General Contractors – Masters of Outsourcing
Outsourcing has become the mantra with downsizing and rightsizing feeding the desires of small business to seek vendor value outside of the organization. The move from internal control to outsourcing can create a dynamic shift by allowing a business to focus on its strengths and distinctive competency; creating the opportunity for resources to be re-allocated in pursuit of higher levels of quality and efficiency.
Outsourcing has the potential to be fraught with unintended consequences if not done well. The downside of poorly done outsourcing can be very dangerous and costly. Outsourcing is an acquired discipline that has been practiced in the construction industry for many years.
General Contractors are masters of outsourcing
GC’s do not perform all the various building trades with internal forces. They rely on the expertise of architects, engineers, electrician, plumbers, mechanical subcontractors and others with unique skill sets required of each construction discipline. The reliance on trade professionals is invaluable in creating highly effective and efficient construction teams under the management and direction of a General Contractor.
The GC is the conductor that orchestrates the process needed to deliver a quality project, on time, on budget and with a specified level of quality each and every time. Although, outsourcing has become the mantra over the past years, General Contractors have excelled at utilizing the outsourcing model for many decades. Some major elements of successful outsourcing are:
- Create a Job Description, plan or Scope of Work that is as specific as possible.
- Create a pre-qualification process using a score card system for each vendor or subcontractor seeking to participate as a member of your team and keep score.
- Check them out and do the homework by seeking references, checking complaint history and determine if they are well run. You may want to visit their office to meet them on their turf or interview them on a project site.
- Be selective and require full compliance with the pre-qualification process.
- Test the prospective vendor/subcontractor by establishing a time-line for the delivery of a complete pre-qualification package and their willingness to participate in the process – Are they responsive?
Small construction projects easily can have as many as 12 vendors/subcontractors or more on any one project. Even a GC with 10 ongoing projects may collectively have over 100 vendors that must perform in harmony with the entire team at various locations simultaneously. After 25 years, AJB General Contractor has a stable of the best vendors, subcontractor and suppliers with proven track records and the expertise gained by completing 1000’s of project over a quarter of a century. We are experts at outsourcing with professional, highly skilled and disciplined teams.
Outsourcing of various disciplines can provide enormous gains in efficiency, focus and delivery – If done well.
Think about aspects of your organization that may be handled by a vendor or supplier to free up and better allocate your business resources for increased efficiency and improved overall results.