For a construction project of any magnitude, cost management is crucial in order to achieve success. This is exactly the role of a Contractor’s Quantity Surveyor (QS). A Contractor’s QS is a professional whose mission is managing the financial aspects of a project. Specifically, they make certain that expenditures are under control and all the operations are carried out within the terms of an agreement. In the end, they ensure that a contractor is able to maintain the desired level of profitability.
We are PEJA Surveying, a reputable Quantity Surveyor team with more than 40 years of combined experience. We are committed to making a valuable contribution to the overall financial management of your construction project.
When it comes to quantity surveying in construction projects, there are typically two key roles involved: the Client’s Quantity Surveyor (also known as Professional Quantity Surveyor or Consultant Quantity Surveyor) and the Contractor’s Quantity Surveyor. While both positions involve cost control and management responsibilities, there are distinct differences in their roles.
The Client’s Quantity Surveyor represents the client’s interests throughout the project lifecycle. Their main objective is to assure that the project is delivered within the client’s budget, the terms established by the contract, and the expected quality.
On the other hand, the Contractor’s Quantity Surveyors act on behalf of the contractor. Their ultimate goal is to maximize the contractor’s lucrativeness. To do so, a Contractor’s QS performs a scope of tasks that go beyond day-to-day construction operations. Specifically, they prepare detailed cost estimates for the construction works, take part in procurement activities, track any changes to the project scope, submit payment applications, as well as assist in resolving valuation-related disputes.
While there are differences in their perspectives and priorities, Consultant QS and Contractor’s QS often collaborate to achieve common objectives. Their expertise and cooperation contribute to the smooth delivery of construction projects while balancing the interests of the client and contractor.
Contractor’s Quantity Surveyors are more involved in a construction project than their colleagues on the client’s side. Usually, they spend more time on-site to monitor the project and ensure all the activities align with the budget, schedule, and quality parameters agreed upon. At the same time, Contractor’s QSs contribute to the reputation of the contractor, as they establish and maintain good relationships with all the stakeholders involved in the project.
Large construction companies usually have a dedicated quantity surveying department. If you’re a smaller company or you require support and assistance for your existing QS team, Peja Surveying has got you covered. You can count on us to:
- Prepare and review contract documents, such as bills of quantities, specifications, and drawings;
- Estimate and monitor the costs and budgets of the contract to ensure that they are within the agreed limits;
- Negotiate and administer contracts with subcontractors, suppliers, and consultants;
- Measure and value the work done by subcontractors, suppliers, and consultants to make certain they are paid on time and in full;
- Manage and resolve any variations, claims, or disputes that may arise during or after the contract execution;
- Prepare and submit interim and final accounts to the client, securing the best possible outcome for the contractor;
- Provide advice and guidance on contractual matters to the stakeholders;
- Ensure smooth communication with all parties involved in a project (subcontractors, suppliers, project managers, engineers, architects, etc.).
One of the primary functions of a Contractor’s QS is to set up, manage, and report the project’s financial documentation. In particular, they prepare detailed cost estimates for the construction works, monitor actual costs, and compare them against the budget. Apart from that, the Contractor’s Quantity Surveyor tracks and manages project cash flows (both in and out), ensuring that a contractor has sufficient funds for timely project execution. They provide regular financial reports to the project team, highlighting any cost overruns, potential risks, or opportunities for cost savings.
Procurement plays a crucial role in construction projects, as it involves acquiring the necessary materials, equipment, and services. The Contractor’s QS joins forces with Design management, Operation and Planning team members to develop procurement strategies. To be more specific, they are involved in selecting appropriate procurement methods as well as identifying potential suppliers and subcontractors. They prepare and evaluate tender documents, negotiate contracts, and manage the procurement process to meet the project’s budget and schedule.
When it comes to the procurement schedule, Contractor’s Quantity Surveyors help draw it up by providing input on the specifications, quantities, costs, and delivery dates of the project’s items or services. They also track the progress of each procurement activity to update the schedule throughout the project lifecycle. If there is any issue or deviation, they report it to the relevant stakeholders.
The Contractor’s Quantity Surveyors work closely with project architects and engineering consultants to assess the design plans, specifications, and drawings from a cost perspective. Since the role of a QS is to optimize the project’s financial viability, they identify any design elements that may result in excessive expenses or have a potential for cost-saving. In addition, they check that any design solution aligns with the contractual requirements. Lastly, they provide cost advice and recommendations to the design team, thus facilitating informed decision-making at the design development stage.
Managing the supply chain and ensuring timely payment to suppliers and subcontractors is another critical function of Contractor’s Quantity Surveyors. At the contracting stage, they evaluate potential suppliers to negotiate favourable payment terms and conditions. As the project progresses, the QS assesses the work done by subcontractors, certifies their payment applications, and ensures accurate and fair payment. They also administer any necessary adjustments to the contract sum due to changes in scope or variations.
A Contractor’s QS prepares and presents valuations to the client at various stages of the project. These valuations reflect the work completed, and they form the basis for payment to the contractor. The responsibility of the Contractor Quantity Surveyor is the assessment of the construction progress, measurement of the quantities of completed items, as well as calculation of the corresponding values based on the agreed prices. Along with that, the QS collaborates with the client to address any valuation-related queries or disputes.
During the life cycle of a project, the price of some materials or services may change despite the original agreement. The task of a Contractor’s Quantity Surveyor is to monitor pricing fluctuations and, if necessary, reflect them in the Change Order, Variation Order, or Compensation Event.
The QS conducts cost analysis and then advises the project team on potential price changes as well as their impact on the project budget. They work closely with the procurement team to mitigate any adverse effects of pricing changes and identify cost-saving opportunities through alternative sourcing or value engineering.
The Contractor’s Quantity Surveyor plays a vital role in managing the financial aspect of a construction project. Their functions encompass cost management, procurement, design review, supply chain valuation, payment administration, and many others. By diligently carrying out these responsibilities, the Contractor QS contributes to the effective cost control, adherence to contractual obligations, and overall success of a construction project.
We, PEJA Surveying, are a leading provider of Contractor’s Quantity Surveyor services in London. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional quantity surveying solutions to contractors across projects of any scale and complexity.
At PEJA Surveying, we understand the unique challenges contractors face while managing costs and optimising profitability. We strive to work closely with our clients to provide tailored services that meet their specific needs. We are looking forward to assisting you in achieving your financial goals with our expertise and professionalism.