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Ensuring Project Success With Effective Vendor Selection

Construction professionals have differing opinions on what they think is the determinant factor for the success of a construction project. While some argue it’s project planning, others say it’s all about the execution. Successful construction project management requires a myriad of factors, including planning for the right team, subcontractor partners, equipment, and materials from the start.

Vendor selection is an often overlooked but increasingly important factor that has a sweeping impact across every phase of the project. After all, having the right boots on the ground is what’s going to make or break the project.

Partner selection can be tricky. Every bid is competitive, construction professionals need to move fast to win the work. That creates pressure to take the cheapest bid or the first one to come in. However, by taking a couple important steps before finalizing the relationship, a great deal of pain can be prevented downstream.

Here are three tips for effective vendor selection.

Tip #1 - Prequalify, Prequalify, Prequalify

When it comes to selecting a contractor for the project, the question: “Can these folks deliver what they’ve promised?” must be addressed first. Major construction projects have lots of moving parts, and things aren’t always going to go perfectly to plan. The best way to confront this pain point is to prequalify potential partners before they’re ever invited to submit a bid.

In today’s construction market, a successful prequalification process is critical to successful risk management. Construction professionals can qualify potential partners on any number of parameters such as work history, current certifications, and available resources. Whatever factors need to be assessed, it’s important to get a clear picture of the partner's ability to deliver the work as promised.

Tip #2 - Focus on Safety Data

Contractors and subcontractors must collaborate to set, enforce and drive the safety and housekeeping standards on a jobsite. Ensuring the team’s safety and well-being is of paramount importance. Across the United States, there were roughly 170,000 construction site accident injuries in 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It only takes one injury on the jobsite to leave a project mired in litigation or drowning in unexpected costs. This loss in productivity can severely impact a project’s timeline and budget, not to mention the direct costs associated with jobsite injuries. Many risk factors can be partially mitigated by paying close attention to potential partners’ historical safety performance. With the right analytics tool, this project information can help inform which vendors are best for the job.

Tip #3 - Build Mitigation Measures into Your Contracts

Across the industry, firms are also using historical safety data to influence the way they interact with partners and hold them accountable.

“We’ve started to change our contract language as it pertains to safety… If our contractors fall beneath a certain threshold, they’re required to keep a full time safety professional on site until they can bring their safety performance back up.” - Patrick Hennessy, Director of Scheduling & Analytics, Harkins Builders, Inc.

Assessing the quality & safety performance of partners across multiple projects can do wonders for improving the caliber of project delivery. However, it starts with making people accountable.

Interested in learning how to apply tips like these to your vendor selection process? Join our webinar, Live Demo: Procore Quality & Safety + Analytics on February 22, 2022 at 10AM PT.