Competitive tendering of one kind or another remains the usual basis for construction contracts, and bills of quantities are fundamental to this process. Bills of quantities translate the drawings, plans and specifications produced by the designers into a document that enables a contractor to calculate his tender price fairly, on exactly the same basis as his competitors. 

During construction, quantity surveyors are also a crucial element in effective cost control. Where other tendering procedures are appropriate, the quantity surveyor will recommend alternatives.