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Running a business

Contractor Management Software

When growing a business, you may encounter challenges that you may not feel confident tackling yourself. To overcome such challenges, you could hire a contractor. 

Turning to contracted services for one-off jobs or projects isn’t new within the business landscape. Without contractors, every business would face the risk of overstretching its workforce to the point of disengagement as they try to complete tasks that they don’t have the specialised expertise for. 

However, the stress of finding and employing professional, hardworking external contractors can prove a difficult challenge. What’s more, hiring unreliable contractors can have devastating and sometimes long-term financial repercussions for your business. 

For this reason, it’s imperative to establish an effective contractor management system that both you and the contractor agree upon. In today’s guide, we shall address and explore general contractor software that will help you establish a valuable contractor management system. 

What Is Contractor Management? 

Contractor management refers to the act of working alongside external contractors that have an abundance of specialised competencies and skill sets. It is the duty of the hired contractor to perform necessary tasks while adhering to a company’s set guidelines. 

In other words, contractor management refers to a system of controls that ensure that contracted services meet the standards set by a particular company. 

Typically, contractor management includes making sure that contractors complete the tasks they were hired to fulfil in a timely fashion. Beyond this, contractor management also includes ensuring that the contractor adheres to company policies and procedures consistently and effectively. 

Why Is Contractor Management Important?

Contractor management isn’t something that you should neglect when working with externally contracted services. 

Contractor management goes beyond ensuring that hired contractors meet organisational policies and procedures, although this is a vital understanding that you must establish between yourself and your contractors. 

In actuality, having a contractor management system in place has several other advantages, including the following: 

  • Contractor management saves you valuable time that you would’ve otherwise spent training your existing employees. 
  • Contractor management can help when minimising the legal and tax issues associated with standard employees. 
  • Contractor management allows you the freedom to exercise your business’s flexibility. By employing contractors, you can scale your company’s workforce swiftly in response to pressing project demands and market fluctuations. By optimising your business’s operations in this way, you can increase efficiency and profitability. 

The Common Challenges Within Contractor Management 

Although contractor management is important for both large and small businesses, you may encounter some challenges when employing external contractors. 

Below, we have explored some of the most prevalent challenges that many businesses often face when finding the right contractors. 

1. Lack of Engagement 

If a contractor feels as if they must work in an unsafe environment or in an environment where they feel mistreated, that contractor could leave without providing the full extent of their service. 

Contractors bolster the knowledge and skill sets of your workforce by offering valuable services to your organisation. For this reason, it’s important to engage the contractors you hire in such a way that they can utilise their skills in a productive manner. 

You should remain completely transparent with your hired contractors, taking measures to protect their physical and mental well-being. It is your responsibility to create a positive, professional culture that fosters the appreciation of your hired contractors and their services. 

2. Contractor Selection

Selecting the right contractor for the job can prove a difficult challenge. For instance, in Australia, tradespeople like handypersons don’t need to have a licence to offer their services unless the job they’ve been hired for is particularly large or expensive. 

What this means is that organisations must thoroughly assess and choose suitable contractors based on their qualifications and experience. 

Suppose you or your company didn’t hire reliable, skilled contractors. In that case, you’d face the repercussions of low-quality service, missed deadlines, and even the additional costs of hiring another contractor to fix their mistakes. 

To combat this common pitfall of contractor management, your organisation should establish solid selection criteria for prospective contractors. Once you’ve determined what you find employable about a contractor and have narrowed your selection down, you should conduct background checks on the remaining candidates. 

What’s more, you should then verify all of their references and research reviews from previous customers. 

3. Compliance 

Adhering to compliance requirements is a cooperative effort, legally and morally crucial, and one of the most common challenges of contractor management. 

Failing to comply with labour laws can result in severely negative consequences for your business, both financially and with regard to its reputation. 

Typically, businesses find themselves facing compliance issues when they utilise outdated policies, don’t offer up-to-date training, and don’t keep track of records effectively and consistently. 

By establishing clear compliance procedures, adhering to standards set by regulatory agencies, and creating accurate, easy-to-track records of contractor employment and activities, you’ll find it easier to avoid this common pitfall of contractor management. 

4. Monitoring The Contractor’s Performance 

Surprisingly, businesses that often hire contractors can’t always confidently express their assessment of the hired contractor’s services and overall conduct. 

Usually, unsuitable tracking systems and inconsistent feedback/updates stand as the root cause of such obscurities. Monitoring the entirety of your hired contractor’s activities can be time-consuming and can result in a lack of motivation to monitor such metrics consistently. However, by narrowing the scope of what you wish to assess will focus your oversights and enable you to develop job-specific performance criteria. 

You should also regularly host feedback sessions and request regular updates, discussing the services provided and offering any insights pertaining to the improvement of productivity.

5. Miscommunication

Miscommunication is almost always the common denominator between subpar work performances, disregarded health and safety practices, and missed deadlines. 

Aside from prioritising regular check-ins, progress reports, and feedback discussions, you should ensure that you have a site supervisor. A site supervisor would make sure that all of the contractor’s concerns were heard and addressed. 

Technological aids like video conferences, messaging platforms and management software can also help you maintain an open channel of communication. 

Overcoming Obstacles: Utilising The Right Kind of Contractor Management Software

Knowing the challenges you may face when enlisting contracted services is one thing, but having tools to help you combat said challenges should take priority. 

Below, we’ve provided a list of helpful contractor management software to help you optimise productivity while fostering a positive work environment. 

1. Jira Service Management 

Jira Service Management is an affordable ITSM solution that focuses on streamlining workflows. 

From audit management to compliance tracking, Jira Service Management’s software enables you to have a bird’s-eye view of all activities occurring within your organisation, providing you with complete transparency. 

What’s more, Jira Service Management’s incident management process allows you to take swift action against any potential issues. You can even utilise a centralised incident ticketing system that will allow you to monitor any health and safety concerns/risks. 

2. Access

Access offers automated pre-employment screening checks that will streamline your business’s onboarding process. 

With Access, you can automate reference checks with Access Screening software, saving you valuable time that you would’ve otherwise spent verifying a multitude of contractor references. 

Furthermore, Access’s software ensures that you always stay up to date with legislative compliance requirements while adhering to anti-discrimination laws.

3. QuickBooks Online 

Completing administrative tasks like invoicing and expense tracking is a vital part of contractor management that you shouldn’t disregard. 

With QuickBooks Online’s accounting software, you can streamline your invoicing process by utilising our free, customisable template.

What’s more, when you’ve found the right contractor, you’ll find Quickbooks’s payroll feature incredibly useful. With QuickBooks’s payroll feature, you can automate all tax filings, ensuring all outgoing payments to contractors accurately reflect their service and performance. The result - you’ve nurtured a positive relationship between your business and your chosen contractors that could see you acquiring a reliable contact for future projects. 

Additionally, with QuickBook’s expense tracking software, you can monitor the financial health of your business, ensuring that the contractors you’ve hired align with your business’s budgetary limitations. 

4. Buildertrend 

Buildertrend is a project and sales management software that guides contractors complete projects from start to finish. 

Platforms such as Buildertrend enable contractors to secure clients by helping them create compelling, customised proposals and engaging email marketing campaigns. Given that the start of a project starts by successfully procuring clients, every contractor should treat this feature of Buildertrend as an invaluable tool. 

After you’ve started a positive discourse with your clients, Buildertrend will help you centralise every crucial project parameter/detail in one easy-to-navigate location. Ultimately, with this feature of Buildertrend’s platform, you can avoid delays or miscommunications that would’ve otherwise negatively impacted your client’s experience with your brand. 

What’s more, Buildertrend will also help you keep track of materialistic expenditures. Consequently, by tracking your expenses and inventory, you can locate the best suppliers for your business and quickly foster a positive relationship with them. 

5. Fieldwire

Fieldwire is a construction field management platform that allows for a seamless communication between yourself and your other employees. Specifically, Fieldwire bridges the gap between the office and the field aspects of your profession. 

Whether you document your work using photos, messages, videos, PDFs, specifications, or links, Fieldwire makes it so that you can access a real-time flow of information. Best of all, your entire team will have access to such information, making internal communication effortless. Furthermore, better communication between your on-site and off-site employees means that you diminish the risk of necessary reworks and ensures your services meet the client’s specifications. 

Dedicated to streamlining communicative practices, Fieldwire also provides offline access for the entire team, ensuring that vital workflows don’t face the hindrance of a bad internet connection. 

Get Started With QuickBooks Today! 

With QuickBooks Online, you can prepare and support your business against the common problem of lack of engagement from hired contractors. The financial transparency that QuickBooks Online provides will allow you to create contracts that both parties can walk away happily with, bolstering your retention rates and overall productivity. 

Sign up for QuickBooks Online today, and rest assured that you have access to practical, easy-to-use accounting software that allows you to focus on the professional aspects of your life that you love.

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