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Cost Analysts/Estimators—the Necessary Professionals

Management Track

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Most cost analysts and estimators came to the profession through contact with the Department of Defense either as a contractor, or as a government employee. Yet, cost analysts/estimators have unique skills that could greatly help the decision-makers in a great number of private and public arenas. This briefing will identify a number of skill sets that cost analysts should have and then identify how those skill sets could be applied for decision purposes in the both the public and private worlds. Some micro-economic concepts will be used to show how the cost analyst/estimator should consult in the private world. Other analytical skill sets will be identified that would be appropriate for the public decision-making arena. Finally, some personal perspectives from the author will be presented as “food for thought” to expand the vision of our profession in such a manner as to enlarge our membership and our influence in organizational decision- making.


Dr. John C. Bredfeldt
Dr. John Bredfeldt began his venture in cost analysis as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force in 1971 where his first assignment, lasted 5 years as a cost analyst in aircraft systems. He helped estimate the program costs of the F-5E, F-15, A-10, F-4E, and F-16 aircraft, and also analyzed the various Cost/Schedule Control System Criteria (today’s EVMS) reports for these aircraft. From there, in Washington DC, he served as a weapon system cost and financial inspector with the Air Force IG for 2 and one-half years and then served for 4 years as the chief economist and cost estimator for the DCS of Programs and Resources, at Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon. John attended Air Command and Staff College for a year, and in the Summer of 1984, he went to Headquarters US Air Forces Europe as the Cost Analysis Division Chief. His final assignment in an Air Force uniform was as the Program Control Chief, Special Operations Forces Aircraft Procurement Office at Wright-Patterson, where he lead a group of 16 professional financial personnel in all aspects of financial management and cost analysis for the procurement of aircraft and helicopters for the Air Force SOF mission. In early 1993, John retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel and was hired as an economics and financial consultant with MTC Technologies to work with several programs at Robins AFB in their cost and financial challenges. Since 1979, John has taught economics, and business courses for several colleges and universities at his various sites of work. John has a BBA, with major in economics and minor in accounting from Wichita State University (1969), an MA in Economics from WSU (1971), and a doctorate in Public Administration from La Salle University (1995). John has written, published, and delivered many technical papers and briefings over the years, and he has written and published two books—one in 1995 and one in 2007, both in the field of public economic policy and finance.