finding responsible professionals/contractors

At the recent Denver commercial course, we learned about putting together a team of professionals for the larger commercial projects. I’m starting to do that, and I want to write up a description of that team concept and how it works for commercial inspections. This written description would be for potential team members, to help them understand what I’m trying to do.

So I have two questions:

First: What kinds of things would be good to include in that written description? I’d like to hear peoples’ ideas of what is important to tell your team members up front.

Second: How do I describe the importance of “responsibility”? We all probably know contractors who never return your calls, don’t show up when they say they will, take off from a project without telling you, etc. Obviously these are the ones to avoid. But I also want to tell potential team members how important it is to have good communication. Any ideas how to word that (politely but firmly)?

James, instead of you writing the description/protocol for these inspections why don’t you interview several contractors qualified to do this work and ask them to write what they would provide you as far as expertise goes, what they are capable in reporting, copies of their insurance ETC.

Remember, you are the general contractor and they are your sub-contractors. The one’s who are truly qualified will go out of their way for our work because it gets them out of the norm. and they enjoy it.

Peter, that’s a very good idea to have each contractor/professional write up a description of what they could provide. I was actually thinking of a document that would precede that, a document describing the whole “team inspection” concept for people who are not familiar with it. It would describe my “general contractor”-type role, and my general expectations of the professionals who are working as part of the team. Once people understand that whole concept, then they would produce their own description of their part of the puzzle.

I’m a manager for a General Contractor (& have been for decades) & we work with many subcontractors. We develop good relationships with a select few. It’s difficult. I suggest setting up some meetings, take someone to lunch, let them show you some work. Like any other entity, you will develop a good relationship if you practice treating them fairly, give them a fair share of work, pay them on time, etc. Good contractors know how to be responsible – it’s a definition of being a good contractor. If you have a written schedule, make sure you review it with them and get their ok. Talk about night work or weekend work. Some do it, some don’t.

Good commercial companies – contractors that cater to commercial/industrial clients – are very responsible and professional.

Their responsibility to you is going to be the same (or similar) to your responsibility to the owner. Your report to the Owner should incorporate your sub’s report so make sure they know what the report looks like and pre-determine what it will include.

If you need your work inspected on a Tuesday and have a report by Thursday, then you need to get that in writing, get a verbal commitment, call on monday night, call again on tuesday, call again again on tuesday after their inspection, call on wednesday to arrange getting the report and call again on thursday to get the report. In otherwords, you are the general, the communication is up to you – especially if you are working with new contractors.

Most of the contractors we have are really great companies with great people and if there are schedule or other issues they call and tell us and we resolve the problem and move on.