I am a LPTA consumer. My drink of choice is caffeine-free Diet Coke, when I shop the "lowest price" I can normally buy a 64 ounce bottle with prices of between ninety-nine cents and $1.99. Some large box grocery stores use a pricing technique of buy 4 for a price of $5. They make us do math and make us think you have to buy in volume to get the $1.25 price which is mostly never true.
So here I am pushing my cart through Safeway, my choice of big box stores (since they also give me points toward gas discounts at Exxon) and I come to the soda section. My favorite drink of choice caffeine free Diet Coke is not on sale and it's priced at $1.99. Complete sticker shock!
In my "Lowest Price" evaluation earlier this item is truly "Technically Acceptable" but it is not in the "Competitive Range" required under my "Lowest Price" scenario. So I continue to march down the aisle to my next best choice, caffeine-free Diet Pepsi. It is on sale for 3 for $5 ($1.66 each, excuse my math here but the penny must go somewhere unless we are in Canada where it just goes away.) I put the one bottle of Pepsi in my cart and continue my shopping. But, as I turn around the corner I see a display of Safeway brand Diet Cola priced at $2.49 for a 12 pack of 12 ounce cans.
My heart is torn and I find my self deliberating between Diet Cola and caffeine-free Pepsi. Is "caffeine free" so important to me that it makes all other Diet Cola " technically unacceptable" or can I in the face of " Lowest Price" justify the additional cost. I put the Pepsi on the shelf and put the Safeway brand of Diet Cola in my cart. I think I will have buyer's remorse but if LPTA determines my purchase I am driven to the "lowest price" unless the item for purchase is truly not "technically acceptable".
I would hope that you as a contractor can make a better case with your current customers than I did with myself over what is truly technically acceptable. In this uncertain time with Sequestration in full bloom the things that were consider "technically acceptable " by Federal consumers are changing based on reduced dollars available to spend within their agencies. " Lowest Price" will always be the path of least resistance for Government buyers. It is up to the contractors to help define "Technically Acceptable". The old adage "buyer beware "does us little good when dealing with inexperienced over extending Government Contracting Officers. Or, as some would say it is easier to do it "twice "than to do it "right".
Please comment below or send me your thoughts: