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In the spotlight this month is our Estimator, Hannah Myers, who gives an insight into a typical day at Vale Southern, how to succeed as an estimator and the value of training.

Can you describe a typical day at VSC?

Most of my time is spent on assessing tender enquiries, liaising with subcontractors, reviewing quotations, measuring, and producing bills of quantities, and preparing bids for submission. Before preparing a cost, I visit sites regularly to understand any restrictions, ground conditions and additional works that aren’t always apparent from the drawings and information provided.

For our private residential clients, getting out on site and meeting them in person also ensures I gain a good understanding of what is most important to them.

I’m lucky to enjoy flexible working which allows me to split my time between the office and working from home where I can keep my pooches company!

What key skills do you need to do your job?

A keen eye for detail is essential to analyse drawings and other tender information quickly and effectively. I could be juggling three or four tenders at any one time, which are all at different stages, so strong organisational skills and the ability to meet strict deadlines are also important.

MS Excel and other software tools are great, but you can’t rely on them entirely, so good arithmetic is another vital skill. Being able to recognise an error in calculation due to mistyping or broken formulae could be the difference between winning or losing a job, if it’s a big enough number.

As the first point of contact for many new clients, making a good impression is important too so getting on well with people will also stand you in good stead as an estimator.

How important is training / ongoing learning in your role – and how is VSC supporting you in this respect?

Every day is a school day! I’m still learning and developing with each project, especially as no two jobs are the same. We regularly hold post-project reviews to analyse what we could do differently next time on a similar project, and that encourages the whole team to keep improving their skills and knowledge.

Away from the day-to-day, VSC has recently supported me in renewing my Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) certificate and I have just started the process of becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Building. Our Managing Director has offered mentorship support too and allowed the time for me to access and learn from CPD material.

What are you enjoying most about working for VSC?

The people - I have a really friendly team around me who all pull together and are invested in the company’s success. I also appreciate the flexibility around when and where I work and being able to bring my dogs to the office.


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