Q: We are a residential remodeling company with 6 lead carpenters. We would like to hire a production manager/coordinator to manage these lead carpenters. What qualities or attributes should we look for?

A: First of all, good question and certainly there are several possible options and or combinations to your question. Your production manager/coordinator could be split into two positions and either of them could do the task of assisting your six carpenters.  

Here are three possible options:

1. Hire a Production Manager
2. Hire a Production Coordinator
3. Use a Lead Carpenter System

In trying to decide which if these three options are best for your company, write a job description for each of your options and review them with your staff. Consider these points in your decision-making process:

  • A production manager is typically needed because you do not have lead carpenters that can run their own jobs. Usually, a production manager is more costly than a lead carpenter. In addition, the production manager’s salary is placed in overhead costs, and the position is non-revenue producing.

  • If you have good lead carpenters, you might consider using a part-time coordinator to assist the lead carpenters with administrative items, which would free the leads to concentrate on producing the job.

Once you make your decision, identify how you want to proceed. Hold a company meeting and provide a written plan to staff that includes the job description.

Les Cunningham, CGC, CR, CCR, CGRa, is an international business consultant who works with hundreds of companies on an ongoing basis. He has worked as a teacher, commercial airline pilot and owner/manager of his own remodeling business. His firm, Business Networks, specializes in helping businesses become more profitable through interaction with their industry peers. Les can be reached at 800.525.1009 x 14 or through email at Les@businessnetworks.com