as the selected PO vs. from other vendors

  • The option to modify the selected PO as the source from either the chart, by clicking on a bubble, or the list - by row selection

  • The option to select more than one PO in the list and compute the average cost of all selected PO’s as the material adjusted unit cost. Note: if you do this then the material proposal “source document information”, such as source document reference, relate to the first selected PO

Consolidated Material Make Part Popup Improvements

The popup in the consolidated material list is still vital for editing the operation by operation labor cost from the SAP routing or production order history. Some usability improvements to this popup include:

  • Common header fields in all tabs with similar-to p/n, supply site, estimating source and the option to retain costs. Display of total set-up and run (processing) hours in the header

  • Realization factor (or efficiency factor) can now be edited in both the labor cost table, for individual operations, or above the labor cost table, which impacts all operations equally

  • Addition of learning curve factor to the labor cost table

  • The option to cost make parts based on standard cost, which means that labor costs are not computed on an operation by operation basis since there was no routing or production order history. Instead such make parts are costed in a similar way to buy parts, with the standard cost x requirement quantity being estimated to the requirement WBS and product’s cost element

Consolidated Material Performance

In the same way as the bill of material (BOM) mentioned above, the consolidated material list is now also managed on the server, with only the records which are visible to the user plus 1-2 hidden pages being loaded into the user’s browser. This improves responsiveness and reduces the volume of network data traffic and browser memory utilization. It is especially important when bidding for large complex assemblies with 25,000 or more materials since you get around 150 columns of data per material

 

Search, filter, and downloading of the consolidated material list to Excel are now managed in the server with the results returned to the user as before. Scrolling down the list more than 2 pages will result in up to one-second delay as more data is loaded from the server, much like other web-apps which manage large datasets like Google Drive

External BOMs

External bills of material (BOMs) are managed in an external system such as product life-cycle mgt. (PLM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. When you import a BOM from ERP or PLM you have the option to import the BOM as “external” which means you can only edit certain estimating attributes – such as supply site, lead time or estimating method – with engineering attributes such as part number and BOM component quantity being locked down and only editable in the external BOM application. In this way, if you prefer engineering to maintain proposal-specific BOMs in your PLM/ERP system, or you are estimating a new product whose bill of material is being actively developed in parallel to the material cost estimate, you can lock the BOM structure for engineering to maintain while still allowing material cost estimators to edit the costing parameters in iPE

 

While you can re-import (update) an external BOM to reflect the latest configuration in PLM/ERP at any time, automatic scheduled or real-time updates of the iPE proposal BOM from your PLM or ERP system are set-up as part of the implementation, as are PLM-system specific interfaces. We will either build an interface mapping and Java API for your PLM tool as part of the implementation or provide an SAP HANA database table (schema/fields) for you to synchronize your PLM BOMs into

Formula Setup

The formula and parameter set-up apps in iPE were rebuilt as a single combined application to support regression analysis and to clean up the user interface. Now users can:

  • Create formula and assign or create new parameters at the same time

  • Edit base parameter criteria, e.g. what source costs or hours to include in the base, from the formula setup screen

  • Edit user input parameter values, such as hours per drawing, based on the defined parameter scope e.g. by company or by fiscal year, from the formula set-up screen. Note that when parameters are shared between two different formula, changes made to a parameter in one formula will affect the other formula

  • Apply a “training data set” to a regression formula and invoke SAP’s predictive analytics library (PAL) to analyze this data and compute the relationship or formula linking the user’s selected inputs - such as the number of drawings - with the user’s selected outputs - such as total hours to develop the drawings. In this way, rather than manually entering the “hours per drawing” based on the user’s expertise, you can use the power of machine learning to calculate the hours per drawing from your labor history

  • Tag formulae with customer-defined attributes for classification and searching purposes

  • See the estimates where the formula has been used to know the impact of changes to an existing formula

Material Costing Performance

Consolidation and costing of the bill of material, or generation of the consolidated material list, is now 3-4 times faster than it was through various code optimization techniques. There is a greater emphasis on net change which runs extremely fast, in just 1-2 minutes - with all changes that impact cost whether to the BOM or the consolidated list - captured in the “net change log”

Material Costing Strategy

A new concept which fits below estimating method (e.g. “purchased part estimating”) and source (e.g. “purchase order”) for material costing is the “costing strategy” which refers to specific source documents such as purchase orders which fit a particular strategy e.g.:

  • “Best Fit” – the highest confidence PO based on date/qty

  • “Latest” – the most recent PO regardless of qty variance

  • “Closest Qty” – the PO with the closest qty to the required qty

Using this concept, the material cost estimator can now see the best fit, closest quantity, and latest purchase order source documents all from the consolidated material list, and they can edit the source for buy parts directly from the list without even opening the popup

Other Consolidated Material List Improvements

Feedback from material costing users indicated that opening a popup to make changes to the source, estimating strategy and unit cost was time-consuming so we have enhanced the consolidated material list (material cost estimates) with columns for:

  • Selection of other source documents based on meeting specific strategies, such as latest or closest quantity, directly from the list

  • Editing of inflation and quantity adjustment factors from the list, as well as the option to edit the adjusted unit cost directly

  • Marking individual materials to “retain cost in future costing runs” or not, including the option for mass selection

  • Additional columns for display of similar-to material, lot-size, number of set-ups (for make parts), optional proposal phase or line item, number of source documents found, standard deviation of the source document unit costs, latest and closest quantity sources, setup and run time hours for make parts

  • Color coding of the confidence column based on the combination of confidence threshold and unit cost or part value as follows:

    • Green if confidence is above and total cost is below thresholds configured in the estimating method

    • Amber if confidence is below or cost is above the green threshold and at the same time it is not red

    • Red if confidence is below and total cost is above thresholds configured in the estimating method

    • We deliver green thresholds for confidence above 50% on parts below $100, and red below 50% confidence for parts costing $5000 or more

  • Tag values - or custom fields the user adds to a proposal which cascade to the proposal WBS and in turn to detailed estimating records - can now be edited directly from the consolidated list

Pricing

Option to price proposal line items based on:

  • Price-book look-up across multiple catalogs based on part number, customer or proposal-specific hardware or service prices

  • T&M billing or labor pricing rates for time & materials. Fixed price proposals with information displays of total labor cost and total equivalent T&M revenue at proposal line item level

  • Cost-plus a negotiated margin or fee – award or fixed fee and incentive or variable fees. We already support proposal-specific indirect costing or burden rates in iPE

  • Application of discounts, taxes, shipping, freight, or other discounts and surcharges in either $ or % formats

  • Volume-based price-breaks as well as prices which vary over time

 

Part of this enhancement includes a new application to maintain price-books, for labor and material costing and pricing rates based on various criteria such as date, quantity, customer, vendor, proposal, part-number, or labor pool

 

The pricing display in our proposal line item popup has also been enhanced to display a configurable set of pricing elements with sub-totals, instead of fixed rows for gross +/- discount/surcharge + shipping + tax + net price. You can now configure your own pricing table or conditions based on cost, T&M, list, discounts, surcharges, tax, rebates, and royalty or commission payments

Proposal Dates

Option based on proposal type configuration to default the program start date as “immediate” e.g. for spares quotations. The option also to default the program period of performance end date as start + ‘x’ calendar months

 

Then in the proposal line item tab we now automatically default the line item manufacturing completion (or ready for delivery) date to the proposal start date + lead time offset for the material or hardware associated with the line item, if this date falls within the proposal or phase’s period of performance. As a reminder, the line item completion date is used via lead-time offsets down the bill of the material to determine the material cost profile for cash-flow purposes

Remarks

Visual indication if remarks have been entered, downloading of remark text in full to Excel when lists or tables are downloaded, and the option to filter lists based on whether remarks have been input or not

Requirements Mgt

Limits to editing proposal requirements in iPE when managed in an external system such as DOORS

Resource Planning by Period

For professional services, we have enhanced our labor estimating application to support planning by period. In addition to our pre-existing feature - whereby total labor hours or full-time equivalent resources can be “spread” according to a pre-set distribution curve between user input start/end dates – we now support manual planning by period in a grid or table with one row for each resource and one column for each period. Just like Excel, only it is fully integrated with the iPE application supporting workflow, multi-currency, escalation, time-dependent labor rates, parametric based estimation, estimation based on actual history, burdened cost calculation, and more.

 

Rather than limiting you to a single planning-mode, we support:

  • The planning periods can be monthly or weekly 

  • Effort can be planned in hours, work-days or full-time equivalents (FTE)

 

Period durations, i.e. the basis of converting FTE to work efforts, are calculated based on calendars and work shift patterns which can be assigned to sites, companies, departments, or individual resource groups. Holidays are considered, so for example January 2021 which is 21 work-days excluding weekends will actually be 20 days in duration because Jan 1st is a holiday. You can adjust the non-working dates or holidays in your calendars to create calendar month work-durations however you normally plan, e.g. for 20 days each month just add non-working dates as needed to each month of your calendar during system implementation

 

Just as we already do for labor estimates distributed based on a curve, the labor estimates which are manually planned by month or week based on any of the six scenarios listed above are priced and costed according to the labor rates effective at the start of each calendar month, so the rate for a single resource might change during the course of their work plan. We also keep track of the estimated effort by month or week in a separate table to support resource utilization and capacity planning reports.  Finally, we allow rapid switching back and forth between distributed effort vs. manual planning modes, rapid copying of estimates, and options to spread and therefore eliminate the variance between manual planning by period and the total effort for a given resource

Security Access

Option to define authorization access to a group of companies or segment vs. access to documents in all companies or a single company

 

Option to limit access to a document such as a confidential or secret proposal to only specific persons listed in the MY TEAM proposal tab

Similar-to Parts

Previously, to mark a bill of material component as similar to another part with cost history you would enter the similar to material as the part number, the complexity factor, and the description of the new part in the text. Now you have the option to create a unique part number for the new part, with the estimated material and similar to material numbers in two separate fields. While you still have the option to maintain similar-to parts as a text in cases where engineering has not assigned a part number for the new part, it is recommended to create a new material master for the similar to part for reporting consistency. You can also create the new part’s material master directly from the BOM view in iPE with only three user inputs required

Sweep Analysis

When time passes between the proposal submission and contract award date the US Govt. typically requires a new “sweep analysis” to see if any new purchase orders that have been created since the proposal was submitted might cause the estimated material cost to reduce. A new proposal version allows the material estimator to re-cost based on recent purchase orders and then to analyze variances between the two versions to understand where new purchase order prices negatively impact cost. If necessary, a third version with retain cost set for all but the handful of impacted materials can be used to submit a revised cost proposal to the US Govt. If contract award date is populated in the proposal Due By tab, only purchase orders up to this date are considered

Upload BOM from MS Excel

As we already support for proposal line items, WBS elements, requirements, billing plans and risks, users can now upload bills of material (indentured product configurations) from Excel using a specific file format. Proposal BOM nodes are added, deleted or updated based on the combination of node number and an action column, with new materials created automatically from the BOM upload Excel file if they do not already exist. To access the upload template, click on the BOM table toolbar button for upload and select “download a template” in the popup

Usability

Option to start automatically with the user’s last activity from last log-on

User Experience

Some improvements to the overall user experience including a 30% reduction in header/toolbar height allowing more space for lists, and a search box in the top right corner, which searches the current app. Client logos are now from a URL

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