The Trade Contractor

Why 2019 is the Year of the Trade Contractor

While the inception of eSUB is based on my 25 years of experience as a consultant protecting and defending the trade contractor, eSUB Construction Software proudly celebrated its 10th birthday this year. While every year at eSUB is something to be proud of, this year was truly remarkable for our team with the launch of eSUB Time and receiving an investment from the Forge Fund.


An important thing to note is that in 2018 there has been a dynamic shift in the market signaling that NOW is the time for trade contractors to be the driving force in construction. Because eSUB is solely focused on the needs and workflows of trade contractors, the investment from Autodesk was a significant validation of the role of trade contractors in the project life-cycle and the need to ensure they have the proper tools they need to manage their projects. Additionally, this year I spent a considerable amount of time attending conferences and industry meetings. Many of the conversations that I have been a part of—from discussions with owners, engineers, general contractors and trade contractors—have re-iterated this simple fact that has been sadly overlooked for many years: Trade Contractors Matter!


trade contractor

Trade Contractors are the constructibility experts

As project requirements become more complex and labor productivity continues to decline, skilled trades are the key to improving project delivery. The skilled trades are the actual builders of construction projects. Because of their vast experience, the skilled trades are the constructibility experts. When design error serves as the root cause for 40%-60% of rework, and the frequency and cost of changes can be substantially lowered with input from the trades during the design process, why are the trades constantly being forgotten? Getting the skilled trades involved earlier in the design process leads to more constructible designs, fewer changes during construction, lower project costs, and improved labor productivity.


The move towards more constructible designs with the trades slowly transitions the industry toward a Design for Manufacture and Assembly model (DfMA). With DfMA and the ability to leverage prefabricated assemblies to build offsite, we can effectively address the skilled labor shortage and declining labor productivity plaguing our industry. The key to DfMA and the industrialization of construction is integrating the delivery of labor from the skilled trades into design and preconstruction.


trade contractor

Convergence of Forces Driving Integrated Labor Delivery

The skilled trades are the key to move the industry forward, which is why we’ve launched the Consortium for Integrated Labor Delivery (ILD). Its purpose is to link all key stakeholders into a conversation focused on changing the industry for the better under the guiding principle that labor starts at design and pre-construction and design. Through ILD, trade contractors work closely with the owners and designers to understand the design intent and collaborate on the best way to achieve it—not just for construction but to optimize a building’s entire life-cycle.


Throughout my career, I’ve been the champion for trade contractors to ensure they get paid and fighting for their seat at the table. That continues to be our core at eSUB, which was the impetus for the Consortium for Integrated Labor Delivery. Cheers to a great 2018 and looking forward to another incredible year working with trade contractors to be the influencers of change and advocate for a leaner way of designing and delivering construction projects.