CIS Leads for Subcontractors

By Bari Faye Siegel

(This article was originally published in July/August 2011 in the New York Subcontractors Trade Association’s Subcontractors News magazine.)

In this market, getting jobs isn’t easy. Competition is fierce. There’s usually some  other company standing by, ready to swoop in and offer a low bid.

As a subcontractor working in the nation’s busiest tri-state area, you have to get up earlier than the earliest worm to nail the best jobs. You need connections. You need information. And you need resources. Without those three tools in your belt, you have very little chance of gaining a strategic edge over the competition.

CIS Leads, the only local project lead service, is designed to help subcontractors find work as soon as the projects are posted. Subscribers to CIS Leads are able to make connections and be proactive in their marketing efforts. Find out all the details of posted jobs, track the contractors who are bidding and find out how your company can win a piece of the work.

Dominic Pillari is chief project manager at Cruz Contractors LLC in Holmdel, N.J., a utility contractor specializing in micro-tunneling. Prior to learning about CIS-Leads, Pillari was using Dodge Reports and “paying a lot of money for it,” he said.

Everyday, after reading about the newly posted jobs, Pillari decides which job owner or municipalities to follow up with before bidding. “The service enables me, within 20 minutes, to search all the all the jobs that are out for bid in the NY-NJ area.”

Cruz Contractors can even go after parts of a “monster job,” Pillari explained, because he can directly contact the contractor bidding on the job to get involved as a sub.

When Don Colabella founded CIS 20 years ago, it was the premiere project lead service in the industry. It still is. “When I was an engineer, I relied on the newspapers for information. I realized I wasn’t finding out about jobs until it was too late and thought that there has to be a better way.”

CIS offers another product in addition to its popular CIS-Leads service. C-Source is an online directory that allows users to access details and descriptions on over 18,000 subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment dealers and other professional services.

Think of it from the Prime’s point of view: Sifting through lists of subcontractors in an effort to narrow down the field of possible go-to firms can be a labor intensive, time consuming task. What if it was easy to find the exact subcontractor they need for a job?

What if that subcontractor was YOU?

“Of course, if prime contractors have the time and energy, they can obtain a list of the applicable unions in the region, get their list of subcontractors, and start making phone calls,” said CIS President Chris Colabella. “If they are lucky, some of the options may have websites and/or email addresses listed; this could cut down on the cold calling.

“However, there is a better way. C-Source is free, easy and takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding the best subcontractors out there to meet project needs. As a subcontractor working in the NY Metro Area, you need to be listed on C-Source – no question about it.”

Just ask Digby Ferrara of Top One Maintenance in Staten Island. Top One was getting most of its work through word of mouth until Ferrara found out about CIS. CIS-Leads give Ferrara’s company an advantage when it comes to getting first in line with Prime Contractors on NYC Parks jobs. His free listing and paid advertisement on C-Source has been worth every penny, as well.

Ferrara checks out CIS-Leads every day and looks at the updated bidders’ listings. “If I see there is a contractor who has picked up plans, I can call them and find out if they are truly bidding it and ask if I can shoot them a number.”

Unless you have CIS you are feeling around in the dark, said Top One Maintenance’s Ferrara. “This is a numbers game and you are not going to get every job. So you have to talk to people to build your business. If you don’t have access to CIS, you are missing out.”

Find out more about CIS Leads and C-Source, the most robust online directory for the construction industry, at Or call 973-492-0509 for a more information or a free demonstration on how the products can work for your company.


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