THE BEST PRACTICES FOR SUBCONTRACTOR MANAGEMENT IN CONSTRUCTION

Open Access
Author:
Flynn, Christopher John
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
July 20, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Horace Randolph Thomas Jr., Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • subcontractor
  • construction management
  • construction
  • subcontractor management
Abstract:
To achieve efficiency and quality, the construction industry must have a number of companies and individuals from various backgrounds working together. To effectively allow for the coordination of these varying companies, a construction management firm is often hired. The management firm may either act as a general contractor, in which they perform some of the work themselves, or as a construction manager, strictly focusing on administration. It is common for both types of management to use subcontractors for specific portions of the project. These subcontractors focus in a precise area of construction, and as a result, gain an expertise in that specialty. Subcontracting minimizes project costs by eliminating the time needed to learn and perfect new trades. Although it is certainly a benefit for a company to spread work among experts, many problems do tend to arise when combining the efforts of varying subcontractors. As project sizes amplify, the number of hired subcontractors usually increases as well, leading to problems in subcontractor management. This thesis examines problems that exist in subcontractor management, as well the best practices that should be followed to alleviate these obstacles. In order to provide a guideline for managing subcontractors, five individuals from varying construction backgrounds have been interviewed and asked a series of questions pertaining to their experiences and opinions on managing subcontractors. The collected responses have been analyzed and organized into a survey. The five interviewees, along with five other practicing professionals, have taken the survey and rated the practices based on importance. The recommendations for subcontractor management have been rated and ranked in this thesis to serve as a guide for practicing and future construction managers.