Across every industry, getting the foundations right is core to successful results. When it comes to the construction and MEP sectors, there’s nothing more important than delivering your service and keeping clients happy.
Lately, as the economy has shifted and companies seek out ways to cut costs, more companies are scaling and reorganising their brand to be more cost-efficient.
One of the ways any trade business can scale back is through the use of subcontractors. Though subcontractors can be a great way to finish projects and grow your brand, it’s important you know how to engage in this process efficiently to obtain the same results.
Pre-screen subcontractors carefully
When you hire subcontractors in your business, you must decide on the best options possible. Vetting a new team of subcontractors will be vital. You don’t want to be left with an under qualified or unwilling workforce that can cost you more money and potentially damage your reputation in the long run.
Recommendations for selecting subcontractors include:
- Follow up with previous clients and check their references
- Compare multiple subcontractors before making a final decision
- Look beyond costs to ensure that the subcontractors you select are keen, trained, available, highly qualified, and insured
- Ensure that payments and fees are carefully discussed prior to signing a contract
- Ensure the subcontractor or subcontractors have the same work ethic as you and your company
When you make a strong selection, you guarantee an easier job for yourself and a better business all around. Take your time to shop around for quality work.
Subcontractors represent you, your business, and your brand. As such, you must set the standards and expectations ahead of the project. When you write up a contract, you’ll have the opportunity to precisely detail what you expect from them.
A well-written contract will define the quality of work you require, and the process you expect. Some critical information you should establish with your subcontractors include:
- General Responsibilities
- Detailed deliverables including any deadlines
- Scope of their services
- Work restrictions and work hierarchies
- Standards of quality
- Any special requests from the client
Your values are important, and ensuring your subcontractor can match these will be critical for a successful project. Transparency and good communication go a long way.
Efficient project management
Your client has expectations, and your brand is on the line when you hire a third party to work for you. Often, you’ll have to restructure your company so that the line of reporting and escalation is more clear.
Subcontractors are hired to fulfil specific tasks and duties. As such, you’ll have to ensure constant communication to keep track of a project and follow its progress.
Some tips for project management when using subcontractors include:
- Establish a direct line of communication
- Set procedures for procuring materials
- Explain safety concerns
- Maintain progress reports
- Set schedules and deadlines
- Ask questions regularly
- Team building exercises
Any time you work with a third party, you’ll want to push for a positive relationship between you, your company, the subcontractors, and the client.
Subcontractors should always place their focus on you. Planning accordingly will help you avoid any problems or disputes down the road.
By having a clear and well-written contract, you can address expectations from both ends and ensure you and the subcontractor are satisfied with the agreed upon terms.