Redefining Your Strategic Alliances (part 1)
We all have them, those partnerships that are critically important to the successful conduct of our remodeling business: supplier, bank and subcontractor relationships just to name a few.
I’d like to argue that the most critical of these three are your subcontractor relationships because a representative of the subcontractor is invariably on one of your jobs every day.
Many days that subcontractor may be the only representative of your company that a client sees — maybe that will even happen for a couple consecutive days.
That said, may I ask what you have done to guarantee that every employee of every subcontractor you use is completely onboard with your core values and operating protocol?
In the event that something goes wrong on site someday, are you completely confident that whoever is on your job that day will know the proper way to respond?
Once (long ago), I bought all my subs lunch in an effort to enhance my relationship and to draw them into a closer alliance. (A lunch can go a long way!)
In the restaurant, I asked them, “What would I have to do to guarantee my company was your most favorite company to work for?”
Here’s just a partial list of what I heard:
- Never make me wait for money.
- Never call me out to a job that isn’t ready for me … or that is cluttered with construction debris.
- Never call me to a job that is too crowded with subs getting in each other’s way.
- Give me adequate notice of job schedules, help me buy better, help me manage my resources better, treat me fairly in unforeseen project developments, protect me from homeowner interference, provide accurate and detailed scopes and plans.
- Let’s determine what every job’s performance and workmanship standards are ahead of time.
- Provide me with a complete job schedule and keep me updated.
- Don’t make me go out on four or five walk-throughs when you’re only closing one of those.
- Invite me to project wrap-up parties.
- Give me regular feedback; let my team grade your team.
- Let’s have subcontractor round-tables twice a year to ensure efficiencies and compliance to everything we codify and use these events as opportunities to develop best business practices.
This is only a partial list … we actually came up with over 100 criteria.
So, what did I do with this information?
I determined we were going to deliver on every one of the requests, but not for nothing!
In part 2 I cover what we extracted from each sub for complying with their wishes.
It was a complete win-win-win: for them, for our customers, and for us.