In 1987, the first of many discussions occurred between the President of the National Estimating Society (NES) and the President of the Institute of Cost Analysis (ICA) on moving the two organizations closer together. NES had existed since 1968 and consisted largely of estimators in the proposal preparation industry. ICA, on the other hand, was founded in 1981 and represented, for the most part, the Government cost estimators and evaluators of proposals. At the time, competition of the two societies was causing confusions as to goals, expectations, and purpose of either society. Having two Societies that were on opposite sides of the proposal preparation/evaluation process seemed to further promote and perpetuate an adversarial relationship between the two disciplines. In addition, many members and their corporate sponsors began to believe that having to finance two memberships, two certifications and two overhead structures was vastly inefficient. The first step of these discussions was to determine the best path for working together rather than working against one another. This result was to develop and run joint annual conference of the two societies. This would mark the beginning of what would eventually become the combining of the two societies and forming of the Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis (SCEA). Consequently, a small group of members from both societies began low-level discussions about consolidation of the two organizations to promote efficiency and cooperation.
Over the next two years, members of the NES Board of Directors and the ICA Board met to discuss the combining of the two Societies, with the expressed goal of providing increased benefit to the cost estimating and analysis community at large. A major step was taken in 1988, when NES combined its national office with ICA’s national office. In June of 1989, the First Annual Joint NES/ICA Conference was held in Huntsville, AL. The joint conference was a huge success. In fact the positive response from the community provided solid evidence that the way to go was to combine both societies into one. After this conference, further discussion took place, which focused on organization and structure of the single organization. To further support the decision of combining a second Annual Joint NES/ICA Conference was held in Los Angeles in June of 1990 with resounding results. During the meetings of the two Boards that were held in conjunction with that Conference, the hot topic was the proposed merger. During the course of many lengthy and animated meetings, all the “pros” and “cons” were put onto the table. When the dust settled, the decision to merge was achieved.
Ray Crum of (then) TRW was chosen as the Society’s first President, and Neil Albert of MCR was selected to be Vice-President. Lee Baseman, who had always been instrumental in the nurturing of both Societies over many years, was appointed to be the first Executive Director of SCEA. The remaining positions on the Board were filled, and Boston was identified as the site of the First Annual SCEA Conference. Like Huntsville and Los Angeles before it, the Boston conference proved that the estimating and analysis constituents wanted to be represented by one Society that embraced all estimating techniques and methods and, at the same time, equally supported both preparers and evaluators of cost proposals.
Today SCEA still sets the standard for promoting cost estimating and analysis within Government and industry, for providing training in the Body of Knowledge, and for propagating of ethics and standards of conduct throughout the profession.