Bob Weickgenannt's goal for Starcom Design Build is to grow 20% each year. To achieve this for his Columbia, Md., company, he reviews positions and changes job descriptions as needed. “You're always adjusting,” he says. “It's a constant source of renewal. Job descriptions change and you have to hand off things to new positions.”

Bob Weickgenannt updates positions at his firm for optimal efficiency.
Henry Orpin Bob Weickgenannt updates positions at his firm for optimal efficiency.

Several years ago, Weickgenannt added a full-time scheduler to his staff to reduce the workload of his production manager, who was busy managing three inexperienced project managers. The scheduler attended product meetings and updated the schedules for homeowners, subcontractors, and suppliers. The position was filled by an existing administrative person who had the required skills.

Last year, the scheduler expanded his skill set to become a project manager. Since Starcom Design Build's project managers were now experienced and no longer needed a scheduler, Weickgenannt phased out that position. When one project manager quit, Weickgenannt found that, due to new efficiencies at the company, the one production manager and two project managers could produce the $4 million volume the company needed.

However, Weickgenannt does need an estimator to support his production team and three designers/salespeople. He wants to hire a person to order materials, manage warranty work, estimate jobs, and schedule bid parties for subcontractors to review projects. “Having accurate bids from tradespeople creates better budget versus actual totals, thereby reducing slippage,” Weickgenannt says. Once he hires the estimator, and depending on growth, he will consider shifting some scheduling responsibilities from the production manager to the estimator.