9 Reasons to Modernize & Simplify Your Contractor Management

Communication is paramount when you’re working on a large, fast-paced, and layered project that includes a lot of moving parts. One of the most important factors to success is that the field and its workers communicate efficiently with the main office.

For example, every work order, no matter how small or large the adjustment, must be tracked to ensure total accuracy. Plus, at the end of a job, you’re going to have to explain why certain projects required more hours than you had anticipated. The swiftest way to increase efficiency and to track every moving part is to leverage software.

To help you prepare your worksite for the most effective contractor management, here are nine reasons why your company should embrace field software management technology:

  1. When used effectively, the software can cut your paperwork time in half.
  2. It allows you to access more accurate details for every aspect of a project, with minimal effort.
  3. Provides real-time status updates for multiple jobs and worksites, which can be helpful for leaders managing large crews, especially in industries like rails and utilities.
  4. Enhances communication between the field and the office thanks to dedicated tools for reporting data.
  5. Daily reporting allows you to clearly justify the hours worked on a job that perhaps went over budget, because of unforeseen obstacles or added scope.
  6. Allows for GPS Tracking to monitor the location or contractors on the worksite.
  7. Easily integrates with your accounting software and HRIS platforms.
  8. Creates an opportunity to track payments and ensure that finances are on track.
  9. Map View of all your active jobs across the country.

To learn more about contractor management systems, here are some software options that you can research to see what fits best with your organization and its needs.

And for more software options, visit this post.



We’re here to be your resource for contractor risk management, especially for those working in the rails, utilities, and venue management industries. If you have any questions about how to make your worksite as efficient as possible, reach out to here our team by clicking here. Thank you for reading!



*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

The Benefits of Putting Contractor Safety First

Managing contractor safety is expensive, but accidents can easily cost more than the management itself. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps that you can take to ensure that contractors are safe from expensive and harmful situations. In this post, we’ll discuss how to make your worksites a safe place for contractors and all who visit, which, in turn, can save your organization from the expensive costs that occur with accidents.

Contractor Safety: Preventing Common Accidents

Primary worksite safety concerns:

  1. Falls: OSHA reports show that fall hazards are the leading cause of injury on construction sites. Many of these injuries can involve contractors injuring their backs, spines, and lower bodies. Severe injuries can lead to time off the job, which can cost you a significant amount of money and plenty of lost productivity.
  2. Equipment: Contact with equipment is another significant cause of injury for workers. Ladders, machinery, and other tools or vehicles used on the work site can be a huge risk, especially without proper training.
  3. Lack of Experience: Workers between the ages of 25 and 34 years old face the highest probability of being injured on the site. Whether it’s a lack of experience or lack of training, mitigate this risk by ensuring all contractors and workers are properly prepared before beginning their responsibilities.

Preventative measures and costs:

  1. Prevent Falls: Tens of thousands of construction workers are injured every year. A majority of injuries are preventable, especially falls. Consider investing in anti-slip flooring and fall protection gear for contractors who work on ladders, or above a certain height threshold. You can also help mitigate fall risks by ensuring that platforms at certain levels are strong enough to handle workers weights.
  2. Improve Air Quality: If working with chemicals or in enclosed spaces, make sure your contractors are supplied with adequate ventilation and proper protection. Increasing air quality through eliminating or reducing the chemicals released into the air from your worksite will favor well with OSHA officials. This can help reduce fines and keep your company compliant.

Benefits and ROI of Contractor Safety

Aside from protecting the lives of your contractors, there are also financial implications to increasing the safety of your worksites.

Overall, there is a direct cash benefit for increasing contractor safety. According to Liberty Mutual, for every dollar invested in worksite safety, it returns three dollars. Also, safer worksites can lead to increased employee engagement. In fact, according to OSHA, there is a 13% increase in productivity when organizations invest in contractor safety programs. Think about it, when contractors feel safer and feel like their safety is top-of-mind, they will be more engaged in the workplace and feel more comfortable performing their duties.

Creating Safer Worksites

Aside from planning and preparing for incidents by taking direct measures to reduce falls, there are also digitally driven onboarding, training, and certification platforms that can help with contractor safety. In the rails and utility industries specifically, the deeper adoption of web-based training and certification for contractors allows for real-time tracking and monitoring so you can also be assured that your contractors are up-to-date on the latest training and protocols.

Real-time monitoring can also create higher efficiency on worksites and reduce the need for in-person training. As a result, no more wasted days of in-person training or excuses when it comes to contractors or subcontractors not being up-to-speed.

If you have any questions about the benefits and how to increase the safety of contractors on your organizations’ job sites, do not hesitate to reach out to our team by clicking here. Thank you for reading!



**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Site Security Best Practices for Large Mobile Workforces – Rails & Utility Focused

Maintaining site security in vast areas with limited resources and a far-from-unlimited budget can be difficult. But there are tools to that have a high ROI due to cost effectiveness and improved efficiency. In industries with widespread jurisdiction, such as rails and utilities, general safety is a priority, but in this post, we will focus on securing the valuable assets in these large areas.

Working solely with clients that have increasingly mobile team members, we’ve grown to understand the security challenges specific to large contract workforces. When access is granted to a high number of contractors, it’s increasingly difficult to maintain checks and balances.

For example, in the rails industry, vandalism can be common and seemingly unavoidable, especially when people are entering and exiting the work sites in high volumes. After an act of vandalism, the cost to refurbish a single railroad car can be upwards of $10,000. Thanks to the advent of perimeter security technology, it’s now fully manageable to increase site security for freight railroading. In one particular case, perimeter security was utilized through thermal cameras, which created highly reliable, real-time detection. Now, these cameras can be used to stop an incident in progress or prevent it altogether.

In addition to damage to physical assets, companies are also considering the world we live in and evaluating the potential risks involved with cyber-attacks. In Utility Dive’s fourth annual State of the Electric Utility Survey, 600 utility professionals named cyber and physical security the most pressing concern for their companies. Nearly 75% of those professionals described cybersecurity an important issue. One way to mitigate grid security risks is to properly check contracted workers through comprehensive background screenings.

Let’s explore other best practices for increasing site security for large mobile workforces.

Site Security Begins Before Hiring Vendors and Contractors

Prevention is the name of the game when managing large mobile workforces across vast work sites. Work directly with your procurement team to develop strong supplier qualification criteria. Keep this criteria top of mind when performing background checks to guarantee consistent quality levels for all incoming employees, contractors, and subcontractors.

Stay Up-To-Date on the Latest Identification Technology

The future is mobile and the future is now. More and more apps and technologies are becoming readily available for managers with large mobile workforces. These applications allow you to track incidents in real-time and monitor your workforce and their qualifications easily and efficiently. As the costs of these technologies decrease, the overwhelming benefit of mobile identification and badges will become more widely available, making real-time reporting the new standard.

Move Towards a Cloud-Based, Centralized Access Control System

It’s virtually impossible to be in all places at once on your work site. But thanks to cloud-based technology, you can get close to making this a reality. Cloud-based security technology allows your team to manage one or multiple locations from any device, for moments when you need to quickly remove access to an area or use a lockdown mode to mitigate vandalism or a security breach.

Utilize Real-Time Location Tracking and Virtual Site Check-In

Tracking and GPS systems allow you to monitor contractors’ locations from any device, at any time. That’s why companies are moving towards digital vendor tracking for their mobile workforce. For example, some programs allow you to create a geofence perimeter to monitor when a contractor has entered and exited a work site. The benefits go beyond security and can help streamline billing and invoicing.

Perform Ongoing Screening to Ensure Consistent Brand Protection

It’s likely that you’re performing initial background checks prior to hiring, but you shouldn’t stop there. Regular screening throughout the vendor relationship is critical for consistent management of site security. Factors can change and if you’re not continually screening your vendors and suppliers, there could be changes, such as legal trouble, that could trickle down to your work site through vandalism or theft.

Remember that first comes prevention, then comes security management. By taking steps to mitigate risk from day one of your contractor and vendor relationships, you can help reduce overall issues when it comes to site security.

We are here to be a resource for anyone working in the rails, utilities, or even venue management industries. If you have any questions about contractor and subcontractor tracking or screening, do not hesitate to reach out to here our team by clicking here. Thank you for reading!



**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Establishing Contractor Best Practices as Operations Leaders in Rails & Utilities

To manage the safety and security of unsecured environments, communicate effectively with line management, and maintain compliance to keep OSHA away, you’ll need to establish benchmarks for your worksites. In this post, we’ll help you understand why it’s critical to create goals and contractor best practices around timeliness, budget, specifications, and safety to achieve the greatest success.

We’ll discuss how the best methods for establishing these goals and then how to approach the next steps for attacking and measuring for positive long-term results. Let’s get started.

Importance of Establishing Contractor Best Practices and Benchmarks

Some of the most highly sought after companies are setting quantifiable goals and measuring those on a regular basis to achieve amazing results. It’s much too easy, and common, to create an action plan, kick it off, and then forget to stick to the plan as time goes on. In fact, out of those who set personal goals around the New Year, nearly 90% fail to follow through. It happens to the best of us. But companies that attack their goals, measure results, and change the course of action based on those results are coming out on top.

Execution Example – OKRs

Take tech giant Google, for example. The innovative company borrowed an employee grading system, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), from Intel as a simple way to create structure around managing teams. To achieve success with OKRs, you’ll start by establishing an objective, then you’ll set up key results that are quantifiable and will help you hit your objective. It’s critical that your objectives are measurable and not general. You should also break the larger goal into smaller, bite-sized goals, which are easier to comprehend and thus, easier to achieve. For instance, let’s say you want to reduce worksite errors. Instead of making that a general statement, say that you want to reduce worksite errors by 15% then come up with three ways to achieve that goal in a six or twelve-month timeframe.

When working with multiple contractors on large worksites, such as those in rails and utilities, establishing best practices and quantifiable goals will ensure that you’re meeting your OKRs, while better managing your dynamic workforce. For example, if safety is one of your OKRs, you can create specific standards around your safety goals. These must then be understood and practiced by each vendor and measured to track incidents. Based on your results, you can adjust your standards to achieve better results.

Other Benefits of Benchmark Setting

Establishing best practices can also help innovate processes. When operations managers fail to benchmark, there is no way to evaluate performance and aim for higher performance. Best practices and benchmarking are critical, but they cannot simply be measured and forgotten. While measurements can identify problems, they don’t lead to actionable solutions. A qualitative approach is also essential in the benchmarking process to understand how to mitigate issues and come up with a plan to increase success moving forward. You can also work with other teams to bounce ideas back and forth to see how they handle similar issues and work together to create innovative solutions that will benefit the entire organization.

Executing a System of Tracking Contractor Best Practices to Maintain Compliance

Establishing best practices and benchmarks for success is the first step in increasing efficiency. Now you’ll need an effective method for tracking. Thanks to the advent of technology in the vendor space, there are digital tracking platforms that can help operations managers monitor contractors and subcontractors on worksites.

These platforms use GPS and wifi to provide real-time access to worksites with widespread workforces to help monitor contractor best practices such as safety and location check-ins. This technology can even potentially serve as an in-ear expert to walk individuals through tricky situations. And, as the cost of these technologies decreases with increased adoption and use, it will make post-incident reporting to OSHA, other regulating bodies, or contracting companies like Union Pacific much easier. Plus, the data collection will give real-time access to results, which will allow your team to evolve benchmarks as needed, allowing teams to stay agiler.

We are here to be a resource for anyone working in the rails, utilities, or even venue management industries. If you have any questions about establishing contractor best practices and the methods for monitoring, do not hesitate to reach out to here our team by clicking here. Thank you for reading!


**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Modern Supplier Qualification Strategies for 2018 in Procurement

On the dawn of a new year, there are a number of trends expected to influence the way procurement teams kick off relationships with suppliers. Working with these teams day in and day out, we understand your needs in the modern age. With technology making an impact and nearly every solution turning to digital, the methods for supplier qualification are changing… Fast!

In this post, we’ve compiled a collection of some of the bigger movements regarding supplier qualification, which are expected to make an impact in 2018. For procurement leaders working in rails, utilities, and venues, these strategies can contribute to reduced risk, more reliable service level agreements (SLAs), and higher quality relationships that begin on day one.

Leverage Various Digital Reviews to See Behind the Curtain

Many consumers today don’t buy a product on Amazon without reading the reviews. User-generated feedback is a trusted mechanism for making purchasing decisions and can also be a method used to verify the quality of a supplier or vendor. Online reviews do represent the truth and are increasingly impacting the B2B space.

In fact, a Corporate Executive Board survey found B2B buyers complete 60% of the purchase process before they ever directly engage with a vendor. Some of that “pre-purchase research” will be reading online reviews, on sites like Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List.

Also, each negative review costs the average business about 30 clients. These reviews matter to suppliers and are taken seriously. Before you engage with a supplier, you can look at how they handle their online reviews. Are they responding to negative feedback and offering a solution, or just ignoring the comments?

Another great place to find insight about your prospective supplier is by checking Glassdoor for employee feedback. This direct insight into the supplier’s culture and way of operating can help your team determine if the supplier is legitimate and treats their team members with respect. Online reviews from those on the inside and outside increase transparency and can reduce issues on your end if you catch red flags before starting a relationship.

If those two are not enough for you, here are 12 other sites to check business reviews.

Consider the Future of Procurement Technology for Supplier Qualification

In a world where digitization is king, integration of data is key. Advances in technology are allowing businesses to predict and respond more effectively to incidents and inquiries. Also, with the advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), digital technologies are opening the door to new, more efficient and intelligent ways of operating, which have a direct impact on procurement.

These digital platforms use data integrations to empower procurement leaders to make smarter, faster decisions across all levels of the supply chain by increasing the efficiency of the processes leading to better spend visibility, reduced risk, and improved relationships with suppliers.

Procurement teams are already starting to fully embrace these technologies. In a study conducted by Digitalist Magazine and the University of Applied Science Würzburg/Schweinfurt, the top priorities for 2018 are embracing Big Data and predictive analytics (72%) followed by AI (including machine learning) and cognitive computing (22%).

Check out our top five trends for increasing efficiency with subcontractors through improved tracking systems.

Integrate with your Operations Team Members

New technologies and digital platforms are impacting all levels of the organization, including operations teams. When you integrate with various levels and connect digital platforms to share data inputs and outputs, you can improve rating systems for speed and quality of delivery.

For example, mobile app-driven identification for worksites will allow for real-time access-control with a centralized manager dashboard. This will help improve supplier qualification for procurement teams by monitoring all contractors with up-to-the-minute data. For instance, if a contractor has not completed training, they will no longer have access to the worksite, which can lead to reduced risk.

In turn, by implementing technologies and these supplier qualifications strategies, you can help mitigate risk and increase the quality of SLAs. Better relationships can lead to less waste, reduced costs, and eventually, bigger bonuses for you and your team.

To learn more about tracking subcontractors for rails, utilities, and venues, get in touch with us today.


**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

5 Subcontractors Worksite Safety Tips for Rails and Utilities

For operations managers, managing contractors and subcontractors worksite safety in rails and utilities is a complicated responsibility to say the least. Working alongside many people in your shoes, we understand the challenges you face, every day. With more than 140,000 miles of rail in the United States, at least 200,000 miles of high voltage lines, and 5.5 million local connection lines, you’re monitoring large masses of land with multiple vendor relationships including lots of subcontractors. Plus, add on to that, extremely high daily burn rates and hazard potential as well as the problem with real-time reporting due to widespread worksites.

If you want to get on top of you subcontractors worksite safety in the rails and utilities industries, take a look at these five tips that can lead to lower risks and increased efficiency.

Top 5 Subcontractors Worksite Safety Tips:

1) Digital Verification for Multi-Employer Safety Policy

Based on OSHA policies, jobs with various types of contractors have varying rules for each type of employer regarding the reporting of worksite incidents. According to OSHA, the Multi-Employer Policy identifies the types of employers present on a construction project site, helps to determine the scope of safety duties and responsibilities for each employer type, and defines the reasonable care they are responsible for providing to ensure the safety of their employees.

When managing large rails and utilities sites with multiple contractors and vendors, you’re acting as the controlling employer and as the operations manager, it’s important that your team effectively communicates the responsibilities of each subcontractor to ensure quick and accurate reporting, reduced downtime, and minimal safety risks.

One method for minimizing risks and ensuring that protocol is met is implementing a digital tracking system to monitor relationships with subcontractors. Through these platforms, you can verify that each new team member has read the safety documentation and have them sign off on it before entering the job site.

2) Emergency Communication Protocols

In the event of an emergency or safety hazard, it can be difficult for subcontractors to file a report if they do not have cell phone service. Given the vast amount of ground covered by rails in the U.S., communication has always been a key challenge.

Using a digital tracking platform for contractor management can help improve reporting and can get you closer to real-time incident awareness for operations managers and stakeholders thanks to improvements in technology. In time, it’s expected that system integrations will grow more seamless and cellular/wifi reach will increase to about 95% coverage, which helps in more rural areas.

If using digital systems on smartphones, it’s important that your subcontractors keep their devices fully charged and have a backup charging device so they’re able to submit reports as soon as possible if and when necessary.

3) Safety Hazard Tracking and Remedy Process

To ensure proper tracking of safety hazards in rails and utilities, there must be a standard protocol for reporting and follow-up. To increase subcontractors worksite safety, they will rely on a trusted process to make you, the controlling employer, aware of any safety hazards. According to OSHA, the best way to mitigate risks and decrease the time to finding a remedy is by following these steps:

  • Create a site-specific safety program
  • Enforce the safety policy on each project site
  • Provide regular supervision of project activity and safety
  • Fulfill budget and schedule requirements
  • Exercise authority to correct safety hazards
  • Exercise authority to require other specialty employers to correct safety hazards
  • Conduct and document frequent and regular inspections of subcontractor site-specific work
  • Conduct and document frequent and regular safety meetings with subcontractors

Standardizing the documentation process helps create a log that can be easily referred to and tracked in the case of an incident, which can help lead to quicker resolutions and reduced fines for your organization.

4) Pre-Planning for High-Risk Days of Work

The number one contributing factor for fall-related injuries is a lack of pre-planning. As the operations team for the controlling employer, it’s your responsibility to adequately communicate if there will be specific hazards at any point during the job and send reminders before, on, and during those days. Consider using an automated notification system or management system for your contingent workforce needs.

5) Digital / Online Training for Worksite Risks

Over the past few years, we’ve seen increased adoption of digitally driven onboarding, training, and certification platforms. In the rails and utility industries specifically, the deeper adoption of web-based training and certification for contractors and subcontractors will empower operations managers and allows for real-time tracking and monitoring for these vendor relationships. This can create higher efficiency on work sites and reduce the need for in-person training. As a result, no more wasted days of in-person training or excuses when it comes to contractors or subcontractors not being up to speed.

We understand the needs of operations managers working in the rails and utilities industries. If you have any questions about how to increase the safety of subcontractors on your job sites, do not hesitate to reach out to here our team by clicking here. Thank you for reading!


**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.

5 Vendor Security Best Practices in 2018 for Security Leaders

Ensuring the security of vast areas — like rails, utilities, and venues — with limited resources can be a challenge for any leader, especially when it comes to contractor or vendor security. The rise of technological advances for contractor tracking such as digital onboarding programs and mobile identifications can help manage the quality, safety, and timeliness of your project’s employees, contractors, and subcontractors.

Security breaches or unprepared vendor personnel can wreak havoc on your job site, whether you’re dealing in the areas mentioned above or hiring temporary team members for any purpose. Read on to learn the top vendor security best practices for maintaining the highest levels of safety and security when working with a contract workforce.

#1 Demand Digital Onboarding for All Vendor Personnel

Leveraging the increase in available digital assets available for the onboarding process increases job site productivity, efficiency, and vendor security. The adoption of web-based training and certification programs for contractors/subcontractors — especially in the rail, utilities, and venues industries — provides safety and security leaders with greater assurance over risk mitigation and control during the verification process.

Digital onboarding applications provide real-time tracking of training completion for all vendor personnel and up-to-date mobile ID badges or centralized access systems.

Plus, mobile-driven training adoption is on the rise because it allows companies to scale quickly without the typically high costs associated with in-person training. Digital onboarding makes it possible to administer field training verification before the contractor is allowed to begin working for your organization, which leads to less wasted time and greater security on the job site.

#2 Leveraging Digital ID for Ease and Speed of Adoption for Vendor Security

With roughly three-quarters of Americans in total and nearly 92% of those ages 18-29 owning a smartphone, it’s clear to see that the future is based on mobile-ready technologies. As a result, the way you identify vendor personnel including contractors, subcontractors, and subs of subs, will be affected by mobile technology in the near future, if it hasn’t been already. The benefits of digital identification are vast but primarily revolve around streamlining the process for ease and speed of verification.

Digital IDs also allow for:

  • Increased ease of time expiration for ID badges, allowing quick access or termination of access to the job site. For example, if the contractor hasn’t completed or failed the proper training for the job, their access can be instantly suspended or terminated.
  • Hardware technologies like NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy in smartphones grants access without handing off a physical ID badge.
  • Access issues can be mitigated in real-time with a phone call and an update to the user’s profile for authorized access to a specific location that is managed via their mobile device.
  • Double or multi-factor authentication can be used to increase security in high-risk and sensitive areas. The technology includes tools such as:

#3 Monitor Training and Certifications through Digital ID

As we’ve learned, digital onboarding and mobile identification can increase vendor security by offering up real-time data and access to the most up-to-date status of your contractors/subcontractors on your job sites. Take your job’s safety a step further by leveraging digital identification to monitor training and certification.

Digital training and certification programs are on the rise as more and more companies automate their onboarding processes through integrated technologies. While some organizations see a risk in eliminating human, in-person training, there are many benefits including increased productivity, decreased risk, and higher standardization.

By connecting your contractors/subcontractors training and certification status to their mobile identification applications, you can ensure that only vendor personnel with the most up-to-date qualifications are working on your job site.

#4 Establish and Maintain Positive Relationship With Your Vendor

Maintaining an open feedback loop with your vendor is critical for positive morale and efficiency on your job site. Vendor security is critical and keeps your company’s valuable data, intellectual property, and entire team safe. By taking the steps to ensure your vendor personnel are accountable through secure background checks and necessary training, you can maintain positive relationships that keep your work running smoothly and reduce the number of incidents on the job.

#5 Streamline Security Protocols for Sub-Contractors for Increased Vendor Security

Not only do digital identification and training programs create greater ease of vendor personnel management, it also increases security, especially when your team develops repeatable security protocols. When your vendors have access to standardized security protocols for contractors and subcontractors, you can streamline processes and ensure vendor security.

The standard protocol can be ingrained in your digital onboarding programs so all vendor personnel are receiving the same information from day one. This information can also be verified and confirmed before the contractors arrive at your job site.


Increased standardization in onboarding and identification helps you create greater vendor security in rails, utilities, and venue management. If you have any questions about contractor and subcontractor screening, training or badging, do not hesitate to reach out to our team by clicking here. We look forward to answering your questions!




**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.