Utilization of Subcontractors

May 30, 2018


Utilizing independent service providers (formerly known as – subcontractors) can be a source of irritation at times, and one needs to be cognizant of the pitfalls associated with utilizing subcontractors.  One needs to be prepared that a percentage of the available subs will not “come out” when called.  The reasons for these “no shows” can include: sickness, hangover, truck broke down, no babysitter, and the phone being turned off (inadvertently, of course).  However, subcontractors normally take much better care of their equipment than your employees take care of your company equipment.  Subs don’t normally ram curbs with plow trucks and then say “oops”.  And when a sub breaks down they normally work very hard to “get back up” right away instead of calling on the radio (or phone) and saying, “My truck’s broke”.  Subs will often carry spare parts and tools to effect repairs immediately so they can get back to work, earning money.


When subs are done for the night (or daytime, as the case may be), they should ‘turn in’ (or report) hours the same day.  In this manner, if there are any discrepancies in recorded hours, they can be immediately addressed.  If not, you can end up arguing later when no one actually remembers what went on during that particular snow event.  Sometimes this means calling them at home and waking them up even as they are trying to get some sleep.  It is better to address this particular issue right away, rather than waiting.   

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John Allin Consulting

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