The Price Challenge hotline merged with the Buy Our Spares Smart (BOSS) program in 1983 to become part of the Navy-wide program to reduce spare parts and equipment costs, promote the state readiness, maximize resources and restore public confidence in the Department of Defence. (DOD) funds management. In 1994, the Price Challenge Hotline was transferred and combined with the Navy Price Fighters (NPF) located in Norfolk, Va., to create the Navy’s only dedicated pricing and value analysis business in support of the acquisition community.
Today, the NPF and Price Challenge Hotline are part of Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support (NAVSUP WSS). The mission of the Price Challenge Hotline is to provide price validation support by acting as the Navy’s focal point for all price inquiries related to spares and consumables.
“This is accomplished through a combination of exemplary customer service and flexible, innovative pricing delivered by a technical and hands-on workforce of manufacturing technicians and supply specialists,” said James Pritchard, NAVSUP WSS NPF and Director of the Spares and Repairables Division.
The hotline exists to help Navy and DOD personnel determine what an item should cost versus what is billed.
“Subcontracting and inventory management personnel rarely have the mechanical, electrical, or electronics engineering and manufacturing training, or the time to assess the ‘should cost’ of each item they purchase,” Pritchard said. . “As the best defense against price gouging, Navy Price Fighters rely on our fleet customers to report price gouging through the Price Challenge Helpline.”
Any DOD or other government agency employee may challenge the price of any DOD-managed spare part or consumable by submitting a price request to the Price Challenge Helpline.
Price Challenge Helpline staff can refer a case to FPN’s Value Analysis division to perform a “should cost”. This analysis is the basis used to make an independent government estimate of the item’s cost of production.
“We perform ‘should cost’ analyzes on all types of simple and complex electrical and mechanical equipment. Their industrial engineering technicians add real value to the process by performing an industrial engineering review based on technical drawings, technical data, required manufacturing processes and personal experience,” said Pritchard. “This review applies labor rates, material costs, general/overhead composite rates, and an ROI rate to determine the ideal cost of the item.”
Participants of the Price Challenge Hotline are assured of confidentiality, if required, to encourage full disclosure of information without fear of retaliation. When confidentiality is requested, the FPN will protect the identity of the challenger.
“Normally, Price Challenge Hotline challengers are encouraged to identify themselves so that additional facts can be obtained if needed and cash rewards can be passed on if won,” Pritchard said.
Hotline participants can not only save money for the Navy, but can earn money for themselves. When a final decision is made, the challenger is notified and if significant cost avoidance is achieved, a cash reward may be awarded.
“Over the history of the program, it has distributed over $520,000 in cash prizes to challengers,” Pritchard said. “Individual awards ranged from $50 to several thousand dollars.”
Challengers may submit prize requests to the Price Challenge Hotline via the Internet at https://public.navsup.navy.mil/public/ops$pch.pch_form, by phone at (800) NAV-CHAL or by email at [email protected]
NAVSUP WSS is one of 11 commands under the Commander, NAVSUP. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, NAVSUP employs a diverse, global workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel. NAVSUP and the Navy Supply Corps conduct and enable supply chain, acquisition, operational logistics, and Sailor and Family Care activities with our mission partners to generate readiness and sustain naval forces worldwide to prevent and decisively win wars. Learn more at www.navsup.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/navsupwss and https://twitter.com/navsupsyscom.