Realistically, concrete has been considered as the most commonly used material when it comes to construction. This type of material is used to build floors, walls, and roads. It certainly serves as the major foundation of the buildings and infrastructures these days. Because of the high importance and demands of concrete, it will be crucial for a concrete contractor to acquire its own foundation – skilled subcontractors.
Numerous larger construction companies today employ a few tradespeople and execute most of their projects with subcontractors. Builders and concrete contractors are most likely to hire several subcontractors in order to finish every project’s phase. In some instances, the project’s quality depends firmly on the subcontractor’s effort and workmanship. Therefore, it is clearly important to hire better and reliable subcontractors in the first place in order to successfully complete the project.
Concrete contractors must have the knowledge and experience upon hiring ideal subcontractors for the project. Below is a guide that comprises of helpful information, ideas, and tips for better understanding and wise selection.
Performance of a Subcontractor
You may ask this question for once, “Does a Subcontractor perform much better than your crews?” As a concrete contractor, you will need to answer this question first and foremost. This question will absolutely guide you upon selecting a subcontractor. Apart from this, having a thorough and deep understanding of the project scope and the necessary requirements is also necessary for it is vital before one can even acknowledge the importance of a subcontractor. So why subcontractors necessary? They’re absolutely needed when the work falls outside the expertise of a concrete contractor. It can also happen when there are some instances when the necessary resources have already been assigned from another project. This resulted in lesser capacities to execute the entire work which found very inconvenient.
Assessing the Project Size
Even before starting the qualification process, concrete contractors have to necessarily identify and asses the size of the project’s scope being currently subcontracted out. Moreover, the resources which are needed to use in order to perform this work must also be taken into consideration. Basically, this part should firmly understand the most subsequently to the execution for this is a way to easily get insurance coverage as well as appropriate bonding between subcontractors and the contractors.
In some situations, the scope of the project is too broad. If this is the case, then concrete contractors have to do either of these two options:
- Breaking the project into smaller components or
- Analyzing if the project is either right for the organization or not
Finally, when once determined if the project is best suitable for your organization, moving on to the qualifying process for the best and right subcontractors will come next.
The Qualifying Indicators of a Subcontractor
By the time when concrete contractors have decided to get a subcontractor in order to add-on to the workforce, the following areas are what they needed to evaluate:
1. Project Plan
A detailed and comprehensive plan of action has to be provided by a subcontractor. Alongside the action plan is a narrative on how will be the project managed and proper hold for unforeseen conditions if there’s any. You can tell a sub is reliable when providing all of this information including the project schedule where time to complete the work is thoroughly estimated.
2. Staffing Resources
Upon providing the basic information in the resume, subcontractors need to highlight their relevant experiences of SPOC or the Special Point of Contact. Other than this, there is also the sr. leadership directors and the assigned project lead. An organization chart should be existing and had to be full in detail. A list of resources is highlighted and assigned to the respective projects.
3. Availability of Equipment
It is already expected that the subcontractor has to bring their own sets of tools and other equipment. The contractor himself has to clearly specify this in the RFQ. Reviewing also the subcontractor proposal is also necessary to ensure that all necessary tools are already set up and included. Remind also the chosen subcontractor that providing maintenance for the equipment should be taken care of by them.
4. Financial Capabilities
A crucial aspect of providing protection for your business is to ensure in hiring a financially capable subcontractor. Today, most companies choose not to disclose their financial information. Hence, information for bonding capabilities can be requested to further know or to have the slightest idea of their current financial capability. Letters coming from financial institutions can also be requested if necessary.
5. Past Projects
References for similar projects with the same scope and size have to be involved. A proposal should include all other references related to the subcontractor’s previous working experiences. As someone who hires these experts, it is important to feel free in asking about their other concurrent projects and how their past experiences can affect the offered current project.
probably one of the most essential considered factors upon qualifying a good subcontractor. One has to make sure to review the EMR rates and time loss due to incidents. From the point of view of a contractor, a much-needed review is necessary when it comes to determining the safety officers, the identifications, and its other related- credentials.
concrete contractors have to remember the golden rule “The lowest bidder is literally not the best option.” Once done in evaluating and finalizing the items mentioned above, contractors have a much better position to provide recommendations. The final decision of whether to use a skilled subcontractor or not also lies at them. Remember to ask for information on payment terms and avoid anyone asking huge down payments. Agreement about payment terms and discounts have to discuss also.
8. References or Letter of Recommendation
it will be a huge obligation to identify and verify references before offering the subcontractor the project contract. The contractor knows this firsthand and by this, he has to review the RFP where private information and projects are listed. Asking specific details about the worker’s performance from previous projects is a must.
The above-mentioned factors have to be weighed accordingly. It is expected that an overall score has to be finalized which will be used to determine the ideal option for the project itself. A subcontractor has to provide this necessary information as answers.
Basically, hiring a subcontractor was really no different than employing or hiring construction crews. However, the scope of work is considered much more limited when it comes to subcontractors. But then again, the principles which need to be applied are practically the same.
- The scope of the work must begin with a clear and precise description. Written specifications and drawing plans can be practically used.
- As for the subcontractor agreement, make sure to use the proper contract wherein the scope of work, payment schedule, and the costs will be precisely defined.
- Ensure that the subcontractors are insured and legally licensed.
- The contract must cover important information and details particularly the schedule and written warranty.
- Guarantee to solicit bids
The hired experts can now be a part of the participating crew team. On the other side, a much-needed construction crew management has to be implemented by the project managers in the first place.
Managing the Subcontractors
Once the ideal subcontractors are hired, the next thing you have to do is to clearly described and define the work that needs to be done. It is basically important to hire reliable and competent ones since supervising them will require only minimal attention and amount of time. They can competently do the work and understand the entire process that could certainly guarantee success to the project. But concrete contractors need to further communicate with his crew in order to manage them efficiently.
They’re needed to discuss the work ahead of the time in order to work effectively communicate with one another together with the hired subcontractors. It is also a way of working out any potential conflicts occurring between the parties involved which have to be determined and resolved right away. Consider also to specifically discuss all aspects of the work that are essential.
A construction project management software can also be utilized to fill gaps on a project and also enhanced communication for better team collaboration. Implement now software that is practically easy for everyone involved as it has been extra helpful for your business and projects. Furthermore, the software tool such as this can also be used to manage all project’s activities, tasks, and every participating crew member particularly the subcontractors. Any potential delays can also be identified and resolved right away because of the software implementation. Expect that the work productivity will progressively increase.
Between the contractor and subcontractor, a healthy business relationship should be prevalent. With mutual respect and understanding with one another, both parties can able to achieve that kind of relationship. Evidently, managing construction projects is never easy to work, and to complete the project within the specified schedule and budget, all parties involved must collaborate and communicate effectively. In return, the subcontractors necessarily provide the concrete contractor an outstanding quality of work and excellent services.
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