Why You Need a System for Subcontractor Performance Tracking


performance-trackingA successful HVAC company needs to ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget and to the highest standard. If you achieve this, you will have satisfied customers, return business and solid referrals, a win-win. In many cases, projects rely on subcontractors to complete a substantial portion of the work, and this can be both a blessing and a curse. Performance tracking is key. If subcontractors do not perform well and leave a bad impression on the client, your HVAC company will take the hit.

To ensure your business garners top satisfaction ratings and repeat business, put a system in place to help measure the performance of your subcontractors. Raiven’s (formerly Qmerit's) platform can manage your subcontractors' performance and help you maintain your high standards and reputation.

Subcontractor scenarios to consider for performance tracking

Subcontractors can be the linchpin of a project - successful or not. Both pressure and expectations rest upon your subcontractors, so it behooves you to make sure they are vetted and up for the job.

Your subcontractors can impact the quality of a project in several ways, such as:

  • Missed deadlines - This is key. Can your subs complete the job as they promised? Delays and unforeseen circumstances are sure to arise, but how do your subcontractors handle this? Do they overpromise and under-deliver? Or do they meet or beat expectations? Missing deadlines can cost you money and, even more important, your reputation.

  • Poor quality of work - Nothing is worse than getting a call from your client about the poor quality of the work performed. They do not care what subcontractor did the work. All they know is that you, the owner of the company, are responsible.

  • Lack of experience - As an owner, you do not want your client’s project to be in the hands of an inexperienced subcontractor. This is not the time for a sub to learn on the job. You need to ensure that your subcontractors are experts in their field, just as your company is.

  • Poor time management - This is typically tied to deadlines, but in general, do your subcontractors communicate effectively and in good time? Do they respond with a sense of urgency? Do they show up on time for walkthroughs and quotes? These could be tell-tale signs of poor performers.

  • Inaccurate cost estimates (over budget) - This issue likely relates to inexperience. Accuracy with proposals and estimates is crucial for your project’s overall budget and client satisfaction. You do not want to “eat” costs to cover for a subcontractor's mistake.

  • Unreliability - You need an ace in the hole, or several - that sub you can always count on when it is crunch time. You do not need a subcontractor who fails to keep promises and comes unprepared. This is a recipe for disaster.

Subcontractors are a reflection of you

When hiring a subcontractor, it is important to remember that, at some point, they will be in front of the client. In essence, they will be the face of your company. Thus, their first impression and performance will likely leave a big impact, so it is imperative to make sure it is a good one.

When the customer calls and exclaims that their carpet was trashed, that there are dents in the doors or that a huge mess was left behind, they will blame you, not your subcontractors.

Your company's reputation is on the line whenever you engage in work with the public, so selecting top-notch subcontractors is vital to your success.

Metrics matter

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This famous quote neatly gets to the heart of managing subcontractors. Unreliable and biased metrics will hinder your subcontractor performance tracking.

Below are a few red flags to be wary of:

  • Recency bias - This is a common occurrence in performance appraisals. It looks at the most recent jobs of a subcontractor rather than evaluating and rating performance over a longer and more thorough cycle.

  • Primacy bias - When you first hired your subcontractor, they may have performed at a high level, and you still remember that first impression. What is often overlooked is the lagging performance over time. You need a comprehensive tracking system to measure complete performance.

  • Central tendency - This occurs when subcontractors are grouped into the middle of the pack and considered generally acceptable. Is this how you want your business to be perceived? As average, or as 3 stars instead of 5?

Recognizing these biases is critical for effective subcontractor performance tracking. Identifying these issues early will help you make educated hiring decisions that will elevate your company.

Software is the solution

Raiven’s innovative software helps make performance tracking smooth and simple. This slick system provides a centralized cloud-based platform that takes the fuss out of subcontractor performance evaluation. It analyzes metrics, provides ratings and allows you to make better decisions when hiring.

A few other helpful performance solutions include:

  • Requiring subcontractors to itemize all invoices, which will help during analysis.

  • Separating labor costs from supplies to avoid confusion.

  • Using Raiven’s software to keep your subcontractors compliant and protect your business from legal exposure.

  • Taking advantage of Raiven’s price matching tool to easily identify whether subcontractors are padding their profits when they purchase supplies.

Raiven’s unique scoring index is an indispensable tool that will change the way you evaluate subcontractors. With the potentially detrimental effects they can have on your revenue and reputation, heading off subcontractor issues and establishing performance tracking systems are the keys to success. For more information and a demo, reach out to Raiven today.

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