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Performance Evaluation: A neglected part of contractor management

Portrait of a group of panel judges holding score signs

“You can’t improve what you’re not measuring.”

This famous management quote aptly summarizes the principle underlying continuous improvement, a concept I’ve been passionate about for over a decade. It’s applicable in both our personal and our professional life; for example, if we try a new recipe and there’s no record of the exact amount of each ingredient, how can we make it more or less spicy the next time? Measuring our actions is the key to knowing where to invest our energy to obtain better outcomes.

The same applies in a company. It’s important to know, for example, how much time it usually takes to perform a task in order to effectively plan operations. Having data on how things normally work makes it easier to detect discrepancies and determine a corrective action plan. This is especially true in contractor management.


Contact us to know how the performance evaluation can be added to your contractor management process in Cognibox.

Why Evaluate Contractors

Theory and practice are two very different things, particularly when choosing a contractor. A contractor may have all the valid insurance certificates and qualifications needed for the job, but none of that indicates that the person’s attitude and performance will be first-rate on Day 1.

Evaluating your suppliers allows you to make informed choices based on solid data. It eliminates the potentially harmful effect of sometimes misleading impressions, and allows you to avoid having to work again with a contractor who failed to meet the requirements of the previous contract.

Post-work contractor evaluations are therefore very useful for comparing what was expected against what really happened!


5 Reasons for Evaluating your Contractors’ Performance

  1. Compare different contractors to determine which one to hire
  2. Learn about and understand the frequency and reasons for bid-invoice discrepancies
  3. Keep a record of each contractor’s achievements and areas to improve-this could be useful during future contract negotiations
  4. Track a contractor’s progress (or regression) from one project to another
  5. Comply with an ISO 9001 requirement: “The organization shall evaluate and select suppliers based on their ability to supply product in accordance with the organization’s requirements. Criteria for selection, evaluation and re-evaluation shall be established. Records of the results of evaluations … shall be maintained.”

When Evaluations are Half Done

group-panel-judges-holding-score-signs-insideAs most companies, you probably keep a short, informal record of your contractor’s work (perhaps mentally or in a notebook) to remind yourself that the person did a bang-up job respecting costs and deadlines, or that you should never call that contractor again because the work was totally botched.

Many companies evaluate their contractors. However, where it gets tricky is when those evaluations need to be used. Do you keep a record of your reports? Are you able to know which contractor really complied with the requirements you set out when you assigned the contract? Do you assess your contractors’ work objectively?

When we broach the subject with our clients, the answer we most frequently hear is that they don’t have specific data on a contractor’s work. All the information is tucked away in the foreman’s head. Or, if a form was filled out, it was often filed somewhere in an office cabinet or put in a briefcase on the floor and, in both cases, pretty much forgotten.

As a result, when it’s time to talk with a contractor about performance or to negotiate a second contract, those evaluations are too often neglected because they are incomplete, improperly filed or simply don’t exist.

6 Easy Steps to Ensure Effective Evaluations

  • Have a single questionnaire
  • Leave no room for ambiguous answers
  • Complete the evaluation as soon as the job is done
  • Ensure that the evaluations are linked to the contractor’s profile
  • File the evaluations consistently
  • Inform the whole group of the new procedure

Making Contractor Evaluations a Regular Business Practice

Introducing a contractor performance evaluation system definitely takes time and diligence. Luckily, there are easy, effective solutions for integrating this type of process that, in the end, will save you many headaches.

Cognibox's users have access to an exclusive contractor evaluation module. A comprehensive questionnaire available on the platform is designed to their specifications and in line with their evaluation criteria. It instantly records the information entered, calculates a score and synchronizes the results with the contractor’s profile in real time..

Cognibox lets you easily and fairly evaluate your contractors’ performance, using concrete criteria based on your company’s reality..

Once the evaluation questionnaire has been completed, the score gives you an overall picture of the situation and a true measurement of the contractor’s performance in the areas that are important to you.

Evaluating your contractors with Cognibox lets you provide them with constructive, objective feedback so that they can improve their performance and, as a result, offer you superior service.


“Where there is no standard, there can be no improvement. For these reasons, standards are the basis for both maintenance and improvement.” – Masaaki Imai


Contact us to know how the performance evaluation can be added to your contractor management process in Cognibox.

Case study : Contractors Performance Evaluation    Discover the 8 positive impacts of automating the contractor evaluation  process for a Canadian mining company   Download the document  

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