By The Western PA Healthcare News Team – February 20, 2021
Matchmaking and February go hand in hand. Jill McKibbin, President of McKibbin Consulting, is known as the matchmaker and connector in helping small businesses grow through matching companies with introductions through her vast network of connections. COVID has created challenges to develop connections for all business types. As businesses have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, they have reached to McKibbin for advice and connections to new markets. National and international companies wanting to expand their footprint into the region are contacting McKibbin regarding introductions and guidance.
With a strong construction vertical, McKibbin has had people from all over the country reach out for assistance in developing connections within the Pittsburgh region and beyond. What does that mean for those that are involved with McKibbin Consulting? Jobs, new contracts, and opportunities for business growth.
Spending her career in business development before opening her own business, McKibbin Consulting was launched in 2010. Through her monthly networking group meetings, Commercial Industrial Trades Services (CIST), she has helped connect engineers, architects, property managers, land developers, real estate attorneys, bankers, and contractors to one another to build strong teams of business owners. McKibbin Consulting is a central point of contact that brings together teams of companies to create and deliver commercial industrial trade services.
Minority contractors have benefited from guidance to become certified as a minority contractor – women-owned, veteran, disadvantaged business owner. Why is this important? These certifications enable smaller businesses to become part of larger contracts particularly when federal monies are involved. Additionally, there is an opportunity with corporations that require diversity in their vendor relationships. Without these certifications, smaller companies may not have these chances to grow.
Jill’s desire to help others enables her to excel in developing businesses. As a consultant, she sees the strengths in a company and develops an understanding of how to build upon them. Having the heart to help people she finds something that connects everyone together. She then becomes the connector or the matchmaker to introduce that business to potential leads within her network.
Because of her success in the construction industry, other types of businesses are now reaching out for evaluation of their business and new ideas on how to pivot particularly as it relates to a different way of doing business because of COVID. The landscape in the business and construction community is changing. Companies are shifting employees to work from home, commercial space is being reconfigured and new businesses are entering the market.
To learn how McKibbin Consulting can make the right connections to grow your business, visit www.mckibbinconsulting.com or email [email protected].
The weather is breaking, and construction season is gearing up. As a general contractor, you’ve just landed that big project and now it’s time to get down to work. You may be good at the construction process, but there are some specialty contractors that are necessary to get the job done. So what are some things to consider when choosing a subcontractor for your project?
Does a Subcontractor Perform Better Than Your Own Crews?
You know yourself, the more you perform a certain task, the better you are at it. For example, your crew may perform masonry once in a while, but the job you just landed calls for extensive and intricate masonry work. Understanding the scope and project requirements is vital before you can determine the need for a subcontractor. A subcontractor is needed when the work falls outside of your expertise area or when your resources are already assigned to a different project, limiting the capabilities to execute the work using internal resources. If the work involves federal monies, you may also be looking for minority subcontractors. Here are some things to consider.
Project Size Matters
It is important to understand this component prior to execution in order to get the proper bonding and insurance coverage for you and your subcontractor.
Subcontractor Qualifying Indicators
Now that you have decided to bring on a subcontractor to supplement your workforce, you need to evaluate the following areas:
- Project Plan and Schedule
- Past Performances with regard to Comparable Projects
- Letter of Recommendation or References
- Project Cost and Payment Terms
When putting out the RFP, these factors should be considered. A subcontractor must be able to provide this information as an answer to your RFP.
One of the most important factors when qualifying subcontractors is their safety performance. Be sure to review the EMR rates, OSHA recordable, time loss due to accidents/incidents. If this is a new subcontractor, ask for their safety plan and program and be sure to review it so that it aligns with your safety expectations.
A financially solid subcontractor may be determined by their bonding capabilities and letters from financial institutions that will express their financial stability. Request and review the required licenses and insurance.
As part of an RFP request to be considered for a project, a subcontractor should provide basic information along with resumes highlighting the relevant experience, senior leadership, and personnel who will be in charge of the project. This will help to ensure enough resources are available for your project.
As a subcontractor, there are often specialty tools and equipment that are required for the job. The subcontractor must bring said equipment to the job site. Be clear to specify that in your RFP. Depending on the type of subcontractor requested, transportation permits and costs are subcontractor’s items, so they should be taking care of those items.
A detailed plan of action should be requested to include a narrative on how they will manage the project and how they handle unforeseen conditions.
Past and Current Projects
With the rapid pace of construction in Pittsburgh’s economy, if your company is wanting to stay abreast of the growth in the region, it’s important to have a grasp on a subcontractor’s project experience. In an interview process, you may want to ask about concurrent projects and how those projects could affect the resources devoted to your project. A review of similar projects must describe scope, schedule, budget, man-hours worked and any special consideration that was part of the project.
Don’t fall short at this step. It is your responsibility to call and verify references provided before awarding the subcontractor a construction contract. Using the listed names and projects included in the RFP, call or ask specific details about the subcontractor performance on a particular project.
The lowest price is not always the best option. There are other factors to consider. Ask for details on payment terms and avoid using subcontractors asking for large amounts of down payment, that might be a red flag. Discount terms and payment terms must be discussed and agreed especially final payment and release of waivers.
When federal monies are involved, often larger companies are looking to partner for specialty contracts with minority companies. This partnership allows for smaller companies to grow and larger companies to compete for work with a diverse group of contractors.
McKibbin consulting has relationships with a number of specialty and minority-owned contractors, as well as property managers and developers. Within her network, Jill offers opportunity for general contractors to partner with minority subcontractors allowing both to benefit. To learn more contact Jill at 412-498-3572 or email [email protected].
There are a number of certifications in business and often 2nd or 3rd tier awards as well as federal monies that are awarded to contractors with these certifications. You can get a jump start on your organization’s long-term contract growth by considering these minority business enterprise certifications.
Minority Business Enterprise – National Minority Supplier Development Council
The NMSDC connects certified, minority-owned suppliers with thousands of corporate members, providing access to influential private-sector buyers. Additional MBE benefits include eligibility for NMSDC development programs and invitations to networking events.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise – U.S. Department of Transportation
USDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program offers small businesses owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to compete for federally funded highway, transit and airport contracts.
8(a) Business Development – U.S. Small Business Administration
With a goal of awarding at least five percent of annual contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses, the federal government established the 8(a) Business Development program. Participating companies can compete for set-aside contracts, form joint ventures with other firms and receive assistance navigating federal guidelines.
Women’s Business Enterprise – Women’s Business Enterprise National Council
The WBENC facilitates partnerships between certified Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) and corporate partners, allowing access to suppliers and procurement executives at thousands of organizations and government entities. WBEs are eligible for federal contracts, access to mentoring and capacity development, and use of WBENC marketing and promotional materials.
Veteran-Owned Small Business – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
The Veterans Affairs Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization counsels, assists and protects the interests of veteran-owned enterprises. The office’s Vets First Verification Program affords veteran and service-disabled veteran-controlled firms the opportunity to apply for earmarked and sole source contracts.
HUBZone – U.S. Small Business Administration
The Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program offers federal contracting preferences to companies operating in areas with proven economic needs, including rural counties, Indian lands and disaster areas. There is a map of qualified HUBZones to determine if your business is eligible for the certification.
To learn more about certifications and how you can leverage minority certifications to grow your revenue, contact Jill Mckibbin at 412-498-3572 or email [email protected]
Jill knows just about everyone in our region that is in the A/E/C industry. She truly enjoys making connections happen for people to do business together.
I’ve been working with McKibbin Consulting for a few years now. Whatever Jill tells you that she’ll get done for you and your company….you can strike it off your list….it will get done. Jill hustles for her clients.
Jill is the go to person for linking people and business together. If you have never worked with her it is just amazing how she never stops thinking of how to network and partner people together. She’s a person you want on your side helping you day in and day out. Although she seems to work nonstop she’s a very approachable down to earth people person as well. I would recommend her to anyone looking to expand your networking capabilities.
Front Studio Architects has been working with Jill McKibbin – McKibbin Consulting for six months and we are very pleased with her efforts on our behalf. Jill is familiar with “how business is done” in the A/E/C world and is always available to assist or supply a creative solution to a problem. In addition, she is so high energy and positive, that it’s enjoyable to be in her company.
Jill McKibbin has a rare talent for networking. Her energy and social ability allow her to make connections and put people together in win-win situations that others could easily overlook. I enjoy watching her get a charge out of putting people and firms together. Plus she has the tenacity to follow up and make sure that the connection was made. We should all be as enthused doing what we love to do.
Jill McKibbin is a very well connected, polished and confident resource in the real estate industry. She prides herself on offering top notch services to all of her clients and friends. She has a command of the real estate business and the players. I highly recommend that you avail yourself of her service.
Jill’s incredible energy and enthusiasm have made her the “queen of Pittsburgh networking”. If you want to make connections, she’s the one to talk to!
Jill maintains a high level of professionalism through her dedication and determination. Her knowledge and experience in the architecture, engineering and construction industry provides a positive advantage to her customers and clientele.
“CIST is the best organization I’ve been associated with in my forty years of business development. If you need an introduction or a meeting arranged, Jill McKibbin, CIST President, is more than willing to assist. She is the ultimate leader in our business!”
Jill is fearless! She has the unique ability to get a connection to anyone. Jill is a great matchmaker, putting together professionals in the building profession with clients with projects. She is personable, dedicated and loyal.