Many companies choose to follow the outsourcing route, dealing with an array of contractors on a daily basis. The main reasons for using contractors usually vary between the need for specialised expertise or supplementing a undersized work force due to budget constraints.
Although the use of contractors has various advantages, there can be multiple disadvantages that can lead to disruptive and expensive operations.
The key to a successful client and contractor relationship is dictated by a suitable Service Level Agreement that guides:
- how well contractors are managed and how well they perform compared to the contract agreement
- how well contractors are managed to stay within their quoted prices
- how well contractors are managed to avoid any safety accidents or incidents.
As a leading physical asset management company, Pragma deals with many contractors on behalf of clients. As the custodian of these contracts we follow a rigorous process of selecting contractors to ensure that they meet the world-class standards and HSSE requirements we expect.
We have set up a range of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with contractors to ensure that their work is done in the correct space of time at the right cost. Our EAM system, On Key, helps with the management of these SLAs as notifications are sent via email and SMS to notify relevant parties about the progress of work or when the SLAs are bridged.
We also offer Permit to Work courses to ensure that a contractor working in specific conditions and with equipment that requires HSSE best practice, does so correctly.
Says Edna Jackson, Operations Manager (Execution) at Pragma: “We have also gone one step further with our contractor management where we ensure that our contractors are informed about and involved with our asset management goals for our clients’ assets.
“Some of our contractors deliver critical services, which means that we have a very important and intense partnership with them. They mostly deal with critical equipment, which, if not managed correctly, could lead to unplanned stops. We therefore regularly have performance meetings with these contractors. Their performance is also measured on a monthly basis and we see where we can improve on their performance as well as that of the equipment.”
Pragma also deals with contractors whose services are not as critical. Says Jackson: “We meet with these contractors three times per year to discuss their performance as well as where improvements can be made.”
Jackson concludes: “As a company, we like building partnerships and helping smaller contractors grow. As long as our contractors meet the performance criteria, we’ll have a long-term partnership with them.”