CQN Advantage: Contractor management software avoids the negative qualities of third party verification services

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Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature

Automated contractor and supplier prequalification management systems have recently become controversial flash points in Canada’s contracting community, especially where owners rely on third party verification systems (which also charge fees to contractor and subtrade participants) for safety and compliance confirmations.

However, how would the story change if there is a contractor qualification management system that avoids the negative issues, yet provides administrative and management efficiencies? The Contractor Qualification Network (CQN) Advantage “is a less expensive, more practical approach” to meeting purchasers’ needs in an environment where “contractor assessment is a multistage process that requires increasingly more due diligence the closer to ultimate contractor selection the process gets,” says CQN president Patrick Robinson. “Systems that force all of the work into the prequalification stage are doing it inefficiently and too expensively.”

It is ideal for contractors working within the Certificate of Recognition (COR) safety compliance system – which has become increasingly important as owners such as the City of Toronto require it for an increasing number of projects.

CQN AdvantageTM allows owners and general contractors to customize the prequalification questions to suit their requirements. There isn’t a one size fits all model; questions for a subcontractor that may be required to visit a job site only occasionally can be different from a key, continuously present contractor.

“The product design is based on the needs of the purchaser and their subcontractor groupings,” Robinson said. “There are no subcontractor fees and we, as a third party, don’t administer the approval process. This saves administrative time and costs, avoids forcing redundant requirements on the contractors, and “contractor assessment remains in the domain of the general contractor, as it always was prior to (third party) registries entering the marketplace.”

Robinson provided some examples of how the CQN Advantage system meets “specific client needs with flexible product design and fit for purpose business solutions.”

A large petroleum services contractor wanted automation to deploy custom subcontractor questionnaires meeting the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Contractor HSE Contract Requirements Guide (that is, a questionnaire that had no duplication of any item covered off by the COR process.) This capability was at the top of the purchasing decision making criteria for this general contractor.

A small communication design and engineering company that also provides project and construction management services had a business requirement to provide its client with proof of a viable prequalification process that would, in turn, allow it to provide construction management services. “CQN Advantage provided them a transparent, turnkey contractor management solution,” Robinson said.

A large power distributor required an industry specific questionnaire for aircraft (fixed and rotary wing) services contractors. “They worked with their contractors to build out a custom, fit for purpose questionnaire and document submittal that contained germane industry specific criteria,” he said.

“CNQ Advantage reflects an effective evolution of third party contractor management systems from high cost, registry controlled questionnaires and approval systems, to more flexible and economical user self-serve approaches,” Robinson said. “We’ve achieved the advantages these online services provide, without much of the cost, limitations and irritation.”

For more information about CQN Advantage, visit www.cqnadvantage.com or email info@cqnadvantage.com.

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