Successful construction projects are built on strong working relationships. Nobody knows that more than a general contractor who is managing the overall job. For Story Construction, a GC from Ames Iowa, the key to reliable relationships is continuous feedback to subcontractors and suppliers, including recognition of a job well done.
As Steve Tenney, CFO of Story Construction, told me recently, “We let our subs and suppliers know when they’ve done good things, and we make them aware of areas that they can improve upon.” At the end of each job, his company diligently evaluates how well each supplier and sub performed. Story employees that are most involved in the project determine the final rating, which takes into account more than just what happened on the jobsite. “It’s really about the sub or supplier’s total performance from start to end of the project,” Steve explained. “In some cases, for example, a sub may be a strong performer in the field, but not so strong in their submittal process or the delivery of their warranty. “
Close-of-job evaluations are not only shared with each partner but at weekly management meetings with Story’s internal team. This internal visibility gives other project managers the information needed to continually improve their project delivery, whether they add a high-performer onto their bidder list or work more closely with an existing sub to enhance performance.
Each year, Story also holds its Industry Appreciation dinner to thank its subcontractors, suppliers, and other industry partners for their contribution to Story’s success. The highlight of the evening is the announcement of Story’s prestigious Supplier of the Year and Subcontractor of the Year awards. The two winners – not known until the announcement—are selected from a number of nominations, many coming out of the company’s post-job evaluations. “It’s important that the people we work with understand that what they do for us has a huge impact on project results and how we are perceived by our owners,” said Steve. “It (the Industry Appreciation event) is a win-win for all of us.”
There’s a lot to be said about the human element of construction. Story Construction knows the importance of the people behind the process and makes them a priority in their business. With Story’s focus on teamwork, it’s not surprising that they’re known for bringing their A game to every project.
About the Author
Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.