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  • Red QS

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Case Study

I remember back in the day when I had started at my first job in a commercial office, the first thing I had to do was measure all the demo of a HUGE set of plans. Now, I was a really good student, I almost killed myself getting as high a marks as I could during my study for my qualifications… however, the real world was something quite different! I honestly had no idea where to start…..

I remembered some EPIC advice my incredible tutor used to say over and over….. how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So I did that. I just STARTED.

I have no doubt, I made an absolute meal out of it…. Spending far too long agonizing over every last detail. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I realized I hadn’t read the tender contract documentation that contained a very specific requirement for how the pricing details should be submitted… including the demolition. Back to the drawing board for me…. But I never made that mistake again!

A Second Opinion

A few months ago one of our regular guys gave us a panicked phone call late on a Friday….. he was about to submit a tender of his own and he had left it to the last minute and raced through the pricing. It was for several packages within a large tender, and the submission was to be made in a predetermined format that had been provided. He realized with only an hour or so to spare that he wasn’t 100% confident and asked us to take a look at what he had done for some peace of mind.

We pulled every string we had, and one of our guys made himself available to check it against the clock.

Thank GOODNESS we did.

We were so pleased this builder had listened to his gut when he realized a second pair of eyes was going to be important…. It turned out that the entire submission document wasn’t formulated, only some of it was. As we went through and checked everything it turned out that some of the figures hadn’t pulled through to the final submission totals, in particular, the margins.

Had that tender been submitted as it was, if our guy had of won the tender, he would have been doing it for free and missed out on six figures worth of margin. He was so relieved we had picked that up…..

Generally, formal tender documentation can be quite full on…. It needs time to be spent on it so that all the requirements for the submission are crystal clear and nothing is missed. It needs a THOROUGH check at the beginning of the pricing exercise, and as per my story, another thorough check at the end!! However, despite the paperwork overload, it is actually there to help. It provides a lot of allowances for those submitting their prices to be extremely clear about the requirements, the spec, the site conditions, and often a prescribed method of pricing, all in aid of a paper trail to follow should the job be accepted which leads the way for variations during the job.

There is definitely some value to be taken from the formal tendering process that could help create clarity for residential informal pricing, more on that soon!

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