Andrew Robinson trained as a Quantity Surveyor and has worked in the industry for over 30 years, eventually becoming a Commercial Director for a prominent main contractor.  12 years ago he started Andrew Robinson Quantity Surveying Services Ltd.

ConQuest is very widely used and most of my clients were using it when I started the business. This works really well, when I have produced the bill I can simply ZIP the job up and send it to them, it works really well.

Andrew guessed that he has priced around 1300 jobs on ConQuest so he knows the system really well, he is pricing across all sectors on jobs up to £13million.

Originally I started just doing bill production but utilising my Contractor Qs experience and the ConQuest library, I now tend to provide a full take off and pricing estimating service.

ConQuest is very flexible and each user is able have a number a layouts showing different information (of their choice) depending on what task they are performing.

The format works really well, you can have different information on the screen depending on what you are doing, I like to have my Dims, LPM Rates, the actual bill and then any annotations for my dims. If it gets down to the last minute and things need changing all my notes are there against each item. It allows you to change things very easily.

I have a lot of knowledge and experience in the care home / apt sector. Sometimes if a project is for the same client and specification you can use a previous bill as a template thereby saving time on estimates, one and a half to two days quicker than starting from scratch.

In the industry we are seeing a lot more companies wanting to price from first principles that may have previously sent everything out for a subcontract price. The subcontractor price doesn’t always come back in time.

It’s good that you have the LPM split for last minute comparisons if you don’t have a subbies price, or if you want to keep up to date with what the market is doing you can compare your rate against the sub-contractors.

Obviously Andrew has been in the industry a long time and has a varied career working as a surveyor, estimator, director and finally, business owner. I asked him if he would miss ConQuest if he had to go back to, or use another system:

I wouldn’t use any other system.