The Power of Digitising Quantity Surveys

When quantity survey workflows are simple and accurate, entire construction projects go more smoothly – here’s how technology can help

When you’re searching for ways to generate extra value for your construction business, you don’t always have to focus on major adjustments. Changing one step in the construction planning process can deliver advantages that last for the entire job.

Improving your approach to quantity surveys is one such effective move. When you add technology to your quantity survey and cost estimation workflow, contractors gain speed, accuracy and convenience.

Considering how many external variables can have an impact on construction costs and material budgets, it’s important to increase savings and efficiency wherever possible. When elements such as unpredictable material availability or inflation eat into your bottom line, an improved quantity survey process can be vital.

What’s the importance of effective quantity surveys?

Quantity surveys take place during the bid and planning stages. Getting them right can set your business up for success. Perhaps the clearest way to see the advantages of strong quantity survey performance is to compare and contrast high-quality processes and mistake-prone methods.

Accuracy means no surprises: An accurate and comprehensive technology-enabled quantity survey allows contractors to make clear plans for their jobs and estimate costs more accurately. A mistake during quantity surveys may lead to surprise costs that harm the job’s profitability.

Efficiency enables more tender submissions: Companies can simply submit more tenders when key parts of the bid process – including quantity surveys – are faster. Increasing the number of tenders helps contractors win more jobs.

Collaboration with other departments keeps jobs on track: The efficiencies created by improved quantity survey processes can extend throughout an entire project. Clear communication of data between office staff and field crews allows every department to spend less time coordinating and more getting ahead on their work.

The combination of precision and speed delivers better outcomes

Contractors can’t afford to use slow and manual quantity survey processes due to the need to meet tender submission budgets and maximise employee contributions. But this speed can’t come at the expense of accuracy, as a quantity survey mistake can lead to wasted money.

The right quantity survey solution for construction organisations can deliver both greater accuracy and speed. Technology that makes heavy use of automation is the answer.

How does the quantity survey process affect tender accuracy, job speed and more?

Quantity survey processes start during the tender process, which will not only determine if a contractor wins the job, but how profitable it will be. A contractor that has put in the effort to bolster quantity surveys and estimations stands to gain lasting advantages.

High-quality proposals are key to both impressing clients and protecting the bottom line. A tender prepared on a quick timeline, but with meticulous and accurate estimate figures for all needed materials, is well positioned to win more business.

The precision of all the figures in those proposals can have an enormous impact on budgeting. A mistake caused by imprecise manual processes may seem small on paper but could lead to the contractor spending too much on materials or quoting too low a price to the client. In either case, the financial hit from that one issue could add up to more than the cost of the software.

A more efficient, digital quantity survey process can have another important effect on companies: with fewer hours needed to prepare accurate tenders, employees can perform other value-adding work. This allows contractors to get more out of workers without increasing staff numbers.

Contractors that are ready to replace their paper-based quantity survey calculations with digital tools can start seeing these changes immediately. Introducing the software to the quantity survey and cost estimation workflow has numerous benefits.

How do software and automation affect quantity survey performance?

What does a technology-infused quantity survey process look like? Adopting this model means using new tools to replace some of the manual quantity survey tasks and paperwork that can slow companies down or increase the risk of human error.

Quantity survey software enables employees to work directly with documents such as PDF plans, and then export the amounts directly into spreadsheets.

Why is this process so much better than a more manual quantity survey approach?

Easy-to-use, accurate estimation methods: Specialised digital systems that allow users to perform quantity survey calculations with minimal clicks are powerful tools thanks to their ease of use. Not only are they faster and more efficient to use than legacy methods, but their specialised algorithms also limit the risk of human error, which could prevent major cost estimate mistakes.

Consistent, repeatable workflows: Digital quantity survey software allows employees to complete the exact same actions whenever they launch a new tender. This helps them stay consistent and deliver a high level of accuracy and efficiency. Platforms that support custom tool sets allow contractors to build their own unique practices into these repeatable actions.

Data transfer between software tools: Performing material quantity survey and estimation practices in a low-automation or paper-based workflow involves adding extra steps when it’s time to enter figures into a spreadsheet. Automating this process gives employees time back in their days and eliminates another potential spot where human error could occur.

Communication between departments: When information about materials, quantities and amounts is generated and stored digitally, it’s easy to share that content throughout the organisation. Workers on the jobsite can get the accurate material quantity survey figures directly from the software.

Tender packages clients approve of: Tenders generated with digitally calculated quantity survey data can be put together more quickly and with greater accuracy than if they were created using legacy methods. This ability to hit deadlines and deliver precision helps contractors win more jobs.

In an era when construction organisations are feeling the need to modernise their workflows, industry-specific tasks such as material quantity survey processes shouldn’t be left behind. Upgrades to contractors’ methods can deliver incredible value.

How do you get started with improved quantity survey workflows?

Improving quantity survey workflows can be part of an overall modernisation push. This works best when the software used for quantity survey and estimation processes is closely integrated with other construction technology tools and general applications such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

Finding a software platform built for the construction sector is the best way to improve quantity survey performance. This is a more direct method of improving construction workflows than purchasing a general-purpose software tool and modifying it to conform to the demands of the construction tender process.

Bluebeam delivers fast and accurate material quantity survey performance, allowing users to work in PDF plan documents through simple point-and-click actions, then output the results directly into spreadsheets. This level of automation and precision can deliver the edge your business needs to win profitable tenders.

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