How To Build Strong Partnerships With General Contractors

A general contractor’s reputation and ability to deliver on client projects is often contingent on the performance of the sub-contractors selected for a commercial construction project. With so much at stake, it’s important for general contractors to have strong partnerships with reliable sub-contractors. Oftentimes, general contractors are forced to juggle a large number of massive commercial construction projects, so their success is often contingent on having a network of subcontractors they can trust to get the job done.

A good sub-contractor should go above and beyond to deliver results, but it’s still a good idea for both parties to know how to build a strong partnership over time. Below are some tips on how to maximize the GC/SC relationship

1. Align On Expectations Upfront

Roles, responsibilities, deliverables, and timelines for a commercial construction project should always be defined contractually. A strong contract sets the foundation for a good GC / SC relationship and can serve as the source of truth for all project related expectations. However, it’s still important for both parties to have a transparent conversation around expectations related to the commercial construction project. Be sure to align on communication frequency, safety procedures, and working preferences. A good subcontractor should follow a general contractor’s lead when it comes to these items. By having conversations upfront and setting expectations, you can ensure your partnership and commercial construction project gets started on the right foot. 

2. Create A Smooth Bidding Process

Both general contractors and sub-contractors should do their part to ensure the bidding process goes smoothly for both sides. Sub-contractors should take the time to ensure they thoroughly understand project details within the ITB (invitation to bid). Missing important details in a bid can waste time, make the general contractor’s bidding process more difficult, and decrease the chances of winning the job. Sub-contractors should be sure to ask clarifying questions if anything seems unclear. It’s also important to anticipate the general contractors needs by putting together multiple bid options with multiple price points.

General contractors can also help strengthen partnerships by communicating due dates well in advance so sub-contractors can take the time to provide a thorough response. Pre-bid meetings and site visits are also a great way to create a smooth bidding process as it allows all parties to ground themselves on the scope of the work. General contractors should also be responsive when subcontractors ask questions related to the ITB.

3. Communication Is Key

Keeping all teams on the same page will go a long way towards ensuring the success of your commercial construction project. A good sub-contractor should be flexible, agile and able to adjust to changing project circumstances. They should also be able to communicate clearly on potential issues that could disrupt a deliverable. Project delays, safety issues, and equipment issues should all be communicated promptly to a general contractor. At the same time, a general contractor should always keep all subcontractors in the loop on project changes. At the end of the day, clear communication on both sides is the key to ensuring commercial construction projects stack on track and on budget.

4. Deliver Results

Sub contractors can strengthen relationships with general contractors by delivering high quality work. This includes ensuring all equipment and machines are in good shape, adhering to safety procedures, and following all instructions related to the commercial construction project. It also means cleaning up and making sure employees follow the general contractor’s and client’s procedures. Going above and beyond a general contractor’s expectations during a commercial construction project is ultimately the best way to strengthen the partnership.

5. Evaluate Performance

At the end of every job, general contractors and subcontractors should make it a point to sit down and do a recap of the project. Take time to discuss what went well, what went wrong, and what both sides can improve upon in the future. Be sure to review the end results vs. expectations, in terms of timelines and deliverables. Sub-contractors should make it a point to learn how they can improve upon their work, which will continue to strengthen their GC partnership long term.

Relationships between general contractors and sub-contractors often develop overtime and through learned experience. At the end of the day, subcontractors who are reliable and consistently deliver quality results will find it easy to grow good relationships with general contracting partners. General contractors who do a good job of communicating clearly and setting expectations will also find it to be much easier to attract and retain partnerships with high quality subcontractors.

If you’re looking for a strong partnership with a subcontractor who prioritizes commercial construction safety and quality above all else, contact us at Unique Building Group today. Our team would be happy to handle any interior or exterior commercial construction on behalf of your client.