Having more than 20 years of experience in the engineering industry with a wide variety of projects, small and large, I have found it is essential to find and use good, reliable contractors. All businesses are built around employees and contractors, so keeping them happy will help ensure any business’s long-term success. The biggest thing to understand is how to keep these good contractors engaged in maintaining the quality of workmanship and the clients happy.
My four top tips for working with contractors:
- Your contractors all have their strengths and weaknesses. Over time you will learn these and best place contractors dependent upon the work and others.
Be clear about the work that is required and the timeline in which to complete it. They sometimes like to extend the work for as long as possible. However, my view is that as long as the work is completed within the required time and at the required quality, then as a manager, my work is done.
To ensure that your contractors feel fully supported with any necessary support to complete the works, especially technical services, unsupported contractors often find themselves frustrated. They become stuck between you and the end-user when things go wrong.
Finally, ensure you are clear with the expectation on rates, especially with regards to weekends and out of hours, costs for intensive works can quickly get out of hand. I have found it is good practice to set a fixed day though this is not always possible.