Labour Shortage (Part 3 – MEP Quantity Surveyors)

In this Part 3 of our Labour Shortage Blog Series we will be focusing the blog on MEP Quantity Surveyors. describe a Quantity Surveyor as someone who “Manages all aspects of the contractual and financial side of construction projects.”

The article goes on to say that “Quantity surveyors are considered the economists of the construction industry and are also referred to as a construction cost consultant.”

Quantity Surveyors can be used at many stages and by many sides within a Construction Project. Some are highlighted below.

Client Project Quantity Surveyor

Clients engage a QS to develop a Bill of Quantities (BOQ) which will be submitted as part of the tender documentation. They can also be involved in the drawing up of contracts which will form part of the overall works requirements. Clients then employ the same QS to review the returned tender documentation. They will do an analysis of the costs and information received and recommend a contractor to go with based on the information. Finally clients will engage the QS to bring the project through to final account. Tracking the costs, payment claims, variations and potential claims (cost and time) along the project journey.

Contractor Quantity Surveyor

Another way that Quantity Surveyors can be used is by Contracting Firms. A QS is involved in reviewing the BOQ and contractual documentation at tender stage and helping the estimators to pull together the completed bid. They ensure any potential pitfalls or risks are reviewed and noted. Contractors will also have a QS on their projects once they are won. They will be tasked with, keeping on top of the contractors costs and project financials including;

  • Sub-contractor costs
  • Material costs
  • Labour costs
  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Tracking Preliminaries Spend
  • Project payment claims
  • Recommendations
  • Retention tracking
  • Variations on projects
  • Drawing changes

For this blog post we will be focusing on the Contractor Quantity Surveyor. As you can see from the non-exhaustive list above, there is a lot expected from the Contracting QS. Deadlines, contractual time lines and risk management are part of the daily role for the surveyors.

Unfortunately there is currently a shortage in Quantity Surveyors. This shortage is multiplied when we talk about Quantity Surveyors with MEP experience. This means that either inexperienced people are having to take on unfamiliar roles or experience people are having to stretch their time between several projects. Both of these options can have their downfalls and can lead to projects performing badly contractually or financially or both. Surveyors (both junior and senior) end up missing contractually important time lines and condition precedents which can result in cashflow issues for contractors. They can also end up buried in project financial and performance spreadsheets, hand written notes and scanned site progress reports. All of which rarely correlate with one another.

Survey and Solution

At ESTIMATING-ME we carried out a survey of Contractors with a turnover of between €200,000 and €50,000,000 and 95% of Contractors feel that this shortage is leaving them badly exposed and is resulting in poorer returns on their projects then they had projected.

The obvious answer to this is to get more people trained up and into these roles. This will take time and a lot of investment from both public and private entities. Another solution is to look to find supports for surveyors to help them fulfil their role easier and deliver better for their respective companies. At ESMTIMATING-ME we are always looking towards innovative and new ways to help our clients. Over the past number of months we have been working on a software which we believe will become a quantity surveyor’s best friend.

TRAK-PRO is a cloud based software platform to help construction companies perform better financially and contractually on Projects. It provides an easy to use application for quantity surveyors, contract managers and site teams to help them track and control project costs, financials and contractually documentation. It will reduce the need for onerous spreadsheets, word documents and hard copy reports.

TRAK-PRO will allow senior people within organisations to access project key performance indicators at the click of a button and to review, investigate and pivot away from any potential risks on projects before they start to cost the company money.

TRAK-PRO will allow Contracting Quantity Surveyors to manage and track the following tasks in one place at ease;

  • Payment Claim Submittal Process
  • Project Variations
  • Managing Sub-Contractors
  • Labour Budgets
  • Material Budgets
  • Retention Control
  • Project Progress and Cost Reports
  • Project Key Performance Indicators
  • Contract Admin and Document Control
  • Tracking Drawing/Document Changes

From the list above you will see that TRAK-PRO will allow contractor’s quantity surveyors along with other key stake holders access to all of a projects financial and contractual information in one place. There will be no need for endless spreadsheets, hand written notes, word documents and PDFs.

TRAK-PRO will allow 1 source of truth and will support Contractor’s Quantity Surveyors along the entire project journey.

For more information on TRAK-PRO including features, costs and release date please email

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