TENDERING, ESTIMATING AND QUANTITY SURVEYING – PRINCIPLES
· Quantity Surveying Organization & Practice;
· Office & Staffing Organization;
· General procedure in Quantity Surveying office;
Essential to keep the office well organized, so that work is dealt with satisfactory and logical manner.
· At the start of a new project;
· all architect’s drawings should be stamped with the office stamp and the date of receipt.
· All drawings should be listed and carefully examined.
· Figured dimensions on the drawing should be checked, and any omitted dimensions calculated and inserted on the drawing.
· If walls and partitions are coloured in different colours, according to type and thickness, it is easier for identification.
· Any queries on the drawings should be entered on query sheets for clarification from Architect.
· If quantity surveyor is unfamiliar with materials, components, etc, he should obtain full particulars from manufacturers.
· If possible, same group of quantity surveyors should be arranged to take all works from inception to completion of the project.
· This procedure enables the staff to obtain wider and more interesting experience.
· It is likely to result in improved efficiency through greater familiarity with all the details of the scheme.
· It is sometimes the practice on large projects to subdivide the taking off work between different quantity surveyors / separate groups.
E.g. subdivision could be:
· Structure of the building,
· Joinery and finishes,
· Services and external works, etc.
· Some times whole of the taking off works will be undertaken by a single group of staff under the supervision of a Senior surveyor / team leader.
· After the draft bill is prepared,
· examining and editing by a partner / senior surveyor.
· The final documents will be dispatched to tenderers, with a covering letter stating,
· the date / time / place where the tenders are to be delivered.
· Where / when the contract drawings can be inspected.
· How the contractor can visit the site.
· Request for acknowledgement of receipt of document.
Construction cost management – much more important part of the present day quantity surveying works. This includes;
The keeping of extensive cost records of all passing through the office.
This will assist with cost forecasting of future projects.
Preparation of accurate cost estimate is always form a vital part of the work of a quantity surveying office.
Cash Flow Projections:
· The client will need to know the likely sums which he will be required to pay the contractor and when they will occur.
· To meet this need, the quantity surveyor will prepare a schedule of the likely amounts due and their timing.
· (for this he will use contractor’s approved program of work which submitted with the tender / shortly after its acceptance)
· but any design variations by the architect can result in changing both to the amounts due and their timing.
· If these changes are very significant, it should be brought to the attention of the client.
· Delays in execution of the contract work will also affect the amount and timing of payments.
· client should be fully informed by the quantity surveyor on all cost aspects of the project. (Particularly where changes are made to the design / sequence of the work during their construction)
· normally the quantity surveyor is notified of such changes before they are implemented on the site.
· Therefore he has adequate time to prepare detailed cost comparisons and can inform the client of the likely cost consequences of the changes – including the probable impact on other sections of the work.
· When more detailed information becomes available on variations, mainly from measurements, quotations or day works, the quantity surveyor can refine his original estimates and update his financial reports to the client.
Quality Assurance in quantity surveying:
Quality assurance (QA) is a systematic way of ensuring that organized activities are implemented in the way in which they are planned.
· Its main purposes are;
· To meet client requirements.
· To meet industry requirements.
· To improve management control with regard to the quality of service.
· To increase efficiency.
Quality management policy statement of an international quantity surveying practice indicates;
· To provide the highest possible standard of service to clients,
· To operate whenever possible quality management system which has been developed in accordance with BS 5750 Part 1 for professional quantity surveying services.
· To ensure that the personnel using reasonable skill and care, work in accordance with the procedure detailed in the quality manual.
· To periodically prepare quality reports and reviews of procedures in order that the quality management system may be improved.
· Provide facilities for clients’ representatives to verify compliances with the quality management system.
General Office Management:
· Secretarial and clerical staff should be given clearly defined duties and responsibilities.
· At the same time be encouraged to work as an effective team with sense of loyalty.
· Telephone messages should be clearly recorded and the messages relayed to the person concerned as quickly as possible.
· Letters should always be drafted with care; for that following guidelines observed.
· There should be no possible doubt as to the true intent and meaning of the letter.
· The wording should be as simple and concise as possible.
· Where extensive information is entailed, advisable to send a brief letter accompanied by a detailed report / schedule.
· Reports are normally subdivided in to;
· Body of the report,
· Conclusion and recommendations.
· Technical terms should be avoided as far as possible when writing to lay persons.
· Letters must be free from grammatical and spelling mistakes.
· Impersonal languages should be avoided.
· E.g. “I / we consider” is much preferable to “it is considered”.
· When dispatching correspondences, a check should be made to ensure that all relevant enclosures are sent with the letter.
· Careful checks should be made to ensure that the correct letter is inserted in the correct envelope.
· All incoming correspondence and copies of outgoing letters must be carefully filed in a system that permits easy retrieval.
· All correspondence should be filed in date order, with the most recent at the front of the file.
· Letter references often include the project reference and the initials of the writer and typist.
· Minutes of meetings, site records, project details, cost information and other supporting data must be carefully preserved.
· Another important section of any quantity surveying organization is the information center or office library containing trade literature, reference books, acts of parliament, standards and specifications, etc.
Professional Ethics, Standards and Conduct:
Professional Ethics and Standards:
The RICS (1994) believed that ethics should be taught as part of university surveying degree courses. It could lead to higher professional standards and enhanced attitudes to the need for greater honesty, dedication, care and trust in all professional relationships with clients, other surveyors and general public, and the avoidance of making decisions which are morally wrong.
All members have a moral duty of care when dealing with clients and their affairs. And to exercise the utmost honesty and integrity in all their dealings. Clients can rightly expect that professional men and women will possess a reasonable measure of competence and skill. RICS rules of Conduct states: Members of the institution shall discharge their professional duties to their client and to wider public interest in accordance with the objectives of institution.
· Ensure that where there is conflict between the interest of the member and that of the client, the interest of the client shall prevail, unless it is at odds with the wider public interest.
· Ensure that they perform their duties:
· With integrity and honesty,
· competently and diligently,
· by adopting personal and professional standards.
· any member must not hide any relevant facts from the client of which he should be aware of.
· Chartered surveyors have to fulfill their client’s high expectations of their standards, which in real word have to be balanced against the surveyor’s price levels and the value for money that they provide.