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Nine deadly sins of managing contractors and suppliers

Posted by Len Simmons on Jan 19, 2016 9:30:00 AM

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Are you covering the basics of supplier and contractor management? Whether you work with 20 or 200 suppliers/ contractors, finding time to check they’re capable, manage and monitor them on each project takes time that you simply haven’t got.

As a basic standard you should have a robust management system in place to avoid committing one of these nine deadly sins of managing contractors:

1 – Missing contractor and supplier information

As the main starting point of managing contractors, you should have their information and have it available to you within a few clicks. Keep in mind that there’s little use in collecting the same information for every contractor. Depending on their service, depends on the information you will need.

2 – Irregular verification

When was the last time you checked your contractor or suppliers information was updated? You should be checking at least once per year and have access to this anytime to update and retrieve their information.

3 – Not updating your staff on authorised contractors

There’s no point going to the effort of collecting information and verifying contractors and suppliers if your staff don’t know about the new process in place and instead appoint a supplier or contractor not verified. Ensure the message of approving contractors and the new approval process is known and used.

4 – No policy, no rules

Policies and rules set the quality of work you would expect from your contractors. Without these, your company may be tarnished if a project goes wrong. Set out what is expected from the start and make sure your suppliers and contractors adhere to them.

5 – No contracts or specifications

Ever left a project to a contractor only to find it wasn’t finished properly?  Get your requirements down in writing and make sure they understand what you want right from the start. Changes in job requirements should also be followed by a renewed contract.

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6 – No restraint updates

You’ve given your contractor the rules and a contract of work, but did you tell them about that access door or the exposure to heat they will endure undertaking the project? You’re responsible for all restraints and controls that could hinder your contractor’s work, so update them thoroughly.

7 – Don’t monitor behaviour

Just because you’re taking control of your contractors’ capability for your requirements, it shouldn’t lead to them putting less effort into their compliance and performance. But contractors lulled into complacency is a common occurrence, so monitor their behaviour and make sure they know where accountability lies.

8 – Poor auditing (or no auditing at all)

Technology provides a better platform for you to audit your suppliers and contractors over reams of paperwork. Saying that, a spreadsheet that is both huge and complex isn’t the solution either. Using a software, such as Altius Exigo Essentials, gives you the platform to audit better.

Remember deadly sin number one, audit the things that matter to each contractor – a sweeping report just isn’t going to give you the insight you set out to achieve.

9 – No goals to achieve

It’s often said that what doesn’t get measured, just doesn’t get done. Giving your contractors KPIs allows you to gather, measure and analyse statistics to reveal just whether you are getting value for money and the quality of service you wanted.

Don’t fall into the trap

It’s easy to be busy and procrastinate away from managing your suppliers and contractors more effectively and making sure that your compliance process is right for your business.  

Spending time now on improving your supplier and contractor relations has been proven to reduce costs, boost efficiency and improve the quality of work. To find out how you can achieve this, and not fall into the trap of these nine deadly sins above, sign up to our free webinar to learn more tips on managing suppliers and contractors.

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Topics: Assessment Focus