Remember who you are working for

This is an overlooked but important administrative that has to be emphasized whenever you sub-contract to another licensed company.  If you have the contractusla agreement with the client but are subbing the detail to another licensed company in the jurisdiction that the detail will be in, you cannot forget to advise the company owner and his/her specialists in the ground that they are representing you [the Prime] on the detail.  Example:  BPI has a longstanding agreement with Fortune 1 Company ABC who will be traveling to Seattle, Washington.  Company ABC wants to keep costs down on the trip and wants BPI to use local assets to alleviate, flights, lodging and other travel related costs.  I tell Company ABC that I will make it happen and then I get on the phone and call Reno Raines of Security Risks Group [whom I already have a sub-contractor agreement with] to staff the detail.

After Reno tells me that he will take the detail, I send him all of the pertinent information to properly prepare.  Because me and Reno have worked several details in this manner before he already knows that he has to tell his specialists that they are representing BPI on this detail and NOT Security Risks Group if they are ever asked.  They are not to pass out any literature, business cards or otherwise that represent, SRG or any other company during the detail.  Eventhough ALL of my contracts with clients include the clause that BPI will, in some cases use sub-contractors, the client will require the same level of service that they are accustomed to.  I don’t assume that handing out another company card is an intent to solicit business, however reminding everyone who they represents keeps the agreements with all parties clean.

I have moved away more and more from the non-compete agreements to a no solicitation perspective.  Non competes have been challenged in many states and found that many of them are too restrictive in time and space.  I have seen non-competes that are valid for a year that even include a distance section in them.  Personally I agree with the time factor that after a certain time when the agreement between the 2 parties are severed that the individual or company cannot work directly for a client that you have placed them under as an employee or company.  This is a protective measure for you and your company when you place assets in front of your valued clients.  Many companies out there have lost valuable clients because of this measure not being in place.

Remember, you represent the Prime and not yourself.  If you are the sub-contractor company you have to remember to tell your people they are representing the Prime and not your company.


  1. Rich Roth

    I think this is an issue that is very complex, and I think BPI has stated it well, and the solution provided is workable.

    When very active in the business, I actually carried cards of a number of my prime contractors. Vance, Interpass, MVM, & Parvis among others. When CTI grew and started taking on more prime work, we found it best, that we supplied business cards to all sub’s that had a line for writing for your own name, and cell number if needed.

    CTI had a special detail pin that we provided, that told all on the detail who was an actual CTI employee, and who was a sub. But still allowed for a tight team to be in appearance to the client.

    I actually had an employee, that basically took over a client from a prime, his answer to me when confronted is that the service was so different, from our sub business, and that the client had specifically requested CTI. Still I lost the prime for all new business, and the employee had what I thought as similar judgement issues, and left CTI.

    So as BPI stated, non compete clauses are good, but rarely enforceable, and build client distrust when invoked, so a good business relationship is the better way to deal with the issue. If not working do not use them again, I know it hurt CTI when we stepped out of line.

    With that said, some State laws require Primes to submit the names of sub’s to their clients in writing and signed off on by the client. So the business relationship is even more key at that point.

    I will say to better support the client, I have handed off clients to sub’s and see that I will do it more and more, since most of my clients recognize I have their interests in mind. But I have become more of a broker for details than a body provider now days.

    But, I recognize when a sub is using the State law to move in on a client, and as always just do not use that sub again. With the prime thought of giving my client the best service. People that are unethical, normally are not the best for my clients in the long run.

    Hope this rambling helped, it is a difficult and complex issue, and needs to be talked about.


    1. Eric Konohia

      Thanks for your input. I was remiss in saying that I too hand out BPI business cards for subs to distribute upon “request” which further enforces the solicitation issue

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