Automation is a buzzword that is being discussed in almost every industry, and the quantity surveying profession is no exception. On one hand, there is a concern that automation will eventually lead to the replacement of quantity surveyors by machines. However, on the other hand, automation has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of a quantity surveyor's work, making their job easier and more efficient.
In this blog post, we will explore both sides of the argument and consider the potential impact of automation on the quantity surveying profession. We will examine the benefits and drawbacks of automation, and consider how surveyors can effectively incorporate automation into their work. Ultimately, it is important to recognise that automation is a tool that can be used to enhance the work of quantity surveyors, rather than a threat to their job security.
Looking back, what has history taught us.
Looking back, history has taught us that automation has a long history of improving and streamlining the work of quantity surveyors, rather than replacing them. In the past, quantity surveyors relied on hand measuring and manual calculations to determine the cost of construction projects. This was a time-consuming and error-prone process, and it was not uncommon for surveyors to spend hours poring over blueprints and making calculations by hand.
However, with the advent of computer-aided design (CAD) software such as AutoCAD, quantity surveyors were able to significantly streamline their work. Instead of hand measuring and calculating, surveyors could use CAD software to create accurate digital models of construction projects, which could then be used to generate detailed cost estimates. This shift to computer-aided design and 2D computerised takeoff allowed quantity surveyors to work more efficiently and accurately, and it also opened up new opportunities for the profession.
The adoption of CAD and other automation technologies has had a transformative effect on the quantity surveying profession. It has allowed surveyors to work more efficiently and accurately, and it has also opened up new opportunities for the profession. For example, the use of automation has made it possible for quantity surveyors to work remotely, and it has also made it easier for surveyors to collaborate with other professionals on complex construction projects. Overall, the use of automation has helped to modernize the quantity surveying profession and has allowed surveyors to take on new roles and responsibilities. So, it is clear that automation has played a significant role in shaping the direction of the quantity surveying profession and has made surveyors' lives easier and more efficient.
The value quantity surveyors provide
The value that quantity surveyors provide goes far beyond simply measuring and calculating costs. The quantity surveying profession is based on a much more qualitative and holistic set of procedures, and quantity surveyors play a crucial role in ensuring the success of construction projects.
One of the key values that quantity surveyors provide is their expertise in project management. Quantity surveyors are responsible for overseeing the financial aspects of construction projects, including budgeting, cost estimation, and contract administration. They work closely with other professionals, such as architects and engineers, to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.
In addition to their expertise in project management, quantity surveyors also bring a unique perspective to construction projects. They are trained to consider the entire life cycle of a building or structure, including its construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning. This allows quantity surveyors to identify potential issues and challenges early on, and to work with other professionals to develop solutions.
Another key value that quantity surveyors provide is their ability to build and maintain strong relationships with clients and other stakeholders. Quantity surveyors work closely with clients to understand their needs and goals, and they are skilled at communicating complex financial information in a clear and concise manner. This is particularly important in the construction industry, where effective communication and collaboration are key to the success of a project.
Overall, the value that quantity surveyors provide goes far beyond simply measuring and calculating costs. They are vital members of the construction team, and their expertise and skills are essential to the success of any construction project. It is this combination of technical expertise, project management skills, and the ability to build strong relationships that makes the value added by quantity surveyors impossible to be reproduced by a machine. Machines are cold to the context of construction, relationships, and other material factors that lead to a successful construction project.
The future of work for quantity surveyors in a world of automation
As automation continues to advance, it is natural to wonder what the future of work will look like for quantity surveyors. While it is difficult to predict exactly how automation will shape the profession, it is clear that automation will have a significant impact on the way that quantity surveyors work.
One possible future for quantity surveyors in a world of automation is that they will work more closely with machines and technology. This could involve using automation to perform tasks such as data entry, cost estimation, and project scheduling, which would allow surveyors to focus on more complex and higher-value tasks. Surveyors may also work more closely with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, which could help them to identify trends and patterns in construction data and to make more informed decisions.
Another possibility is that automation will enable quantity surveyors to work more efficiently and accurately. For example, surveyors may be able to use automation to quickly and accurately generate detailed cost estimates or to identify potential cost savings. This could help surveyors to complete projects more quickly and to provide better value to their clients.
It is also possible that automation will open up new opportunities for quantity surveyors. For example, surveyors may be able to use automation to work on more complex and challenging projects, or to work with clients in different geographic locations. Automation may also allow surveyors to take on new roles and responsibilities, such as data analysis or project management.
Overall, the future of work for quantity surveyors in a world of automation is likely to be a mix of both challenges and opportunities. While automation may change the way that surveyors work, it is also likely to create new opportunities for surveyors to grow and develop their careers. Surveyors who are able to adapt and embrace new technologies will be well-positioned to thrive in this changing landscape.
How to Incorporate Automation into Your Quantity Surveying Practice
At Bench iT we have a unique insight into the automation of the quantity surveying profession. We are harnessing the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the workflow of the cost estimation process by making benchmarking and modelling easier. We have developed an automated quantity surveying solution that takes the traditional paper-based approach to surveying and replaces it with a streamlined digital solution. This solution provides users with access to accurate, easy to interpret, data-driven insights.
The automation solution is incredibly simple to use. All you have to do is enter in the relevant project information into the platform including: project name, location, budget, and timeline. The platform can generate insights, cost estimates and analytics. The platform uses a two-step process to provide highly accurate estimates: first, it instantaneously identifies the most similar completed projects in your portfolio and then uses machine learning algorithms to “learn” how to adjust the cost estimates based on the differences between your project and the similar projects.
As the quantity surveying profession continues to evolve, automation solutions like the one developed by Bench iT will be critical in staying up to date with the latest technologies. Automation will not only help to reduce costs and improve accuracy, but will also ensure that the quantity surveying profession is able to remain competitive in a rapidly changing market.
Automation also has the potential to streamline the quantity surveying process from start to finish. Our solution makes it easy to track project progress, store project information, and analyze cost estimates. This makes it easier to stay organised and on top of every project. With automation, users can also incorporate benchmarking into their practice, which will allow them to monitor market trends, identify cost savings opportunities, and make well-informed decisions.
Additionally, automation solutions can help to improve collaboration between teams, allowing them to work more efficiently and quickly on projects. Automation enables users to easily share project information between teams, and it eliminates unnecessary manual data input and eliminates manual errors.
Ultimately, automation will be a critical tool in ensuring the success of the quantity surveying profession. With the right solution, you can take your practice to the next level.
It is no secret that in the UK and around the world there is a real shortage of construction professionals. Automation could help to address the current shortage of qualified surveyors. The construction industry is facing a significant skills gap, and there is a growing demand for qualified surveyors to manage the cost and financial aspects of construction projects. However, there is a limited supply of trained and experienced surveyors, which is making it difficult for construction companies to find the talent they need.
Automation has the potential to help bridge this gap by enabling surveyors to work more efficiently and by taking on tasks that would otherwise require additional labor. For example, automation tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can help surveyors to quickly and accurately generate cost estimates and to identify potential cost savings. This can free up time and resources for surveyors to focus on more complex and higher-value tasks.
Additionally, automation may help to attract new talent to the quantity surveying profession by making the job more attractive and efficient. By using automation to streamline their work, surveyors can focus on the most interesting and challenging aspects of their job, rather than getting bogged down in tedious tasks. This could help to make the profession more appealing to a younger generation of workers who are interested in using technology to make a difference in the world.
Overall, automation has the potential to help address the current shortage of qualified quantity surveyors by enabling surveyors to work more efficiently and by taking on tasks that would otherwise require additional labor. By using automation to streamline their work and to focus on the most interesting and challenging aspects of their job, surveyors can help to plug the gap in the labor market and attract new talent to the profession.