Finish Forum Provides Tips on Strengthening the Subcontractor-GC Relationship
October 31, 2012

by Kaitlan Mitchell, kmitchell@glass.com

Lani Smithson, project executive for Kiewit Building Group Inc. told those in attendance at the annual Finishing Industries Forum on Tuesday that the key to creating quality construction projects lies in strengthening the relationship between subcontractors and general contractors.

"Relationships are not defined during good times, but during times of stress," says Smithson

Smithson noted ways to improve working relationships by keeping the lines of communication open and honest. Organization on the general contractors' part is also vital. He said scheduling challenges can be avoided if subcontractors provide their input up front rather than remaining silent.

In addition, Smithson also noted general contractors need to recognize their role goes beyond management and is about becoming good leaders. He explained that leaders "empower people and provide direction." Smithson provided a reminder to general contractors that it's easy take, but it is more rewarding to give. In order to achieve positive leadership, Smithson suggested general contractors advise subcontractors to take a more proactive approach, providing solutions and becoming more informed in the bidding process. Smithson also encouraged general contractors to be transparent, straying from unfair practices before subs sign their contracts.

His closing thought to general contractors and subcontractors was to celebrate success from safety through quality.

"What we do is tough," says Smithson speaking to the subcontractors. "We need to celebrate the victories as well. General contractors need you and your expertise. You are 80 percent of the project. We need your help."

The Finishing Industries Forum is sponsored by the Painters and Allied Trades Labor Management Cooperation Initiative. The event gathers members from International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, as well as members of the Finishing Contractors Association and Finishing Trades employers from throughout the United States and Canada.

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
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