What does being a quality subcontractor in today’s uncertain world mean?

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Credit: Original article published here.

The last two months seem like they have lasted two years. It is hard to believe that a couple of months ago I helped contribute to the news article below.  Shortly after that the world ground to a halt, and that economic boom has come to a full stop in some sectors. How does a project or industry move forward when there are so many unknowns? The answer is that we don’t know. And we may not get back to business as usual anytime soon. It is in times like these that you rely on people and companies you know and trust, because you need reliable information and proven products to help offset all of the uncertainty. 

The article included below describes what a quality subcontractor can provide a client or project when the economy is good and everyone is busy. In addition to these items, a quality subcontractor also provides experience in contributing to a project in a variety of economic conditions. They can rely on these past experiences when the path forward is not well defined. Being able to pull from internal resources and offer a variety of different solutions will help offset external disruptions to the project or process. 

The other common trait of a quality subcontractor that stands out in times like these is honest and open communication. Nobody is able to accurately predict the future. Too often we are told only what we want to hear, instead of what we need to hear. There will be bumps in the road as our society and economy open back up again. The only way to navigate these obstacles as they come up is with direct dialog based upon the facts that are in front of us at the time.

In addition to all of the concerns in the workplace environment, everyone is dealing with the effects of the pandemic in their personal lives. Their kids are missing school and graduation, their parents are in isolation for their own protection, or they are not able to adequately manage their own mental health because their social outlets have been reduced or eliminated. This is affecting owners, designers and contractors alike. The way forward is to help pull each other along and solve one problem at a time. Rely on your trusted partners to help resolve these unique and unexpected difficulties. We are here to help work thru these trying times together. 

Ed Muehlberg
Business Development Architect

Does being a quality subcontractor in today’s economic boom still mean anything?

Posted on March 9, 2020 – News

We have all seen and experienced it.  When the economy is good, the number of available subcontractors increases dramatically due to new ‘start-up companies’ wanting to get a piece of the pie.  The subcontractors who have been in business for many years are typically set up as full-service companies with multiple departments – such as business development, marketing, sales, estimating, engineering, drafting and project management.  These internal resources allow subcontractors to help improve the overall process and quality of the construction project for everyone involved.  These intangible values consistently get lost when the only factor considered for determining success is the low bid.  Again, in one way or another, we all have experienced that old adage ‘You get what you pay for.’  Unfortunately not all customers appreciate the long term value provided by a quality subcontractor because their only focus is on the initial cost – without much thought in regards to what happens after bid day.     

So, how are the experienced subcontractors able to help educate customers about the added value that they bring to a project? Best value procurement has been successfully used in both the private and public sectors to show how “Value Added” bids provide the best solution, and ultimately at a lower cost.

Best value procurement (BVP) is a procurement system that looks at factors other than price when selecting vendors (contractors/subcontractors). BVP makes the selection process clear and simple through the use of specific assessments, and clearly identifies the BVP vendor through a series of metrics like expertise, past proven-performance, risk mitigation plans, value added plans, schedule, and price. BVP has a vision and method for procurement in which the main focus is not only price, but the overall performance of a vendor. It identifies the vendor with the most expertise, and allows the vendor to use that expertise to increase the value and lower the project cost. The expert vendors are also able to prove that they are uniquely qualified for the specific project being requested by providing how many times they have done that specific type of project. If a client is looking to build a multi-million dollar building within a set budget and schedule, it is important to see if potential vendors have completed past projects on such a scale and what the outcome was – final budget, schedule, and customer satisfaction.

Lowest-Bid Procurement does not consider the quality and the reliability of the services provided by the lowest bidder. This has the potential to result in higher risk, which will lead to bigger losses for not only the General Contractor but the Design Team and Owner as well.

Winning projects as a designer or contractor has become increasingly challenging. You not only have to acquire in-depth knowledge about the project and the owner’s intentions so you can accurately bid, but you also have to come up with creative solutions that will set you apart. So, why not engage with expert partners like Wells Concrete? We have proven past-performance results, can decrease or eliminate risk, bring additional value, and have a history of being on time or ahead of schedule, all of which ultimately leads to lower cost.

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