Inconsequential Subcontractor

By: Tom Reid

When your subcontractors provide a significant part of your project success, it is unreasonable not to provide them with a commensurate level of management attention and professional subcontract management. Nonetheless, failing to provide appropriate attention to your subcontract team is a common cause of failure and performance issues in contracts.

You Win a Government Contract

It is 80-percent manufacturing effort. If you were to devote only two percent of your management attention to the manufacturing aspects, that should sound like a perfect recipe for disaster. And it is. If we apply that same thinking to the proper use of subcontractors, survey after survey has shown that, on a broad average, 50 percent of prime dollars are flowed to subcontractors. Yet it is not uncommon to see that only two to 20 percent of management attention is focused on the success of the subcontracting team. Numerous surveys, anecdotal evidence, and personal experience demonstrates that across all disciplines and industries, despite the significant impact the subcontract team has in the success of the program, a disproportionately low percentage of management attention is paid to those contributors.

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