3 Ways We Create Strong, Reliable Relationships with Trade Partners

Subcontractors putting up the steel framing for a future food bank.

Crain Construction was built on a foundation of doing business differently. For four generations, we’ve put relationships first. That value spans every area of our business — from employees to clients. Our relationship with trade partners is a core pillar that supports the reputation we’ve built, the projects we’ve constructed, and the trust we’ve developed with clients over the years. 

It goes without saying that the relationship between contractors and trade partners is vital for complex design-build projects. Reputations are inherently connected. As a general contractor, we realize the importance of not only hiring the best trade partners, but cultivating a relationship with them that benefits everyone — the client, our team, and the subs. In every interaction we have with our trade partners, we try to find a win-win-win scenario.


3 Ways We Create Strong, Reliable Relationships with Trade Partners

Here are three specific ways our team focuses on creating strong, reliable relationships with our trade partners: 

1. We consider their perspective & expertise.

Communication and team dedication are two core values that inform the projects we manage. This means putting ourselves in the shoes of the people we work alongside — including our trade partners. We believe it’s our responsibility to create a mutually beneficial relationship with trade partners. This means we take time to listen to them and apply their experience and perspective to maximize the success of a project.  

Project Example: Aerston Midtown Aertson’s highly complicated structural concrete component required leaning on the expertise of our concrete trade partner, Charter Construction Inc., to develop a plan for setting nearly 30,000 cubic yards of concrete in a highly congested area. During the pre-construction process, their team provided valuable insights to overcome the unique challenges of the project.

2. We proactively communicate and collaborate with them.

There are hundreds of logistics to consider for every project. And there are always challenges that arise along the way. Proactive communication and collaboration are key to our approach throughout a construction project. Whether it’s supply chain issues or project delays, we work to communicate and collaborate with trade partners down the chain to keep them informed on issues that might impact their work. When communication is consistent and clear, everyone on a project benefits. 

Project Example: Hilton AlpharettaWork on this project began in 2019. When the COVID-19 pandemic halted construction projects across the country, our team worked to find creative solutions to collaborate with stakeholders. Our team met virtually with 15 trade partner companies four to five times a week to keep everyone informed and working off the same page during the pandemic.

3. We optimize their work through proper planning and job site management.

We are passionate about our role of managing the job site and work to support our trade partners by doing everything we can to help their work run smoothly. This includes building a solid foundation for projects through pre-construction and ensuring each job site is as safe and secure as possible. Whether it’s defining an accurate scope of work, identifying potential delays, or navigating change orders, we believe it’s our responsibility to own.

Project Example: Hilton FranklinDesign delays could have taken months to complete the project. Our team helped coordinate efforts between designers and trade partners to expedite the shop drawing review process and allow materials to get to production quickly. This not only avoided delays, but this value engineering also helped the owner save hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Trade Partner Relationships We’ve Built Over the Years 

After investing in the Nashville construction landscape for decades, we’ve been able to work and build solid, long-term relationships with various trade partners in the industry. Here is a list of more than 20 different partners Crain has worked with for twenty years or more, and still works with today.


Exterior Trade Partners

Interior Trade Partners

Painting Trade Partners

Heating, Cooling, Electrical Trade Partners

Outdoor/Landscaping/Paving Trade Partners


Experience & Relationships that Work

At Crain, we don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but we want to know who that is. We can’t do all the work ourselves — which is why we must rely on trade partners’ help, knowledge, and expertise. The more we work together, the more our clients and their projects benefit. To learn more about what makes our approach unique and how we can support your next project, contact our team today.

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