Measurement of Engineering Works

  • 19th October 201319/10/13
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Can you afford NOT to get paid for ALL the work you do?

Contractors, Superintendents and Project Owners often end up embroiled in disputes over the scope of works of a contract. Amazing as it may sound, a lot of time is wasted by each party in trying to figure out “which bit” is IN or OUT of scope.  And more often than not, it is the contractor who loses out through not being paid for work he has completed.

Why? Because civil engineering works are badly measured and scoped, for a range of reasons:

    • Poor-quality drawings,
    • Poorly defined contract definitions of what a contractor should or should not include in his offer or which bits he is actually obligated to build,
    • A lack of understanding of the contractual obligations imposed on each party, and
    • much more…

Whether we like it or not, projects rarely run smoothly because nothing is ever perfect.  We are always going to have errors in scoping, contracts formation and in the administration of contracts. It often seems that everyone is a loser when the arguments start. And it seems to be a constant battle which is not getting easier to win. Or is it?

Here Are 3 Easy Steps Not To Get Caught Out

Firstly accept that to win these battles you need to “get on the front foot” and be pre-armed with the facts. The famous Chinese military strategist SUN TZU said ”…the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory is won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory”.

So, given you are not at war, but must fight lots of small battles, how do you  become the winner?

You can take simple steps:

  • MEASURE the scope before you commit to it.  Yes, do it before you submit your tender, and certainly before you sign the contract.  After all, knowledge is power.
  • Know WHAT needs to be measured and what does not. If the contract protects you from changes in scope, or from errors in the client’s Bill of Quantities, understand your rights under the contract.
  • Know your contract.  It’s fundamental to protect your position and therefore your business.

The small cost of outsourcing the measurement of engineering works before you submit your tender will be returned to you many folds. Knowing what you get into before you commit to a contract is small change compared to the losses that can and often do arise when you don’t get paid for all the work that you actually do.

But I am too busy to be measuring quantities when I should be out there moving dirt and pouring concrete…

Welcome to the Club, we are all busy these days! But as a contractor or project owner, you simply cannot afford NOT to know the scope of the works.

At Projectum, we have experts who know projects and know what to measure to give YOU a strategic advantage.

Remember, be on the front foot and do it SOONER rather than later. It pays to be in control.

What do you think?

Photo: Dam Upgrade Jindabyne

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