Managing multiple contractors on one works site is a hectic and complicated job. As well as the site running smoothly, you also have to consider the needs of lots of different individuals on site. Here are 5 simple tips to help you manage different contractors and stay on track with your project.
Before you can manage your contractors you much first choose the best contractor for you. See our handy tips to help you find the right people for your projects.
Health and Safety.
On a busy construction site, health and safety is paramount to ensuring everything goes smoothly and everyone is kept safe. It is your job to make sure all contractors are working within health and safety guidelines and the site is safe.
By law, it is a requirement to perform a risk assessment before any work begins on site. The law also requires each individual contractor perform their own risk assessment for their proportion of the work and be aware of any risks associated with the job. Review each contractor’s risk assessment with them and consult them on your own risk assessment to make sure everyone is in agreement with the procedures and what they need to do.
Have every single person who visits the site, sign in before they enter. This will make sure you know who is on site at any one time and it gives you an accurate personnel count in case of an emergency. Stress to each contractor that this is a requirement of them, and they must do this, every time they enter the site. This should also apply to any site visitors.
Before you hire any contractor, check they have the correct, and relevant insurance to work on your site!
All contractors must wear full, correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when on site. See http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/ppe.htm for more information on PPE. Ensure each contractor is aware that PPE is their responsibility and stress the consequences should they not adhere to PPE policies.
For more information about health and safety on site view www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg368.pdf
Communication is imperative when working with multiple contractors on one site.
It is vital to ensure everybody is on the same page when it comes to the project. If you leave things open to interpretation, everyone will interpret the project slightly differently and this is where problems will begin to happen. Have a clearly defined end goal for the project before you start and simple, concise steps of how you intend to reach the end goal. A timeline of expectations can help overcome any problems you may face due to interpretation and it will keep the project running smoothly.
When you create your schedule for the project it is important that you give each contractor a copy of this schedule, with a clear idea of what the project involves and the goals you have set. As well as this, it is important to set clear expectations of each contractor before work starts. If you inform everybody of what you expect of them as well as the rules and regulations on site you will ensure the project runs smoothly and you will achieve the aims you set yourself at the beginning of the project.
Before work starts, set up a meeting with all contractors to ensure they understand the project fully and are clear on what your expectations of them are. This meeting is where you can iron out any problems or confusion before the work starts. Once the project has started, keep everybody up to date with how the project is progressing and any changes that may occur.
Ensure all messages are clear and delivered directly to the person intended. Often, when working with multiple contractors messages are not issued directly to the individual but passed between many different people creating a Chinese whispers effect. To further avoid confusion, send messages directly to the person in charge of each part of the project, but keep other members of the team informed of any changes etc.
Most importantly, make yourself readily available to any contractor who wishes to contact you. Give every site member your contact details and inform them of who they should contact in any situation that may occur.
It is important to plan your schedule correctly to ensure the project runs smoothly and on time.
One of the main causes of wasted time/ disruption on a project is not scheduling contractors to attend site at the correct times. When working with multiple contractors ensure two different people are not working in one specific area at one time, where they could disrupt each other or delay any work. Schedule your project so that contractors arrive on site at the right time and in the right order. Often, due to scheduling errors, contractors will arrive on site in the wrong order. This results in the work of the first contractor being removed as the second contractor must first install theirs consequentially meaning wasted time and money on the project.
To further avoid disruption, co-ordinate deliveries to arrive on site near to the time when each contractor requires the goods. This will mean all deliveries do not come at once and stock is not being left around site causing any health and safety issues.
Careful scheduling is vital for a smooth running site.
Don’t look at your project as different contractors working on the same site. Look at your project as a team of people working together. Treat everyone on site like they are an employee of the company and a member of your team. It is important that contractors don’t feel like they are second class citizens to company employees. People want to feel valued and employed but remember, if you do grant your contractors temporary employee status, remove/ change any account details they had access to once they leave to protect your businesses security.
Listen to your contractors. You have hired these people because they have a skill which you do not. Listen to their advice and opinions and consider their input in any decisions you make. It is important to accept help from others in situations you are not 100% knowledgeable in. There’s not harm in not being an expert is everything, but there is in pretending you are and not listening to those who know more than you. It is ok to ask for advice and consult others when you are managing a large project, let people do what you’ve hired them to do.
Sometimes it’s all about you
There are certain things that you need to do to keep everything running smoothly and create a successful project. Firstly, be a leader, not a dictator. Don’t micromanage your contractors but work with them to achieve your end goal. Listen to their concerns or problems and do your best to help them.
It is important to give back to your contractors. Pay them on time and provide fair feedback/ recommendations. A good recommendation for a local contractor from a large company is worth a lot to them. Take time out to thank each contractor for their contribution to the project and provide recommendations which they can use for future business. Offer any fair feedback which you think could help them better their business and consider them again for your future projects.
You have to give something to get something back!
There you have it, these are our 5 handy tips for managing multiple contractors on one site, let us know your thoughts!