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21 Dec

Construction Estimating Services and the 4 Practical Benefits

Construction Estimating Services: 4 Practical Benefits

In this article on construction estimating services, we will look at four top practical benefits of using an efficient estimating service for your projects.

Effectiveness

Effective construction estimating services will help to streamline your processes by allowing you to have:
construction estimate template
  • All your estimates in one location
  • All estimating data in one location
  • A resource library to draw from previous projects
  • Fewer calculation errors
  • An easier review process once the estimate is completed
These points are just the start of saving you both time and money means you can spend more time in other areas of your business. When using the software it will allow you to first be able to build up your companies projects. Secondly, it will help you nail your rates so that you can become super competitive whilst knowing exactly where the costs and risks are within a job. Thirdly helps you understand the true raw cost of the work so that you never go below that line and take on working unknowingly at a loss which unfortunately can happen when estimating isn’t done on properly! If an estimator is to leave your company there needs to be transparency and synergy between the estimating team members. Using software allows this to happen as the estimators have to use the software in a certain way – IE the estimators are talking the same language. It can be very frustrating and dangerous if you are trying to understand how someone has built up their monstrous spreadsheet if they are not there to telling you - eek!

Precision

Specific estimating and takeoff software will make it possible to:
construction estimating services
  • collate information from past projects,
  • establish a construction time frame, and
  • take advantage of streamlined systems and processes.
  • makes the tender period shorter meaning more tenders can be produced
  • Data can be shared easily with project teams to make sure tender allowances are tracked on site.
  • Estimates can be benchmarked on the time and actual cost of a task so that future estimates can become even more accurate.
Construction estimating services and software will enable you to pinpoint the true cost of each build and those projects you wish to tender for. Once you build up a few projects at first it will take some time to organize everything, make sure the rates are right and be comfortable with what the software is telling you. Then when a similar project comes in you can simply copy that project and reuse it, review and changes the rates as applicable and your estimate is done. This saves heaps of time in the long run. Estimating software will also enable you to keep an accurate track of important information such as:
  • subcontractor expenses
  • labour costs,
  • equipment costs,
  • material costs
  • backorders,
  • stored materials, and
  • those that have been used for recent projects.

Reliability

construction estimating companyWhen you use construction estimating software, you will consistently use the same of similar processes for each new build which will ensure that your processes are both reliable and predictable. Construction estimating software can also create and maintain a database of financial information that can be modified and updated as needed. This will assist you in avoiding expensive overruns in future builds.

Integration

The professionalism afforded by up to date, streamlined construction estimating software will help to give your customers confidence in the services that you provide. If you are able to show them that you have put the effort into estimating their project correctly then this will look far better than competitors who are not able to show their breakdowns.
construction estimators for hireIntegrating estimating into project management once the project has been won makes the process far simpler. In construction, there are many grey areas in terms of what the estimator can be allowed for.
 
Ultimately the estimator has to imagine the building getting built long before any construction team is appointed. The software can greatly help the estimating team with conveying the allowances in the tender
Comment below to us know which services help you to complete your construction projects effectively. We use numerous different software for our work and we would happy to share them with you once you get in contact. Please do leave us a comment at the end, we would love to hear your experience with construction estimating software.

21 Dec

Construction contract administration guide with 4 tips and good practices

Construction Contract Administration with 4 tips and good practices.

The construction contract administration guide, we will look at what is required in terms of forming an effective and competent contract administration team that can oversee all processes effectively. Here we have listed our 4 top tips for construction contract administration success.

Create a superstar team

contract administration in constructionAs with most situations, having a great team is of utmost importance. Creating a contract management team that works together on logistical issues and to successfully meet deadlines is imperative. This means that the optimal team should:
  • Have great communication skills
  • Be detail-oriented
  • Be decisive
These skills will help your team to stay on top of the whole process. In regards to experience amongst the team, it is best to have a senior person lead the team. Team members can range from no experience to highly experienced. Having a mixture of experience levels means that the team should be able to cope with the workload of administering the construction contract.

Have a clear plan

contract administration process in constructionClarity around how the team will then manage your portfolio is essential. This means identifying each person’s key strengths and assigning work accordingly, taking into consideration objectives and timeframes. Contracts are a deeply important part of business operations, proper administration on is essential for:
  • making payments and monitoring deliverables
  • contracting with vendors that will be providing goods
  • contracting with other firms for professional services
Proper evaluation of contracts is essential for understanding whether each is helping or hindering the facilitation of the businesses overarching goals. Understanding the contract thoroughly will help you to create an effective plan. Once you understand the contract you can create systems and procedures that are too followed by the team members. These systems can be built around particular contractual terms or deliverables. Building systems will mean that the administration of the contract will be smooth and effective when it needs to be. It is always more difficult to get things right if the team has not understood or built these systems at the start of the contract.

Stay up to date with Tech

contract administration processUsing the correct technology is essential if you want to stay organised and on top of your performance. When considering tech solutions some things to consider are:
  • size of portfolio and likelihood of growth – you need a solution that can accommodate growth.
  • Data security
  • User access
  • Tech support availability
  • Storage capacity
Embracing technology in this day and age is very important. In the construction industry, we are very slow to make changes and use technology. The right technology can make administering construction contracts much more effective. Training your team to use the software can be challenging due to the levels of understanding of technology amongst them.

Nurture Relationships

Though many, if not most, contracts expire within an allotted time, building and keeping good relationships with others in the field is really important in the long term.
contract administration servicesBuilding on your relationships with others will pay dividends in terms of business opportunities and cost, as well as a pleasant working environment of course. In marketing terms, it is cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to gain a new one.
In construction building relationships is so important. In international construction, it is important to know and understand the culture of the country you are working in. Making the effort to try and learn new languages can go a long way to nurturing relationships, as I found out on a recent trip to China.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz8ocHmj-Fs&feature=youtu.be We love to hear from you. Please comment below to let us know your thoughts on construction contract administration. If you require these services please do not hesitate to contact us via our website, email, or on the phone. Our business focuses on the administration of all types of construction contracts.

30 Jul

What is a Contract Administrator in Construction?

What Is A Contract Administrator in Construction?

what does a contract administrator do in construction To find out what is a contract administrator in construction we need to review a few things first. First of all, let's look at what constitutes a contract in the construction sector. In general, a Contract administrator in construction is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. In construction, this usually means between the main contractor and the subcontractor. A construction contract can also be between many other parties including the client and the main contractor, between a supplier and the contractor, or between a supplier and a subcontractor. Normally, at the start of a construction project, the contract administrator will read through the contract to make sure they understand exactly what is required. An experienced contract administrator is able to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the contract based on the scope of work it relates to.
Prior to the execution of the contract between the parties, the contract administrator’s role would be to review the contract and negotiate the most favorable terms possible for the parties they represent. Virtually all construction contracts require negotiation because of the risk profile each clause is likely to carry.
what does a contract administrators doThe contract sets out the agreement between the parties. The clauses within the contract describe the agreement in detail to ensure that all parties are well aware of exactly what is expected of each of them at the various stages throughout the project. For example, the contract may include a clause requiring a party to provide evidence of insurance documentation in order to access the site, stipulating that he must be done before any work can start. These clauses comprise the set of rules the parties must adhere to if the contract is to run smoothly.

Types of Contract Administrator in Construction Project

Although the types of clauses a contract contains will vary from project to project, the following types are likely to appear in most construction contracts:
  • Payment clauses – detailing when payment claims can be submitted, setting out the time allotted for the other party to assess the claims, and indicating when the payment is due;
  • A variety of insurance-related clauses – the types of insurance and levels of cover that must be in place before any work can be carried out;
  • Limited liability clauses – setting out which party shall be held responsible if anything goes wrong on the project;
  • Dispute resolution clauses – if something does go wrong, what steps the parties must take in order to reach agreement; and
  • Many other causes.

Roles of Contract Administrators in a Construction Project

what is contract administration in constructionFor each of these clauses, the contract lays down the exact procedure the parties must follow to ensure that the project runs smoothly. The contract administrator’s role is to see that these clauses are followed by the party they are representing in a timely and professional manner. If the contract administrator in construction is dealing with payment matters. For example, they must follow the rules as set out in the contract. So that their parties will be paid the right amount on the due date. In order to administer the contract correctly, the contract administrator in construction must first understand how the contract is put together. Basic and general knowledge of legal terminology is therefore essential. An experienced contract administrator is able to see at a glance how the contract reflects both the scope of works. And the way the works have been programmed.
what is contract administrationThe contract administrator is responsible for notifying the other party of potential delays to the project. In this respect, timely notification is absolutely crucial as the other party will need to take appropriate action to avoid. Or at least minimize – the delay and avert any possibility of a dispute arising. During the course of the project, a good contract administrator will take into careful account the contract program. The actual program on site and the effects of delays.

What Does a Contract Administrator Do?

A contract administrator’s key responsibilities include: what is the role of a contract administrator Assisting in the preparation of subcontract packages what do contract administrators do Assisting in drafting the scope of work and procurement schedules what is contract administration Issuing variations  Managing time extensions  Processing progress claims  Overseeing detailed design and shop drawings Co-ordinating and attending site meetings and providing technical expertise if required. Construction contract administrators can be found in the following construction sectors:  Infrastructure  Commercial  Mining  Civil A professional construction contract administrator should be result-oriented. Quality-focused and detail-driven with hands-on experience of working across a broad spectrum of projects. If you need an experienced team of contract administration professionals working with you on your next project, feel free to get in touch with Measure Manage. Let’s discuss how we can serve your needs perfectly. Measure Manage is committed to ensuring we satisfy all our customers’ needs at a reasonable cost. We always want to learn new ways to improve our services. Leave us a comment and let us know what you enjoyed and what you did not like. Remember, Measure Manage is always willing and available to answer your questions. JOIN US ON LINKEDIN NOW and let us help you drive your project to completion. Do not miss out on our latest blogs! JOIN OUR MAILING LIST TODAY! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26S8j4-kv_U

24 Jul

What does a quantity surveyor do in construction

what do quantity surveyors do

What does a quantity surveyor actually do?

What does a quantity surveyor do in construction is a widespread question we get asked all of the time. This blog should explain to you in detail what they do and for more information about the job read our other blog here on what is a quantity surveyor. As a project stakeholder, you need to be sure your construction project is on time and on the budget, and that you're getting the best quality for your money – but how do you achieve this? In a nutshell, you call in a quantity surveyor: a professional, whose job it is to ensure that you receive maximum value for your money. Quantity surveyors will help you acquire premium quality materials and labour at the most cost-effective rates. From years of experience, they know that virtually any project can at any time be subject to unexpected costs, and they are there to keep things running smoothly whatever the situation.

Here’s a list of the main things a quantity surveyor would do during any construction project:

  • Quantity take-off
  • Estimation
  • Cost control and management
  • Contract Management
  • Risk management
  • Procurement
  • Project management
Let’s take a look at each one in isolation.
what does a surveyor do in construction1. Quantity take-off – this is when a quantity surveyor uses drawings and designs to work out the amount of material and work items that need to be performed in order to complete a task. After measuring all the quantities, the quantity surveyor transfers them into a Bill of Quantities (BOQ). This is basically a shopping list. But instead of your groceries, it lists all the items that need to be completed in order to finish a task.
 
2. Estimation – once your BOQ is ready, an estimator can use it to build the rates in line with the list of quantities. So, for example, if the BOQ shows that there is 10m3 of concrete to be poured into a foundation, the estimator works out the cost of performing that task. This would include working out the cost of the concrete, the labour required to put the concrete in the right place, and the plant required to do the job. 3. Cost control and management – can occur at any stage during the project. As soon as a construction project has been initiated, the challenge of cost control and management starts, and with it comes another key role for our quantity surveyor. Controlling the cost from the very start is vital if the project is to be completed within a particular budget. Having been involved in setting the budget for a project, the quantity surveyor must ensure that the budget remains realistic as the project progresses. Unforeseen hurdles can increase costs. The quantity surveyor’s job is to minimize these costs throughout the project. This can be achieved by allocating risks to other parties. 4. Contract management - The quantity surveyor may also act as a negotiator during the construction. For example, if a certain change in the project is likely to affect costs, the surveyor may negotiate with the party concerned and reach a mutually beneficial solution. Sometimes, if the owner is running short of cash, the quantity surveyor can work with the bank to acquire extra financing for the project.
what does a quantity surveyor do in construction5. Risk management – another important part of the construction that involves quantity surveyors. The ability to identify risks requires experience and knowledge of the challenges that have faced former projects. Identifying risks is a challenge in itself within an industry notorious for having so many.
 
The quantity surveyor must also understand and take steps to compensate for any impact the risk may have on the project. At the start of a project, the quantity surveyor would generally populate a risk register, which would be managed throughout the construction process.
 
When faced with absolutely unforeseeable risks – such as a key subcontractor going out of business – arising during the project, quantity surveyors have to manage as best they can.
 
6. Procurement – the purchasing of all the elements required in order for the project to go ahead. The quantity surveyor will generally be tasked with putting together subcontractor packages, scopes, lettings, and procurement schedules. This includes preparing the correct project documentation and information to be sent out to other parties for pricing. Once the parties have submitted their tenders, the quantity surveyor reviews the prices and deals with any items that need clarification. After reaching a decision on the best value for money, the quantity surveyor negotiates a contract with the winning bidder. This process can take from one day to six months depending on the complexity of the items being procured.
what does a quantity surveyor do7. Project Management – This is where a quantity surveyor can really get a hold of a project and make sure that it runs properly. Project management makes demands on all the quantity-surveyor skills discussed so far.
 
A quantity surveyor is genuinely one of the most valuable members you can have on your team. An experienced quantity surveyor will have all the qualities needed in order to succeed in the fields listed above. Thus making them a valuable asset to any construction team.
 
A quantity surveyor is genuinely one of the most valuable members you can have on your team. An experienced quantity surveyor will have all the qualities needed in order to succeed in the fields listed above. Thus making them a valuable asset to any construction team.

Conclusion

As a quantity surveyor on a construction project, you are part estimator and part negotiator. It is therefore important to be an effective team player. Having strong quantitative skills helps candidates to prepare accurate budgets and reports that help stakeholders keep up to speed with project spending. With state-of-the-art construction projects being initiated in the year 2018 a quantity surveyor can play an effective role in the country’s economy.

24 Jul

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

What is a QS?

A quantity surveyor (QS) is a construction professional whose job it is to work out how much materials a project requires to complete it. Quantities such as how much concrete is needed, how many bricks do I need to buy and how much paint is required for the job. In order to do this surveyor must perform an exercise called a take-off. To do a take-off the quantity surveyor must have the project set of drawings and specifications. Once the quantity surveyor has specifications and drawings, they can start to measure the quantities. Once the quantities are finalised, the quantity surveyor can then get pricing for the materials required. As an example, if the project requires 1,000 bricks and each brick costs $1 then the cost of the bricks will be $1,000. what is a qs The QS must make sure that the materials are in accordance with the specifications as this is what the end-user will have asked for on their construction project. The taking off and pricing of the materials is known as estimating. This can be a major role of a quantity surveyor. A quantity surveyor has usually completed a qualification. This may be a degree from a university or perhaps a certificate from a college. However, some Quantity Surveyors do not have a qualification and have built up their knowledge through experience within the industry. Quantity Surveyors can work on several different projects throughout their careers. Projects such as:
  • Houses
  • High rise buildings
  • Roads and bridges
  • Gas plants and mine sites
A quantity surveyor can also work in different types of industries within their career. Industries such as:
  • commercial construction
  • residential construction
  • oil and gas construction
  • infrastructure construction
  • mining construction
Depending on where you are based in the world, Quantity Surveyors can also be known as:
  • estimators
  • contracts administrator
  • claims consultants
  • procurement consultants

What is a quantity surveyor in construction?

Quantity Surveyors can get involved in many different stages of a build. At the start of a project, a quantity surveyor would be tasked with estimating the cost of the project to ensure that the project is feasible for the end-user to go ahead with. what is a quantity surveyor During this stage, budgetary pricing would be put together using concept design plans. This would usually be done by the end-users quantity surveyor. If the project is deemed feasible, then it would move to the second stage. At this stage, detailed design is completed by the architects and engineers which the quantity surveyor would then use to refine the original budgets. The end users QS would then send out the designs and quantities to gain market pricing from contractors and sub-contractors. Again, the quantity surveyor reviews this pricing to make sure it falls within the initial feasibility budgets. If it does not, then they would be the responsibility of the architect and engineers to refine the design so that the project can be built within the end-users budget. Once an agreed construction budget is finalised then the construction can begin. During this period the quantity surveyor would make sure that the build costs track against the original budget costs. If anything seems like it might exceed the budget the quantity surveyor would inform the end-user. An important aspect of a QS is to be able to forecast costs for the future and confidently explain any budget overspends to the end-user. It is important for the end-user to be aware of the forecast costs in case they need to secure any further finance to complete the project. If there are any delays or unexpected circumstances during the project, the quantity surveyor will need to take into consideration the changes that will affect the budget allocated on the project. The job also involves taking note of any disagreements that might arise between participating parties and to resolve them as smoothly as possible. At the end of a project, a quantity surveyor would be required to close off all contracts, produce a final account of the project and prepare any other information required by the end-user. A QS can also work for at least three different parties in a construction project. The parties are:
  • The end-user or client
  • The builder or contractor who is completing the work
  • A subcontractor who is building part of the work for the builder or contractor.
Each role has its benefits and disadvantages which we will look at in another blog on the roles and responsibilities of a quantity surveyor.

What is a quantity surveyor in other industries?

Quantity surveyors do not just work in the construction industry. There is a huge variety of areas that a QS can work in other than construction: Some industries like the following:
  • Aviation
  • Marine
  • Insurance
  • Gas
  • Mining
  • Oil
All these different industries will have various different aspects for the QS to fit into. For example, the aviation industry may need you to work on building airplanes and understanding the quantities of materials needed to build the aircraft. The same applies to the marine and shipbuilding industries. They may a QS to help planning and manage the building of ships in their yards. As you can probably tell asking what is a quantity surveyor is not just limited t the construction industry. If you did decide to become a QS then you would able to also help influence other industries you may be interested in. Thank you for taking the time to read through this blog. We would love it if you left a message with us about the blog or shared it with your friends on your favorite social media platform.  

22 May

Duties, roles, and responsibilities of a quantity surveyor

Role of a quantity surveyor in construction:

responsibilities of a quantity surveyor in construction
Duties, roles and responsibilities of quantity surveyor, in a nutshell, the Quantity Surveyor is a valuable resource for any construction project that ensures timely delivery of the project with minimal effect on expenses.
 
During the lifetime of a project, the quantity surveyor wears many hats – and his roles include cost estimator, negotiator, project coordinator and the most important role of expense manager. An efficient and effective surveyor may have a ton of experience. Working on different projects in different industries builds a strong portfolio of experience for the surveyor. This helps the project manager complete the project within stipulated budget without compromising on the quality and quantity of material being used. During the project timeline, a quantity surveyor prepares important reports such as Feasibility Reports, Expense Reports, Valuation Reports and other various reports along the way.

Preparing Operational Contracts:

quantity surveyor responsibilities
The role of the quantity surveyor starts from the very beginning of the construction project. During this phase, he plays a major role in preparing cost estimates. When the project owner is preparing the budget, the quantity surveyor helps in defining the optimal quantity and price of the materials being used in construction.
 
He achieves this by working together with clients, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and consultants to identifying their specialties and scopes for the project. The quantity surveyor coordinates with different parties in order to finalize the optimum prices for each element of the project.
The Quantity Surveyor can work with other stakeholders such as engineers, workers, and contractors to derive efficiencies in other areas of expense such as labor costs, construction costs, and construction methods.Managing Finances:
One of the major roles of a Quantity Surveyor is managing the project finances. An efficient quantity surveyor shall make sure that the project’s costs remain within the stipulated budget. The budget is calculated before the start of a project based on the designs prepared.
The quantity surveyor achieves this by working closely with all parties to procure optimum value products with the best quality.
An effective tool to use in this scenario would be to prepare frequent reports tracking the project costs. The quantity surveyor can then compare these reports with the original budgets in order to track financial progress.

Pre And Post Contract Quantity Surveying Duties

Keeping the project on time:

roles of a quantity surveyor in construction
Although the project plans are initially designed before the start of a project, these documents help in preparing the actual budge. However, there are always surprises in any construction project. Some of the scenarios could include weather delays, unforeseen delays, materials shortages, labor shortages, bad ground delays and many more.
 
Another glitch in the project could arise due to a dispute between two parties such as contractors and subcontractors. In such situations, the negotiation and mediation skills of the Quantity Surveyor come in to play to try and resolve the issues fairly and reasonably.
 
Keeping the expenses within the budget is key to the successful completion of the project. As far as the dispute between the project team members is concerned, a quantity surveyor should use his experience to play a role of a mediator in order to avoid delays in the project. The Quantity Surveyors work with both parties and arrive at a solution that is win-win for both and keeps the project on track. Timely Payments to Stakeholders:
One of the major roadblocks in any project is the delays in payments. A quantity surveyor plays a key role in avoiding this roadblock. Since the beginning of the project, the expert has a keen eye on the budget and associated costs. Having years of experience under his belt, the surveyor is able to negotiate best prices for every task. This homework helps the owner make timely payments to project stakeholders such as Contractors, Engineers, and Workers, etc. To keep the project on track, Quantity Surveyor keeps track of all payments. After every chunk of payment,a surveyor checks the expense report with the allotted budget. Keeping a close eye on everyday expenses helps the management keep the project costs within the stipulated budget.

Duties of A Quantity Surveyor

Site visits and future projections of tasks ahead:

An ideal quantity surveyor has a strong eye for detail and always keeps a foot on the ground. They makes regular visits to the construction site. These visits serve many purposes such as getting an actual feel for the progress of the project, face to face interaction with the construction team and analyzing the task requirements ahead of time.
 
An experienced and effective quantity surveyor can gauge the performance of the entire team with these occasional visits to the property. He is better able to track progress and compare it to the actual plan.
 
Having face to face interaction with the construction team gives him/her a strong idea of the concerns and issues of the people on the ground. Taking all his notes, the surveyor is able to go back to the drawing board and make any amendments if need in the tasks ahead.

Conclusion

In these modern times, the effectiveness of a project lies in the proper use of its resources with minimum possible expenses. To achieve this goal construction project owners are hiring experienced and effective quantity surveyors more than ever before. Wearing so many hats throughout the life cycle of the project, Quantity Surveyors maximize operational efficiency. This is done by negotiating best possible value for the owner’s money and keeping the expenses as low as possible. Using their negotiation and mediation skills these surveyors are able to keep the project on track even when there are unexpected incidents that could have caused delays otherwise. The feasibility and expense report that they generally to keep the owner or their employer abreast of the progress and helps in deriving maximum efficiency during the project lifetime. Measure Manage is committed to ensuring we satisfy all our customers’ needs at a reasonable cost. We always want to learn new ways to improve our services. Leave us a comment and let us know what you enjoyed and what you did not like. Remember, Measure Manage is always willing and available to answer your questions. JOIN US ON LINKEDIN NOW and let us help you drive your project to completion. Do not miss out on our latest blogs! JOIN OUR MAILING LIST TODAY!