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Working with Subcontractors

There are many reasons on why a company chooses to hire subcontractors. It could be that they don’t have the sufficient resources, their schedule is often fully booked, or that it just simply makes things easier for them. Regardless of your own reason, you should always remember that working with subcontractors is a double-edged sword. Yes it can help you, but it can also hurt your business.

If a contractor fails to do the job their tasked job then you will be the one to pay the price.

Risks of working with a subcontractor:

  • There is Always a Risk of Poor Performance
    When you give out a job to a subcontractor, you are never on top of the quality. You can only hope on the fact they will do their job right. This is a scary situation to be in since your company’s name will be on the line in every single project.
  • The Chain of Command is Gray
    While you may be in a legal contract, in the end, you are not the boss. They are not your people. You are basically handing them the job and turning your back in the hopes of them doing it right. The standards and procedures you uphold for your own projects may not be the same with the subcontractor’s. Therefore, you can’t expect them to do the move in exactly the same way that your company would.
  • The Clients May Get Confused
    If your client asks the crew or the drivers about your company and they give out the name of another one, that could arouse suspicion and mistrust on your valued customer. When they chose to hire you, their minds were set on having your people and getting your expertise. Finding out that you actually outsource the labor can make them feel double-crossed (even if you actually didn’t).
  • Your Name is On the Line
    At the end of the day, remember that it is your company’s name that’s on the line. The client may not know how a subcon job works, or they may not even know that you’re using subcontractors at all. So in the unfortunate instance that something wrong happens (lost or damaged items, or misbehaviour) it’s you who’s going to get the bad reputation.

Therefore, always work with caution when it comes to subcontractors and again, try to complete all jobs with your own team.

How to Work Well with Them

But we don’t have to focus on just the negative aspects. There is a lot to be gained if you get a good contractor that works well with both your team and your standard operating procedures. This can happen through the following:

  • Work Only With Subcontractors You Trust
    In cases where you really do need to subcontract a move to a third party, make sure that it’s with a company that you completely trust. This will prevent unwanted damages and overpricing.If possible, hand the job over to a company that you’ve already worked with before. For first-timers, do a thorough research about the company’s track record, or ask around with companies they’ve worked with in the past.
  • Have a Good Communication Method in Place
    Talk to your subcontractor and figure out the best way to communicate with each other. Using cell phones is often the easiest way to make calls and get messages. Others prefer to use special software applications that connect both their computers and their smartphones. You should also schedule regular meetings where both parties will be present to discuss issues.
  • Always Work Under a Contract
    Companies that are just starting out tend to be more flexible in terms of how they do business. Being a new guy doesn’t mean that you can just have informal verbal agreements. Actually, since you have a lot to lose at this stage, it’s critical for you to always protect yourself.
  • Tell them Your Clear Expectations
    It’s important to be clear right from the start. Clearly point out what you expect from them and if possible, include this in the contract as well. Orient them with how your company operates and align them with your vision and goals.

Try to Complete Moves with Your Own Crew

If you ask us, our best tip is still for you to try and complete all moves with your own crew. By doing so, you have total control over the processes and people, and you can avoid all the trickiness of hiring a subcon. However, if you do decide on hiring one, just make sure that they are dedicated to doing a great job.

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img June 30, 2016
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img June 30, 2016
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