How to source reliable contractors?
Finding reliable contractors is the one area in which all clients and house-builders need to get right. Having issues in your supply chain means work may be finished to a poor standard which will cost you time and money, neither of which will be something you can do when you’re pushed for time to get deadlines met.
The positive sides to finding a good contractor are often great, once the relationship and trust between you has been built you will have often found someone for future projects that you know you can rely on and over time this can lead to a group of contractors that you can use over and over on all your sites.
So how do you find good contractors?
One of the first areas to look out for clients is via an accreditation portal such as the SMAS Worksafe portal or SSIP portal. If you’re a client that requires contractors to be accredited to a specific level, then going to a portal is the best starting place.
Once you’re in the portal you can now start to refine your search by the trades you require and look for other areas of compliance that you might require, such as environmental or quality management. We recommended choosing businesses with quality management systems in place, a business that is driven by high-quality work is often likely going to save you time in any snagging processes and are less likely to need their work to be redone due to poor standards.
Another way to find contractors is through networking at events such as Construction Connects, hosted by SMAS Worksafe. At these ‘meet the buyer’ events, you will have the chance to attend and set up a stool for contractors to come in and talk to you about what upcoming jobs you have and what trades you’ll need for the job or future jobs.
Often these events are local to an area in which you have upcoming projects, so it is a great way for you to easily get more contractors in your contact book and that are interested in the type of work you’re offering. Attending events like this can save you a lot of time browsing portals and searching the web.
Try and find a reference
If you have identified a few contractors that seem suitable for the role and you’re unsure as to which to go with you can ask other clients, you know or some of your current contractors to see if they have had any experience working with them on previous jobs.
You may have contractors working on your site who have experience working with them and they will be able to give you a perspective on their standards of work and how they were to work with. Bringing in a contractor that your current contractors struggle to work with could cause some delays or friction on your sites.
Do your research
The final step in your vetting process if you’re still unsure is to do your own research. Look at their website and their reviews and see if you can find any feedback or examples of jobs, they have done in the past that are similar to the one you’re asking them to do.
Not only will you be able to see their reviews and if there are any trends within their reviews, but you’ll also get a feel for the company, what are their ethos and morals? Do they demand high standards?
If you can get the process of sourcing contractors right and you’re able to build up mutual respect you might find yourself with a contractor for life. Then going forward you’ll know you can rely on them to get the work done to a high standard and in good time and develop a strong working relationship that will help both parties.
Keeping sites compliant
Once you have sourced good contractors, your next task is to keep hold of them and make sure they remain health & safety compliant whilst they’re still working with you. SMAS Worksafe’s supply chain management solution can help you with this. We offer a free-of-charge management solution to help clients keep on top of their contractors.
Any contractor working with you would need to take out an SSIP Accreditation with us. We will then give you monthly compliance reports to show you the status of all of the contractors on your sites so you can easily manage those who aren’t accredited. You will also be granted access to the SMAS portal when you become a client, giving you access to over 8000 approved contractors across the UK.
For more information about SSIP and how it can help you manage your sites, visit our what is SSIP page.