How Construction Management Firms Select the Right Subcontractors

At Project Solutions Group, our comprehensive commercial construction management services include qualifying, selecting, and managing subcontractors, tradespersons, and material suppliers who will be performing work or supplying materials for a client’s project.

These critical tasks represent only a small portion of our overall suite of services. By providing a true end-to-end experience, we can help reduce costs and expedite project schedules. Our highly personalized approach to construction management helps ensure you get the outstanding results you seek – and it’s that dedication that we have become known for in the industry.

If you’re wondering how our construction management team approaches the subcontractor selection process, here are just a few of our primary considerations.

Project Scope vs. Subcontractor Capacity

The first area we look at when selecting contractors or subcontractors for your construction project is the scope of work for the project itself, as compared to contractor capacity. It stands to reason that the kind of work that's going to be involved for a given project needs to match up with the expertise of your subcontractors.

Some of the best subcontractors in the industry have a limited capacity to perform projects, and not every project is well-suited to every sub. A variety of factors can influence the capacity that any given trade contractor has at the moment. And, in fact, capacity can fluctuate month-over-month as well as year-over-year.

Once we have completed a thorough project review and analysis, we will identify the subcontractors with the skills and experience to fulfill the project requirements on time and on budget. We will verify that our top choices have the capacity to complete the work within the established project schedule. If so, we will issue formal requests for proposal (RFPs) or invitations to bid.

Project Locale & Labor Availability

Another consideration is where the project is located. Availability of skilled labor is a key concern today, for successful project completion.

One of the critical factors that can impact availability is how remote the location of a potential project might be. This can necessitate bringing in trade contractors or workers from other locations.

In larger cities and employment centers, we can still experience labor shortages during peak periods. The availability (or lack thereof) of skilled labor can impact costs and timelines. Our experienced construction and project managers have the relationships and connections to overcome these challenges.

Subcontractor Experience

To qualify subcontractors for any project, we look closely at their recent experience. We check references and delve deeply into past successes – or failures – to verify their qualifications for your project.

This means checking not only their qualifications but also their availability and scheduling concerns so you can get a better idea of how much work they may be able to handle over a specific time period. The references go a long way towards explaining how well the subcontractor has done their job in the past, too.

With our knowledge, experience, and relationship in the industry, we have a deep understanding of many reputable subcontractors and a robust process for vetting new candidates.

Licensure & Related Qualifications

For virtually all large commercial construction management projects, contractors must provide proof of licensure, insurance, and other minimum qualification requirements.

Duly authorized contractor license(s), commercial insurance coverage, and bonding capacity may all be required for subcontractors to receive an invitation to bid on our projects. We require trade contractors to carry general liability insurance with minimum coverage limits that we have previously established with the client, and that are sufficient to cover any potential losses. When appropriate, we require both our company and project owners to be named as additional insureds.

Depending on the project, both general contractors and subcontractors may be required to post a surety bond. This helps ensure that, even if the subcontractor failed to complete their work properly, both the project ownership and construction management company are adequately indemnified.

Management, Leadership & Company Culture

Project Solutions Group is dedicated to the highest level of integrity and client satisfaction. We have established a solid reputation of delivering excellence for our clients, time and again. We seek trade contractors whose management and leadership teams mirror this level of commitment.

The subcontractor's own employees and their dedication to excellence are equally important. We know that excellence in company culture develops from the top down and we seek to award projects to those contractors who share our commitment to your success and satisfaction.

Cost Estimate & Scope of Work

Depending on the project, we may put trade work out for competitive subcontracting bids. In other cases, we might recommend pre-selecting the right trade contractors and negotiating their price and scope of work.

We balance the imperative of keeping the project budget as low as possible with the need to ensure each trade contractor will cover the full scope of their work. Our experienced commercial construction management team works closely with each trade contractor’s estimators to ensure that no aspect of the project remains unaddressed. This helps ensure that we have no surprises – especially one that could impact the project schedule or budget – once construction is underway.

Contract Documents

The final consideration of the pre-construction subcontractor selection process is entering into a formal contract with each trade contractor.

We invest significant legal resources into the writing of our contracts, addenda, scopes of work, etc. Our documentation is structured to protect our clients and other members of the development team, as well as our company. We ensure that our contracts have the necessary provisions that allow us to hold subs to their contractual obligations. Otherwise, they face substantial penalties in the form of legal liability, liquidated damages, etc.

Once the project breaks ground, our responsibilities to our clients expand significantly. We look forward to meeting you, discussing your upcoming project needs, and learning more about how our experienced commercial construction management team can help ensure your project is a success.

How Construction Management Firms Select the Right Subcontractors