The most successful subcontractors aren’t seeking out a lot of projects – instead, they’ve cultivated relationships with general contractors that allow them to be selective of their bids and accurately predict the amount of future work that will be coming their way.
When you’re able to build partnerships and categorize your GC connections, you’ll spend much less time looking for work and more time doing the projects that are right for your company. You can make strong projections and expect a certain amount of work from each of your top GCs at a given time.
How can you get to that level with your own business? Make it a point to spend ample time relationship-building with those target GCs, and never ignore a bid from them – always respond with something, even if the job isn’t right for you.
STACK has tools to make it easier, faster, and more efficient to be a better partner!
1. Leverage industry-leading text search.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is the process of converting an image of text into machine-readable (and searchable) format. When plans and specs are digital PDFs, OCR is what allows your preconstruction software to read them as text rather than seeing them as one large image.
STACK’s OCR makes plans, specs, and documents searchable for you to quickly identify if a project is right for you or if you should pass. Instant access to everything in spec books means quick go/no-go decisions; you don’t have to spend time taking off if it’s clear the project won’t be profitable for you.
These time savings free you up to let the GC know why you aren’t a good fit for the job, and you can take some extra time looking through the trades and providing recommendations for who else you know in the industry who might be a better fit, as well as what the GC should look out for from other subcontractors’ bids that could easily be missed.
Turning down the wrong jobs for you and offering up other subcontractors puts you in a strong position for gaining that GC’s trust down the line.
2. Use Copy Project to quickly create multiple estimate options.
If you do decide to bid on a project, use STACK’s Copy Project function to show the project broken out in multiple ways. You can send multiple bids to the GC with some level of value engineering – the first bid exactly as specified by the owner or architect, with others demonstrating your creativity and expertise. Different bids can show:
3. Identify problem areas with Label Groups.
Separate bids by phases, elevations, buildings, or any other categories. This breakdown lets you show any reasons why one part of the project might incur significantly higher costs. It may not change the project, but it allows you to dive into why.
Providing this level of detail to your GC arms them with the knowledge they need to return to the owner or architect and explain that they’re looking for the most cost savings possible. You can gain trust by proving to the owner that you and the GC have the right relationship and are collaborating before you even have a contract in your hands.
Other subcontractors might do the same thing, but with STACK’s Label Groups, this valuable service will take you minutes rather than hours, offering efficiency in helping your GC.
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4. Make accurate pricing and staffing decisions with STACK’s Cost Database.
Keeping a current price list within your preconstruction software not only means you can price jobs quicker and better, but you can also use assemblies to make strategic decisions. You can select different variables for materials from the database that can considerably affect the overall job price.
You can also experiment with different crew configurations if you add labor as an assembly. For example, maybe you can get by with a 6-man crew rather than a 4-man crew, which might cost a little more but get the job done faster.
Plus, with access to 1build or BNi’s regional pricing data via STACK, you can compare regional prices to those from your own suppliers to negotiate and find the best deals.
5. Estimate your way with a fast and flexible estimating worksheet.
Start with takeoffs or directly from your estimate worksheet. With STACK, you decide. You’re not limited to measurements and set quantities of materials. Instead, you can add or remove columns, amounts, and costs, and customize the format of your estimating worksheet to best fit your workflow.
With a faster, more intuitive estimating system and the ability to take advantage of your own expertise and experience, you can create the most accurate, informative estimate for your GC partners, and increase the likelihood you’ll win the job.
The Best Tech Tools Build the Best Relationships
By making the most of the tools you have available to you, you can spend your time building those relationships with GCs. Not only is STACK the top preconstruction platform in the cloud currently, but we’re also always looking for feedback and ideas for future development.