My name is Mark Flanagan and my position is Senior Quantity Surveyor. I joined Langley Construction Consultants in November 2020. The previous company I worked for was a main contractor in Hertfordshire, an SME predominantly working for Local Authorities in social housing programmes and maintenance projects, and for property companies in central London providing high-end property refurbishments. A few examples of repeat Clients I worked with include Barnet Homes, Ealing Council, The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Bloomsbury Estates and Trinity Village.

My experience working as a contractor covered all aspects of surveying, from estimating and taking-off new projects, the management of tender packages, procurement, through to the commercial duties required during each project up to agreement of the Final Accounts with clients and sub-contractors. Reporting internally to the board of directors on a monthly basis with CVRs (Cost Value Reconciliations) for each project was always a challenge – but also rewarding with a sense of self achievement when high mark-ups were delivered!

Prior to my experience surveying on the contracting side, I worked for two PQS practices. This is where I gained my measurement and costing experience, and the main clients I worked with were the Diocese of Westminster, NHS Trusts, various top hotel brands, and clients in the licenced retail trade.

I have also had five years experience as a Contracts Manager in the moveable walls industry.

I was attracted to Langley due to the variety of projects and clientele presented a personal challenge, and I felt I could offer some value with my experience having worked for contractors and as a PQS. It helps that they are a friendly bunch too! My role involves being allocated new enquiries from existing or new clients, mainly general builders or main contractors, and the stage of the project will vary from tender stage to live projects. Tasks include measurement and pricing items for compiling tenders, or cost plans, procuring projects through our extensive sub-contract and supplier database, whilst all the time providing our Client with the best commercial advice for their project. I agree sub-contractor variations and valuations on behalf of the main contractor, and I can also work alongside contractors by using their own internal accounts systems for the production of new purchase orders and for issuing variation orders and raising Payment Notices. We also work closely with Clients at the beginning of projects to compile the main contracts and consultant appointment documents.

A lot has changed in the industry. Earlier I mentioned using accounts software of the different contractors we work for, twenty years ago it may not have been so easy to work remotely and progress with IT generally is a positive movement in the construction industry which has historically been slow to catch on with IT. At my previous firm they were introducing drones for roof surveys as one example. One of the impacts of COVID-19 in the industry, as with all industries, is non-site QS’s working remotely. Fortunately the IT team and the hardware is good at Langley which has allowed us to work remotely and safely during the pandemic.

And what about when I am not working?

Well – two years ago I did a charity run (where participants had to dress up as Father Christmas) however I injured my leg in training a week before the race. Not wanting to let down the charity, I decided to walk the route instead, so I hobbled around the course dressed as Santa! I got a few funny looks through the town but it was all for a good cause after all!