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5 tips for successful contractor management

by | Aug 5, 2020

Communication is central to effective contractor management

Okay — we’ve got 5 tips that promote successful contractor management, but first, a few words concerning the importance of operative communication.

Whether you are the contractor or the project manager, working with each other requires collaborative communication.

The starting point for collaborative communication is a clearly defined job purpose and the expectations around it. Project managers need to provide explicit requirements while contractors relay distinctive evidence against those requirements.

Failures in communication cause start-to-finish errors in the decision-making processes of both parties. Without strong communication, projects lack effective contractor management, compounding issues in logistics and delays.

5 Construction Tips That Promote Effective Management Of Contractors

1) Define and plan the specifics

For the most successful contractor management, you’ll need to set all expectations at the beginning of the project and maintain accountability throughout. This especially includes the scope, purpose, and method of each project. Failure to clearly identify and define the complexities of any of these will result in waste on the job.

While it may be tempting to skip over some details, records from the International Association of Contract Management suggest that over 40% of problem-projects are caused by a lack of clearly defined scope, purpose and method. If that data point wasn’t enough to shake you, poor contract management is costing contractors 9% of their bottom line.

2) Question, Review and Check References

Before starting a project, define job-specific safety issues and, ensure that all prospective contractors can evidence a capacity to work within all known safety parameters.

  1. Explain the job-specific dangers, goals and responsibilities.
  2. Question prospective contractors for evidence of knowledge, skill level and practical experience.
  3. Review the data before the hire.
  4. Never forget to check references: self-employed does not a contractor make.

3) Relationship-based routine inspections

Here is where accountability and relationships come into play. While no one enjoys over-the-shoulder management, routine work inspections are critical to a quality finish. An effective contractor manager needs to establish light-touch inspection processes that function around trust, friendly management processes, and comfortable relationships.

  1. Value your contractors. Make them a part of your team. And when correction is necessary, speak with measured words.
  2. Communicate. Learn how to remedy problems without alienating the contractor.
  3. Praise when praise is earned.

4) Grow into a better contractor manager

An effective manager will view today’s project mistakes as preventive training toward future projects. Experienced contractor managers record, track, and learn from every conflict, error, and missed opportunity.

  1. Track the contractor.
  2. Grade and record the success of their work.
  3. Identify contractor shortcomings and explore solutions to them for the future.
  4. Give feedback and be willing to receive feedback.

On top of all this, it is important to never permit a health or safety issue to pass without applying corrective measures for the present and future.

5) Upgrade your processes around workforce and equipment

It’s time to upgrade the way you work: avoid the waste of labor-intensive paper-based management efforts.

There are dozens of solutions that are available to contractors to assist with documentation, workforce and asset management, scheduling, and more.

These tools help to communicate expectations and capture field and project data. Reap the benefits of rapid, accurate, and constant updates for current jobs as well as individual contractor specifics.

Learn how Assignar can help you improve your communication and contractor management.

Request a demo today

Elvia is a Marketing Manager at Assignar. She grew up in the trades, which sparked her passion for the construction industry. Before Assignar, Elvia worked for Colorado Contractors Association, Hamon Infrastructure, and Arrow Electronics.

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