Be proactive rather than reactive. Go see the general contractor. Sit down and ask how you can make the job run perfectly for them. Visit the jobsite; walk the job with the superintendent one or two months before you're supposed to be there. Stay in touch with the project manager or field superintendent on a weekly basis to monitor progress. Ask, "How can we help you meet your project goals?"
5. Manage the jobsite
It would be really special if subcontractors and suppliers treated our jobsites like their own homes. In your home you don't leave trash all over the place. You don't leave a project unfinished. You don't borrow your neighbor's phone, power or toilet without asking. You don't damage other people's work and sneak away without telling someone you'll fix it. You don't create unsafe conditions and leave them exposed for your family members to encounter.
I expect subcontractors to be professional. Here's a jobsite management WOW checklist:
- Weekly safety meetings
- On-going everyday cleanup
- Haul your own trash away
- Provide temporary facilities
- Protect materials from theft
- Keep your tools locked up
- Do your own punch-list
- Keep your own set of plans
- Do your 'as-builts' as you go
- Protect finished surfaces
Check-in with the project superintendent every day before your crew starts work and discuss schedule, priorities, manpower, conflicts, and issues. Before you leave the jobsite, check-in with the superintendent to discuss what's left and what's next. Never leave a job when you think you're finished without a walk-thru to inspect your completed workmanship.
6. Help me
My working relationship with subcontractors and suppliers is a continuous ongoing push and pull versus give and take. I want subcontractors and suppliers who care about the overall project goals and will do whatever it takes to make it happen. I am not asking them to lose money or go beyond the call of duty - just do what they are contracted to do. This includes meeting the schedule, caring about their customer and the ramifications of not finishing projects on time.
7. More WOW ideas
- Send me a thank-you note
- Bring me leads
- Get bids in on time
- Give me value-engineering ideas
- Don't overcharge on change orders
- Send me product literature
- Keep me informed of new ideas
- Help me make a profit
- Give me a referral
- Train my superintendents
- Get an email account, carry a handheld email device and use email
- Carry a digital camera and use your digital camera
- Take me to dinner
- Ask me, "How can we improve?"
How subcontractors and suppliers can WOW general contractors is to be more proactive and less reactive. Help project managers anticipate problems, get the job done properly, provide enough qualified trained field help, finish ahead of schedule, and suggest better ways to save money. It doesn't take a lot to set your company apart from the pack. Try a few of these tips, and you will get more work, make more money and have more fun.
George Hedley is a professional business coach, popular speaker and best-selling author of "Get Your Business to Work!" and "The Business Success Blueprint For Contractors" available at his online bookstore. He works with business owners to build profitable growing companies. Email: email@example.com to request your free copy of "Winning Ways To Win More Work!" or sign up for his free monthly e-newsletter. To hire George to speak, be part of his ongoing BIZCOACH program or join one of his ongoing Roundtable Peer Groups, call 800-851-8553 or visit www.HardhatPresentations.com.