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Working More Effectively with Subcontractors

Working More Effectively with Subcontractors

-The following is an article written by Tim Faller 

One of the highlights of every Masterclass: Project Manager Intensive course that I facilitate is “focus time.” Each company present gets 20 minutes to receive feedback from everyone else in the room on one or two topics of their choice.

As the facilitator, I get to listen and learn. This year, I picked up a couple of great ideas relating to working effectively with trade contractors, and they can help you too.

Setting Long-Term Schedules

While discussing scheduling trade contractors, and actually getting them to the site, this idea came up. Ask them for their long-term schedule. This may be as far out as three to six months. This can accomplish significant things:

  1. They’ll have to create a long term schedule!
  2. You can find holes are and perhaps schedule around them for your work.
  3. You’ll know whether they’ll be capable of handling all the work you have coming in.

Comparing their schedules to your company’s master schedule will enable you to plan better.

Tiered System for Subs

Give your trusted trade partners preferential services because they help you overcome your challenges. One company said they have the Quick Pay option. In general, the trades get paid in 30 days. But those that choose the Quick Pay have to meet some conditions, like using the company’s cloud-based software, showing up on time and so on.

I know many remodelers already pay in five to 10 days, so that may not be your thing. But the idea is to see what you want your trades to help you with, and then set up an incentive. If that incentive can be something you do anyway, like paying them, it doesn’t cost you anything extra. However, we know our trades can make or break us — so even if there’s a little extra cost it may be worth it.



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