The webinar, titled “Building Bridges: Strengthening Subcontractor Networks in Construction,” was conducted in a bilingual format, with English being the main language and Spanish part of the presentation. The event was generously sponsored by PlanHub, an essential tool for subcontractors seeking to optimize their Return on Investment (ROI) through valuable educational resources.
The webinar host was Guadalupe Vasquez, Co-Founder & President of USCON. Alongside her, Don McDaniel, a respected Relationship Builder from New Era Construction Group and a PlanHub member, served as a guest speaker.
Drawing from his extensive experience in the construction industry, Don McDaniel highlighted the challenges subcontractors face in establishing and expanding their professional networks. He emphasized the need for a centralized platform to provide comprehensive information on available resources and job opportunities. Traditionally, subcontractors relied on cumbersome methods such as yellow pages and phone directories, resulting in time-consuming searches and limited access to relevant connections. Another big issue for subcontractors is being out of the game before the game even starts. When making their original bid, many subcontractors tend to miss some critical information, such as COIs, W9, and Prequalification, in their initial bids.
“PlanHub is my go-to. I don’t send jobs anywhere else. In fact, I send direct ITBs to my database of subcontractors, which is also loaded into PlanHub,” said Don McDaniel.
Don McDaniel recounted his journey and explained how he discovered PlanHub as a groundbreaking solution to streamline subcontractor networking. Recognizing the power of online marketplaces, Don McDaniel and his business partner established New Era Construction Group five years ago to gain independence in choosing projects and collaborators. By joining PlanHub, they found a platform that met all their requirements, consolidating a diverse range of subcontractor resources and job listings. Don McDaniel highlighted that he exclusively relies on PlanHub for his project requirements and even shares his database of subcontractors directly through the platform.
Don McDaniel emphasized that PlanHub is crucial in mitigating common issues subcontractors face. With all project-related information accessible online, subcontractors have everything they need at their fingertips, including the details of general contractors. This eliminates the challenges associated with physical paperwork and ensures streamlined collaboration. Don McDaniel shared that New Era Construction Group has expanded its scope by merging with a more significant development firm specializing in rehab and mental health hospitals. Their portfolio includes various projects, from hotels to baseball parks. PlanHub has been instrumental in their success, facilitating connections that have propelled their growth.
“I was looking for a way as a small firm to make connections and find resources without having to rely on yellow pages and phone directories constantly. I wanted to find a platform where I could conveniently discover both people and job opportunities in one place,” said Don McDaniel.
Don McDaniel emphasized that PlanHub offers unparalleled speed, efficiency, and accuracy in connecting subcontractors with suitable projects. The platform equips subcontractors with essential tools to showcase their skills, staff, location, and qualifications, ensuring they stand out as the ideal fit for prospective projects. Important features include prequalifications, Certificates of Insurance (COIs), W9 forms, and streamlined communication channels such as efficient email responses and voicemail capabilities. In the current economic climate, they are characterized by compressed timelines and demand for efficiency, subcontractors without a comprehensive online presence risk being left behind, as general contractors prioritize efficient and proactive collaborators.
Don McDaniel reiterated that relationships form the cornerstone of success in the construction industry. PlanHub transcends the label of a mere tool by fostering connections and relationship building. However, he also acknowledged certain turn-offs within the platform usage. Subcontractors who submit incomplete information or bids and expect general contractors to do the work for them undermine the purpose of efficiency. Similarly, attempting to bid outside of PlanHub is strongly discouraged, as it goes against the collaborative ethos of the platform.
During the final Q&A session, Don McDaniel addressed key inquiries from participants. He highlighted that PlanHub indicates whether subcontractors must bid for time only or both time and materials. Additionally, it is important to separate taxes in bids as a distinct category. Don McDaniel emphasized that all trades, regardless of scope, are valuable for a successful project. Subcontractors offering multiple trades are encouraged to showcase their versatility. He advised against short bidding oneself if there is potential to provide additional services. Bidding on various trades within a project does not result in any disadvantage, as it allows subcontractors to demonstrate their full capabilities.
In conclusion, the webinar organized by USCON and PlanHub aimed to bridge the gap between subcontractors in the construction industry. Don McDaniel’s experience showcased the effectiveness of PlanHub as an essential tool for subcontractors in optimizing their networking efforts, fostering efficiency, and cultivating relationships. The webinar was a valuable resource for subcontractors seeking to strengthen their networks and leverage opportunities through the PlanHub platform.