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News & Press: 2017 News Items

Message from the Executive Director

08 December 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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Dear ASAQS member,

In a membership organisation as large as the ASAQS, with our thousands of members globally involved in a wide and diverse range of projects and commercial activities no one –not even the ASAQS – can ever hope to see the entirety of where quantity surveyors leave their indelible mark on our world.

Whether we like it or not, our professionand each one involved in our professionis interdependent and all our lives are quite interestingly, for one reason or another, intertwined and directly involved in the QS profession. Our thoughts can no longer afford to be just of ourselves and our own well-being.

What we as the ASAQS can say with certainty, is that there has never been a more significant time in the history of our profession where the demand for a diversified skill set amongst our professionals has been so desirable. In the ever-increasing competitive environments that our professionals are finding themselves, our association is witnessing a growing and pleasing trend towards our QS firms being able to deliver a far bigger suite of services to their clientele than ever before.

Further technological developments will continue to force QS’s to evaluate how to cost-effectively separate themselves from their competitors, and in so doing, provide their enterprise with a competitive edge. Viability studies, property evaluation, life cycle costing, BIM and sustainability costings are just a few of the many services now being routinely offered.

In uncertain and fast developing nexus points in the commerce and business timeline, we often turn our attention towards leaders and leadership to cut through the background noise, get to the heart of the matter and provide a strategic solution or at the very least a strategic direction that brings about guidance, comfort and confidence.

In this instance, I cannot but encourage all of our professional QS’s to take as much time as necessary to place themselves ahead of the curve when looking towards the future technologies that our firms and indeed the built environment will be leaning on more and more heavily in the coming years. BIM is here and it aims to revolutionise our understanding of how professional teams interact. Where will you be in 5 years time? Where will you be in 10 years time? Playing catch-up or confidently providing services that your very competitors will sure to be employing?

When reflecting on the membership activities of our association I am especially proud by what has been achieved by the ASAQS team this year. Building on the solid CPD and training foundation that has been built by our EduTech division, our association has now provided over 100 CPD courses nationally. Our annual conference has continued to deliver on uncompromising quality versus cost and has now grown to include a gala dinner. I look forward to bringing our annual flagship event to our Mother City during 2018 and with help from our local Cape Town Chapter, the ASAQS will for the first time be delivering our annual conference in the Western Cape.

We have released numerous crucial technical documents for our profession and will continue during 2018 to provide even more. Year on year we are incrementally reviewing, updating and releasing a huge part of the technical body of knowledge of our profession. Every single person involved either directly or indirectly in the quantity surveying profession stands to benefit by this massive investment of ASAQS resources.

Our association is once again showing very pleasing membership results with 92% of all members having already paid their annual membership subscription fees. This is a continuing trend from 2016 that also saw a final collection percentage in the 90’s.

Marketing the QS profession has seen a profusion of quantity surveying articles and opinions being published in trade magazines and newspapers. Strategic marketing investment during 2018 will be directed towards students and younger members, without losing sight of the gains already made over the last few years in publicising and giving a voice to our profession.

I would be remiss to not also address the challenges that we see our members and the built environment face on a daily basis, and share some insights on where we see the market moving in short term future. 2018 will be the year that Quantity Surveyors – and other professions in the built environment – create and adopt solutions that secure their relevance and is to the long-term benefit of the entire country.

With economic pressure that is not forecasted to lift anytime soon, built environment professionals will have to settle on a method that embraces the calculation of fees based on time spent and value offered, rather than offering ever-increasing discounts from a scale of fees that has become irrelevant.

The ASAQS continues to advocate for the appointment of a professional team – regulated by relevant Professional Bodies – to all public infrastructure projects that are awarded through tender. This will help a great deal in ensuring that public infrastructure spend is applied to the benefit of the greater South African public.

The basket of services that a registered professional Quantity Surveyor should be offering clients must change. As important as Bills of Quantities are, it should not be viewed at the be all and end all of services offered by a Quantity Surveyor. I encourage you to make 2018 the year in which you and your firm start offering – or become better at – some of the many additional valuable services that should be available to clients.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to each staff member, volunteer, sponsor, advertiser, partner, and supporter that continue to provide value for our members. Thank you also to every ASAQS member for your continued support and faith in us.

On behalf of the ASAQS team I wish you a peaceful end of the year with lots of time for relaxation and recharging to make the best of the opportunities that lie ahead in 2018.

Yours sincerely,

Larry Feinberg