Unless the company is small enough to warrant it, owners and other highly compensated remodeling staff shouldn't habitually pick up supplies at the lumberyard or take vehicles to be serviced. At Prestige Custom Builders, in Seattle, these and other pesky but necessary functions are handled by the “logistics coordinator.”
President Jeff Santerre says he created the position in a middle-of-the-night epiphany several years ago, when Prestige's revenues were in the $4 million to $5 million range. “I was still running around being gopher, and that didn't make sense,” he says. Nor did it make sense for lead carpenters to run errands, especially when clients were being billed on a time-and-materials basis. “Customers see real value in guys being on the job,” Santerre says.
The logistics coordinator symbolizes working smart, instead of working hard. For instance, the position orders and coordinates the delivery of materials and equipment, using lists that lead carpenters fax or e-mail to him each week. Given a few days' notice, suppliers are generally delighted to deliver, Santerre says. “Even with a $25 or $50 delivery fee, it makes a lot more sense than dealing with Seattle's horrible traffic.”
Other duties include maintaining company vehicles and physical facilities, and managing jobsite recycling and debris. This supports what Santerre calls “jobsite dressing.” On the logistics coordinator's regular site visits, he notes its general appearance and orchestrates tidying-up when necessary. “He's my eyes and ears out there,” Santerre says. “I consider every one of our jobsites a showroom.”