Thursday, May 23, 2019

About ICON Associates

The Icon Associates is a group of independent consultants affiliated to provide a broad spectrum of services to our Aerospace, Defense, and Information Technology clients. Established in 1988, the group has focused on the conduct of Competitive Pricing Analysis and Strategy Development in the Tactical Systems, Mission Simulation and Training, and C4ISR programs markets. The development of a winning pricing strategy transcends the entire breadth and depth of any new business effort. Consequently, the skill sets offered by the Icon Associates include technical, operational, financial, information technology, industrial, strategic planning, pricing, and marketing disciplines. These skills are available to our clients, exclusive of the ICON Competitive Pricing Analyses capability, should they so choose.

The ICON model is a combination of a stochastic top down system, subsystem, and component estimates, based on the databases and pricing trends developed over the preceding five years. While only the previous two years specific data are used in the analysis, trends set over the five year period that reflect competing companies’ pricing and business strategies are used to establish parameters within which the accuracy of the top down stochastic approach can be assessed. The product of the analyses is always a bounded conclusion, never specific.

Parallel with the stochastic analysis, ICON builds a bottom up object oriented deterministic value to be compared parametrically to the top down approach. The process is shown in Figure 1 and its features described in Figure 2. Bottom line experience over more than ten years of application of the model is 88 % accuracy, 2 sigma. Divisions of large companies, small businesses, universities, and branches of the U.S. government have used the application of the ICON model successfully to analyze their issues of interest.

A significant byproduct of the ICON process is an in depth insight into the government planning and budgeting process. While Future Years Defense Planning budgets are important, what is even more important is the strategy and program plan statements made by the Department of Defense Agencies which give private industry insight into specific project plans, similarly to what the Congressional Committees review in the budgeting process. The ICON Databases have been collecting relevant market data on the Defense and Homeland Security markets for 15 years. In recent years, we have been using the ICON process with this extraordinary database inventory to research market opportunities in our fields of endeavor. The products of that market research, and the breadth and depth of the databases have proven invaluable tools to clients facing tough business development investment decisions demanding accurate estimates of the market behavior. These are described subsequently.

Structured Analysis Matrix
Recent Validated Specific Information in Comparison with Relational Information and Trends Base provides a Top Down Price Projection.
Object Oriented
Deterministic from Bottoms Up in Comparison with Relational Information provides Enhanced Perspective.
Intergrated Repository
Integrated Repository of Average Unit Production Prices, Subsystem, Component, Relational Management, Service, and Support Information becomes the ICON Archive.
Architecture designed for Iterative Process
Architecture Designed for Iterative Process as Levels of Abstraction Increase—Drilling Deeper Increases Information Base, but with Greater Accuracy Probability from Increased Data bounded by the inquiry.
Concordance of Total View [i.e. products are in context of others and the whole] = common sense.


  1. The objectives of the ICON market research process are to obtain specific data on Government immediate and five year procurement plans based on the Executive Branch's documented requests to buy, the Congress' approval, disapproval, or modification thereto, and the analyses by relevant customer advisory agencies, such as CBO and GAO, on the specifics of the program plan.
  2. The market research process will provide insight into the "what, why, when, where, and how" the Executive Branch is justifying to "their customer," the Congress, all phases of Defense and Homeland Security Acquisition, including:
    • RDT&E, including Basic Research, Applied Research, Advanced Technology Development, Advanced Component Development and Prototypes, System Development, RDT&E Management, and Operational Systems Development.
    • Procurement of Hardware
    • Operations & Maintenance, including all Logistics Support
    • Personnel
    • Military Construction
    • Global War on Terror Programs
  3. The specific products of the ICON market research process are:
    • Funding Profiles for Future Years Defense Plan for Services, DoD Agencies, and Homeland Security in program or technology areas of interest.
    • Program Mission, Project Descriptors, and Budget Justification rationale
    • Immediate Fiscal Year Program Plans [two years for RDT&E and GWOT]
    • Program Accomplishments for the Current Year measured against Justification Metrics
    • Planned Accomplishments Next Two Years
    • Enabling Authority [JROC direction, S&T Strategic Plan, COCOM initiatives,]
    • Acquisition Strategy and Acquisition Plan
    • Current Contract Status, Company or Federally Funded Research Center [e.g. MITRE], Amount, Type Contract
    • Relevant other funding, i. e .Procurement, other RDT&E relevant programs, Joint Funding
    • Congressional plus ups including Earmarks
  4. Databases:
    • Our hardware pricing databases are relational in order to protect the confidentiality of our clients' prices and pricing strategies. However, when synthesized in aggregate, one can determine some profound trends in component, subsystem, and systems prices over both short and extended periods.
    • The program databases, including, budgeting, technology risk, program metrics/ accomplishments, operational and logistics support, contract actions, and political aspects of the various Aerospace and Homeland Security markets are stored in actual form.
    • The server system feeding the databases is set up to automatically sustain the updates to all of those fields of interest. Of particular interest are the Executive branch budgeting and five year planning documents and updates, the Congressional authorization and appropriations activity, and the myriad of advisory agencies conducting analyses on the budgetary process. All data is in the public domain and unclassified.

ICON Market Research and Competitive Pricing Model Database Sources


 R-1;-2;-3 Justification Data;

 P-1, 2 Justification Data

Annual Budget Submittals and Updates


Thomas—Micro detail for the Hill


CRS/CBO Data "Basae"

CSBA/GAO Data Basae"

Authorization / Appropriations Data Bases

Hoover Business Data

McCrae's Manufacturing Data

Trade Associations Data Base

National Manufacturing Association

SEC Data Base; 10Q and Profiles/Dow Jones

Service Procurement Commands


Should Cost Studies

State, County, and Local Government Industry Data Basae;

Company Home Pages

Military Home Pages

Contract Awards—Daily Announcements

(collected in ICON Data Base)

Washington On-line (Small Businesses)

Federation of American Scientists

Fortune and Business Week DB

Jane's and Global Security

NATO Government and

EU/Israeli Commercial Sources

Overseas Specialty Consultants

Graduate Business Schools---Northwestern Kellogg, Penn Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth Tuck, MIT (Sloan), Carnegie Mellon, USC, UCF, Duke, Illinois, Clemson, EU Univ