Managing Multiple Trades in Construction Projects
As experienced construction professionals know, working well with trade partners is crucial to the smooth, high-quality completion of any project. General contractors must be able to coordinate and collaborate with specialists to ensure each detail is handled by experts — whether that involves something as fundamental as plumbing and electrical or finishing details like plastering and tile setting.
And the bigger and more complex a project is, the more specialized workers will be involved, creating a large and diverse team to manage. Handled poorly, this can be a recipe for miscommunication and unnecessary setbacks.
To keep your projects on target and completed to perfection, consider these strategies to create a better workflow with workers from all trades in construction.
Collaborating with Multiple Trade Construction Teams
When working with many disparate teams of craftsmen, the key is maintaining harmony and transparency. To get started, we recommend adopting these practices for your trade partner management.
Carefully Vet and Pre-Qualify Subcontractors
Want to know whether certain trade contractors will be a good fit for your project and team? Then you’ll need to complete your due diligence. This might include:
- Checking reviews, references, or contacting previous partners and clients about their work
- Considering quality of work as well as price point
- Reviewing multiple subcontractors before committing to one
Put Everything in Writing
Especially if working with a new trade partner, make sure everything is clearly laid out in written form to avoid misunderstandings and liabilities. In their contract, include not only the project specifications and estimate but also any expectations, policies, procedures, or service details that should apply to the subcontractor’s team.
Establish Clear Communications Channels
In a sprawling, multi-team project, communication is everything. Let your trade partners know how to best keep in contact with members of your team, and create regular communications touchpoints to check in and exchange information.
Create an Environment of Respect
The cornerstone of any productive partnership is always respect, including in subcontractor relationships. Set a good example for your team by treating all specialty workers with courtesy, then ensure members of every team follow suit. Not only will this foster a better job site, but it will pave the way for continued partnerships in the future.
Keep Trade Partners Organized with BlackVector
At BlackVector, we’ve worked in the construction industry for years, and we understand the challenges of managing multiple subcontractors and teams on a single project. That’s why we’ve created simple, start-to-finish workflow tools to help you track, manage, and communicate with partners throughout your project and beyond.
First and foremost, the Trade Partner Bidding feature in our Pre-Construct package starts the project on the right foot by enabling you to create work packages, request subcontractor bids, and compare each estimate to find the right partner for your project’s needs.
Once you’ve chosen the right team for the job, award your work packages with the Trade Partner Management tool in BlackVector’s Project Manager package. These packages seamlessly integrate, allowing you to carry through the bid details into your project’s build stage with no risk of data loss or need to manually re-enter information. With Trade Partner Management, each of your subcontractors can access the system and provide important documentation, such as change orders and progress reports. This way, you can ensure that each aspect of your project is proceeding as planned.
Even after a project is completed, savvy contractors want to keep track of their best partners. That’s why Pre-Construct also includes the Trade Partner Scorecard functionality. Include notes and insights from each experience working with your subcontractors, and identify which partners are worth returning to for future projects. The next time you need specialty support, a database of trusted partners will already be available at your fingertips.
Manage Trade Construction with Ease
In construction, managing multiple trades is part and parcel of the job. Fortunately, the modern project management tools from BlackVector make it easy to keep each team organized and on task. To learn more about our construction-specific industry solution, just contact BlackVector to arrange a demo today!