With just four employees at Odd Fellows Contracting, in Williamston, Mich., president Bret Oleksyn and his superintendent heavily rely on subcontractors to help complete projects.

Oleksyn says he asks new subs to visit his company for an orientation so that they can “get a flavor for our mission, principles, and guidelines.” He asks them to bring proof of insurance and workers’ comp to the meeting, and then asks them to sign a Code of Conduct agreement, which addresses on-site conduct and provides business and administrative guidelines.

The remodeler hosts a quarterly breakfast meeting for all his subs, at which he addresses trouble areas and policy changes. The meeting also gives subs a chance to meet one another and discuss any jobsite issues — a framing sub who is making mistakes and leaving a mess for the drywall subs to deal with, for example. The meetings and subcontractor agreement help Odd Fellows consistently offer its clients great customer service.

A: Setting Expectations

Odd Fellows Contracting president Bret Oleksyn wants to catch issues before they come to the client’s attention. Adhering to these rules differentiates the company from its competitors. Oleksyn says No. 8 reminds subcontractor owners that “though they are signing the contract, we need their employees to uphold it.”

B: Material Check

The company asks that subs check supplied materials when the materials arrive at the site. This gives the company time to make arrangements to replace unusable or missing materials while the sub can begin working, thus preventing delays.

C: Inventory Penalty

If the subcontractor doesn’t take inventory and finds a discrepancy while working, No. 3 makes clear that even though Odd Fellows will pay for the missing materials, the sub is responsible for picking them up.

D: Who’s Who

Oleksyn asks subcontractors to visit his printer for $7 photo badges for site workers. The badges assure clients that only authorized personnel are at their home.

E: Good Policy

“Our insurance company holds us liable for any amount that is not covered by our subs’ liability insurance,” Oleksyn says, so he requires that his subs have insurance coverage equal to Odd Fellows’ coverage. “We also mandate that we become additional insured on their policy, so if they are terminated or canceled, we get a notice immediately.”

F: Call Us

Project managers run 12 to 15 jobs, so rather than that manager calling 15 to 20 subcontractors for an update, Oleksyn asks subs to call the manager with the job status.

G: Nothing on the Side

Some clients solicit Oleksyn’s subcontractors for side jobs. Subs usually let the remodeler know when this happens. Oleksyn calls clients to explain his reasoning: that if a sub works for a client on a weekend and they have a terrible experience, it creates a difficult dynamic if that same sub returns to work on Monday for the job contracted by Odd Fellows.

—Nina Patel is a senior editor at REMODELING. Find her on Twitter at @SilverNina or @RemodelingMag.

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