To ensure that your contractor abides by your contractual agreements and meets their targets, you need to have a system in place so that you can monitor their progress. As well as checking the contractor’s performance on the work they have completed, you should also ensure they meet your contractual criteria over any additional factors you need them to complete, such as CRB checks for staff working in your properties.
To monitor contractors, it is advisable for you to use KPIs. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are practical and objective measurements of progress used to monitor suppliers and contractors. Designed to compare the performance of a contractor towards a predetermined goal, or against a required standard of practice, carrying out performance monitoring ensures contractors are delivering to the standards of both their contractual output and compliance too.
These should be set at the start of a relationship with new contractors, giving you a benchmark to assess their performance. To ensure you gain the maximum benefit from implementing KPIs, here are some top tips for you to follow:
While you may ask your food suppliers to be ‘on time for their deliveries 95% of the time’, your I.T. suppliers would benefit most from a different KPI such as ‘server down time’. Tailoring KPIs to each contractor or supplier takes a long time but gives you a better assessment of how well they are performing in relation to other companies in their industry.
Setting the KPI too high, especially for a new contractor, could damage the working relationships between the two parties. Understand that your contractors need time to adjust to your expectations and way of working – giving them an unrealistic performance target may mean they cut corners elsewhere to make it happen. Likewise, don’t set the performance bar too low.
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Use KPIs to provide routine feedback on how your contractors and suppliers are doing. Communicating these results ensures your relationship continues and that contractors don’t think their endless supply of data is simply going into a ‘black hole’.
Whether you discover a problem externally with the contractor, or internally within your association, KPIs can give you the statistics to take action. If for example, a contractor has failed to meet your KPIs in three years despite prompts and help – you now know it is time to make a change.
Relying on a spreadsheet just isn’t good enough anymore for procurement and health and safety managers in associations. Having a software that can accurately store and monitor KPIs can help take the burden off you, and instead put the focus back on the contractor to sort out any problem.
Statistics alone don’t tell the story. Mitigating factors may mean that contractors have a reason for missing their KPI – this should be communicated effectively between both parties to find a resolution. Also, any work associated where your tenants are exposed to contractors should include their opinions too – after all, these are your end users.
Alongside their physical performance, judging the track record of contractors in their administration and communication with you is essential. As an association who demands the upmost compliance with all of their contractors, it’s important that you monitor when essential information comes back to you – such as insurance documents, certifications, etc.
For more tips on keeping contractors and suppliers compliant by using KPIs, take a look at the free Altius eBook, Best Practice Guide to Social Housing Contractor Compliance, here.