As a company grows, the owner often chooses to cut back on field management. One alternative to managing the field operation is the lead carpenter system. The owner should consider the following positive and negative points when evaluating this system. Owners can avoid the negatives with good training and discipline.


  • The system makes for faster decision making, direct client access, and accurate subcontractor communication.
  • The owner has more time to manage the business and sell more work.
  • Clients will be more comfortable having subs and other mechanics in their house.
  • Leads are responsible for all work so they have better control over the end product.
  • Cons

  • Leads could be drawn into a situation where they must choose between the company and the client.
  • Many business owners prefer being in total control of their projects.
  • Owners could lose money due to mistakes by a lead carpenter or field crew.
  • The owner may miss being involved in field work.
  • —Tim Faller, Field Training Services,