MT. LAUREL, NJ / April 4, 2003 / PRICE Systems, through a partnership with Altarum, has been awarded a contract to develop the Objective Force Cost Module (OFCM) by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armament Command (TACOM) National Automotive Center. PRICE will perform the training, documentation and integration of the cost module into the Advanced Collaborative Environment (ACE) for the Future Combat System.
ACE is an integrated development environment that allows engineers to compare designs, perform tradeoffs, and collaborate on system development. Its goal is to increase familiarization with designs and operational scenarios, facilitate information sharing, brainstorming and joint decision-making. The PRICE OFCM integrates cost estimation and analysis capability, which promotes cost visibility and enables Army leadership, PMO and IPT members, and domain experts to make affordability decisions in near real-time.
Currently, program stakeholders cannot get cost impacts of design changes in a timely manner. Rather than waiting days or weeks for estimates on design alternatives the program seeks to decrease decision cycle time while reducing life cycle cost.
"Engineers are creative by nature - unconstrained, they will design for the ultimate. Typically, design alternatives are thrown over the wall to estimators who can take weeks or months to return with credible estimates. By that time everyone has fallen in love with the design leaving only the estimate to be reworked to fit within the affordability constraints." Anthony DeMarco, President PRICE Systems.
The OFCM Team, located in Mt Laurel, New Jersey, Warren, Michigan, and Washington, DC, expects to deliver faster cycle times through first-pass success, lower life cycle costs due to requirements driven design, and accurate cost estimates derived early in the process.
"This is an exciting time for PRICE Systems and the US Army Future Combat System. We are integrating our 27-year history of cost analysis and estimation into the fundamental design process of a major acquisition. This will give decision-makers power they have never had. Engineers will be able to assess cost impacts of design changes and draw conclusions immediately on life cycle costs. This is a streamlining concept never before considered. The Army needs to take credit for defining a methodology for streamlined acquisition and finding a way to make it happen." Larry Reagan, Vice President PRICE Systems Consulting Services.
OFCM development won't be an easy chore. The OFCM will integrate the PRICE Estimating Suite with several other engineering models - an integration never before performed.
"Historically, this process has been done manually, with engineers doing design tradeoffs and handing off the different options to cost analysts. Sometimes details were missed and assumptions had to be made when developing cost estimates. Working with a major DOD contractor, PRICE Systems was able to develop a methodology that streamlines that process, but we were never able to fully automate it. The OFCM effort takes that methodology one step further. It is a technology leap that can be supported based on the sophisticated networks that are now in place." Bruce Fad, Vice President, PRICE Systems Product Business Unit.