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The science of Quantik

Reflecting on our experiences, broadening your thinking

  • 12 Jun 2024 • Tom Haley

    A QS perspective: lessons to be learned from Carillion’s demise

    The demise of Carillion on 15 January 2018 was, and for many probably still is, a highly emotive and political issue.

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  • 5 Jun 2024 • Tom Haley

    Insolvency in the construction industry: the macro issues

    Did you know that the construction industry has the highest insolvency rate of any industry in the UK economy, with more than 4,000 insolvencies in 2023?

    In our next The science of Quantik® article mini-series we will focus on financial issues facing contracting businesses in the UK construction industry.

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  • 29 May 2024 • Tom Haley

    Bringing The science of Quantik® to you

    Do our articles resonate with a challenge you are experiencing? Do you feel the need to raise standards in your commercial team, broaden commercial awareness in your delivery team, explore how you might deal with a complicated commercial issue, or initiate a conversation in your leadership team about improving commercial performance in your business?

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  • 24 May 2024 • Tom Haley

    Quantity surveying fundamentals: project financial reporting

    Given the perilous state of financial performance in the construction industry, accurate and reliable project financial reporting has never been more important. In this article, I will share my thoughts on why you do them, the rules you are required to follow, the importance of revenue and share some top tips.

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  • 15 May 2024 • Tom Haley

    Quantity surveying fundamentals: valuing variations

    If you need to persuade someone that you are entitled to a change under the contract, do not underestimate what needs to be done to prove this: unfortunately saying it is a change, and repeating that over and over, won’t hit the mark. Instead, what you need to do is establish what has changed by reference to a variation clause in the contract and by reference to a document in the contract showing the agreed scope.

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  • 10 May 2024 • Tom Haley

    Quantity surveying fundamentals: change control

    That may have been possible when design and programme control was staged and linear but, in the technological age where changes are more dynamic and occurring every minute of every day, the old approaches are just not workable anymore.

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  • 1 May 2024 • Tom Haley

    Quantity surveying fundamentals: cost control

    What you are looking to achieve is an outturn cost projection that aligns with the scope, programme, rates, and risk profile, and gives you information that indicates where cost expenditure might be, or is, ahead of budget so that action can be taken to address the issue causing the potential to overspend.

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  • 24 Apr 2024 • Tom Haley

    Quantity surveying fundamentals: applications for payment

    Why do we do it? Yes, often compliance with the contract is the first answer, but that only scratches the ‘why’ surface. The preparation of an application for payment is more than an administrative process where numbers are mechanically put together and thrown over to the client’s quantity surveyor to do the same.

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  • 17 Apr 2024 • Tom Haley

    Quantity surveying fundamentals: Procurement

    If you want the procurement process to run smoothly, you need to enable it to happen – it will not happen by chance or good fortune.

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  • 10 Apr 2024 • Tom Haley

    Quantity surveying fundamentals: managing the budget

    The common mistake I see is a starting budget that either doesn’t align with the contract sum (i.e. the bottom-line number is different), or the components of the budget don’t align with components of the contract sum (e.g. there is an amount of £1m for preliminaries in the contract sum but the starting point for the budget is £2m).

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  • 27 Mar 2024 • Tom Haley

    Going beyond the numbers: the inspiration behind The science of Quantik™

    We started with a construction productivity bang, and this was quickly followed with articles on data science and generative AI. Then the lightbulb came on and I realised that explaining the inspiration behind the articles might be a good article topic in itself; so here goes!

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  • 20 Mar 2024 • Tom Haley

    AI x QS = Opportunities

    For me, this is where the biggest opportunity exists. The volume of documents which are created for a tender process between contractor and employer and then used again for contractor to subcontractor tenders is well beyond manageable.

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  • 13 Mar 2024 • Tom Haley

    Navigating the new world: a QS's guide to generative AI tools

    It’s fair to say that there are hundreds of generative AI tools available so, in the interests of your time and my sanity, I have focused on the three that I think QS’s may use the most both now and in the future. These are Chat GPT, Microsoft Copilot and Adobe AI Assistant.

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  • 6 Mar 2024 • Tom Haley

    The rise of machine learning: the risks

    The most obvious risk is the LLM’s ability to train itself, without human prompt, meaning the content cannot be fully verified before it is relied upon. An example would be two conflicting data sets and the LLM deciding which it considers to be the most authoritative. Particularly in a business setting, where the stakes are often high, this is concerning and raises questions about the accuracy of content created which is drawn from internet information contaminated with fake news.

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  • 28 Feb 2024 • Tom Haley

    The rise of machine learning: how generative AI works

    The purpose of this generative AI mini-series is to summarise research I have undertaken in a concise and easy-to-understand way. This first article in the mini-series focuses on how generative AI, referred to as Large Language Models

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  • 21 Feb 2024 • Tom Haley

    My data science inspiration

    When I started as a trainee quantity surveyor in 2003, this interest persisted as I quickly realised that being agile with technology gave me an advantage in everything I did. Whether it was agreeing a variation valuation, a subcontractor’s monthly payment certificate or preparing reports for management,

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  • 14 Feb 2024 • Tom Haley

    Is the future of quantity surveying now?

    I wanted to share some reflections on a recent Docusign report (2023 Digital Maturity) I read. The findings from the research provide evidence that the groundswell of change is happening now, and businesses need to adapt to ensure they attract and retain talent.

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  • 7 Feb 2024 • Tom Haley

    A dispute free future: does data science hold the key?

    In a recent meeting, with the group commercial director of a leading specialist façade subcontractor, we were reflecting on a meeting we had just attended. When discussing how the meeting could have been better, we shared a view

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  • 31 Jan 2024 • Tom Haley

    Thrive or die: the necessary QS evolution

    In this article we turn the dial slightly and focus on issues relating to #thefutureofquantitysurveying and a subject which is never far from my mind; the existential threat posed to QS's if we not do not embrace technology and the opportunity to thrive if we do.

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  • 24 Jan 2024 • Tom Haley

    Top three techniques to improve your impact

    These are not hacks and I have left the intelligent use of technology to one side as it will be covered more extensively in future articles. Instead, the focus is on personal development and how practicing these three techniques will improve your impact and productivity.

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  • 17 Jan 2024 • Tom Haley

    Rethinking the currency of construction productivity

    In most businesses financial metrics (e.g. profitability) are the de facto measure of productivity. However, these are misleading metrics and productivity measures need to focus on hours as the currency rather than financial information which tends to be polluted with numerous factors that are not productivity related (a person’s opinion, market inflation, design development etc).

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  • 10 Jan 2024 • Tom Haley

    Construction productivity: measuring the unmeasurable

    In this article I will set parts of my experience against a relevant recent published by the RICS titled “RICS Construction productivity report 2023”. The report was the output of answers given in the third quarter of the RICS Global Construction Monitor (GCM) survey 2022 where four productivity related questions were added.

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  • 3 Jan 2024 • Tom Haley

    The great construction productivity conundrum

    The whole economy achieved, between 1997 and 2020, a productivity improvement of 25% whereas the construction industry’s productivity has deteriorated by 10%; a 35% net deterioration (Figure 1).

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  • 30 Dec 2023 • Tom Haley

    AI x QS = Opportunities

    I will share how I consider LLM’s, and other forms of generative AI might help quantity surveyors improve their productivity and performance.

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  • 28 Dec 2023 • Tom Haley

    The rise of machine learning

    Are you excitedly redesigning your work methods ready to ride the ChatGPT wave, bunkering down ready for the existential threat, or simply sat waiting to see how all the drama unfolds?

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  • 15 Dec 2023 • Tom Haley

    Where did all the quantities go?

    I deal with the resolution of some complex quantum issues, both as advocate and expert, and one of the questions that I am always asking when investigating an issue is “what are the quantities?

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  • 6 Dec 2023 • Tom Haley

    Contra charges: the scourge of cash flow in the construction industry?

    I get that contractors need to make deductions when a subcontractor causes them to incur cost (commonly known as a ‘contra charge’)

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  • 28 Nov 2023 • Tom Haley

    RICS APC assessments

    It is a real privilege to be part of the APC assessment process. I always find the submissions to be interesting and reading the case studies gets me thinking about the issue the candidate faced, and I learn from that process.

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  • 9 Nov 2023 • Tom Haley

    How digitally forward is your organisation?

    I recently came across a Docusign report (2023 Digital Maturity Report) which benchmarks attitudes and perceptions to digital maturity among 1,800 business decision makers in the UK and Europe.

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  • 18 Oct 2023 • Tom Haley

    What is strategy?

    A question I hadn’t fully considered until I came across this article. Admittedly, I found the theory of the article tough going, but reflecting on the content got me thinking about the absence of strategy in the construction industry.

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  • 12 Jun 2023 • Tom Haley

    "Just learn how to get stuff done"

    I couldn't have said it better, Mr Obama!

    In my view, as an industry, there are occasions where we seem to spend a lot of time talking about problems, or debating what the problem is, where this time would be better invested in getting on with solving the problem.

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  • 26 May 2023 • Tom Haley

    Net zero carbon: cement

    If the cement industry was a country, it would be the third-biggest carbon-dioxide polluter after China and America.

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The science of Quantik™


We publish insights through our LinkedIn newsletter, titled “The science of Quantik”, which are light bites of information covering news and insights relating to the construction industry and quantity surveying.

If you would like to keep up to date or, even better, contribute your thoughts and ideas, feel free to subscribe to the article.