Like any working relationship, it can be tricky for commercial contractors to effectively manage their subcontractors. From payment disputes to miscommunication, there are millions of issues that can delay or even sink a project. Thankfully, many of these mistakes can be avoided if you follow a few simple strategies.
1) Written Contracts Benefit Commercial Contractors
A signed contract is one the best types of protections contractors can have, because it’s very difficult to dispute terms and conditions set in ink.
All your contracts should cover these key points:
- Outline the scope of work
- Establish workplace safety guidelines
- Outline materials to be used
- Determine who is responsible for supplying materials
- Set standards for the quality of work
- Establish payment procedures
Even if you have a long-standing relationship with your subcontractor, it’s still helpful to protect yourself with a contract.
2) Setting Schedules puts Everyone on the Same Page
Every project needs a timetable. It helps commercial contractors and subcontractors stay on schedule. As you begin your next job, it pays to lay out what needs to be done by when and who will be responsible for doing it. Otherwise, tasks can easily fall through the cracks.
By setting up daily, weekly and monthly schedules for labor and deliverables, it will keep employees motivated and projects running on track. After the schedule is set, share it with your colleagues and kept it posted where all workers can easily access it.
3) Regular Meetings hold Subcontractors Accountable
The major mistake many commercial contractors make is not remaining involved with the subcontractors they hire. Like any type of employee, you need to hold them accountable.
You can ask your subs for status reports, which will help you keep an eye on their job progress. In every meeting, allow subcontractors the opportunity to provide feedback that could benefit the project.
If you set up regular meetings with your subcontractors, it will help you better monitor performance. Then, if an issue does arise, you can catch it before it snowballs into a larger problem.
4) Effective Communication Eliminates Misunderstandings
First, open channels of communication with everyone on the project. Then, identify a single point of contact who will relay your messages to the whole crew. As the project moves along, communicate frequently with subcontractors. Constant contract prevents unnecessary surprises down the line.
Although commercial contractors sometimes share horror stories about their subcontractors, these relationships can be fruitful when both parties work together for a common goal.