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Five Tips to Effectively Manage Subcontractors


Posted on February 24th, 2023

5 Tips to Effectively Manage Subcontractors.

The construction job market has never been tighter. Ongoing labor shortages paired with high demand for construction workers puts even more pressure than usual on GCs to manage subcontractors effectively.

So, what does that mean for your construction business? Today's subcontractors have plenty of options when it comes to choosing which general contractor to work for. It’s never been more important to retain subcontractors and maintain healthy, ongoing professional relationships with your crew.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can manage subcontractors effectively.

How to manage subcontractors in construction

1. Understand and protect your surety bonds

Your surety bonds help you land new projects. And while they might seem like a sure thing, one successful claim against your bond can keep you from getting new contracts.

Subcontractors are able to file claims against surety bonds if they feel that they were unfairly treated during the course of a project, even if it’s just the result of a miscommunication or misunderstanding.

This is why effective communication is the foundation of effective management. At the beginning of every project, you should sit down with your subcontractors and make sure that they understand the details of the job and agree to all of the terms laid out in the contract.

2. Treat your subcontractor as you would like to be treated

Everyone appreciates getting paid on time, upfront communication, and empathy. It’s important to remember that even professional relationships are still interpersonal ones. By making sure that all paperwork is in order and expectations are communicated clearly, you can make your subcontractor’s job easier.

While a subcontractor may technically be a “temporary” employee, you should always treat them like an integral part of whatever project you’re working on—because they are! Plus, there’s a high likelihood that you might need their expertise again in the future, and many subcontractors would prefer working with a general contractor that they have experience with rather than starting over with someone new.

3. Get it in writing first

You may be surprised to learn that many general and subcontractor firms start work on a project without a written contract. If unfortunately things turn sour between you and your subcontractor, you’ll be headed down a bumpy road of expensive legal fees and red tape without one.

Unless that sounds like fun to you, it’s a good idea to have a solid contract in place before beginning a new project. Written contracts protect all parties involved, and no matter how trustworthy a person may be, a hand shake is simply not enough when it comes to legal agreements.

4. Proper documentation

Carefully documenting the work performed, including time cards, safety measures, and daily reports, is another important factor of effective subcontractor management. Raken’s general contractor management software can easily serve as one central location for all your documentation.

By keeping everything in one place, you can ensure that multiple parties can track subcontractor work, cutting down on confusion and misunderstandings.

5. Make the most of modern technology

The 21st century has introduced the construction industry to a whole new world of management tools that make work easier. Many general contractors have embraced these tools to great effect.

At Raken, our goal is to offer digital solutions that make managing a construction project easier, and that includes the way you interact with subcontractors. Through features like direct in-app messaging, including photo and file sharing, you can cut back on miscommunication and keep your projects on schedule.

No more missed dailies

Improve report compliance and better manage subcontractors with Raken.

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