What’s the Difference Between a Production Manager and a Production Supervisor?
As a remodeling contractor seeks to grow his or her business past a million dollars it’s important to bring someone on to help with getting the work done. Without doing so the business owner can quickly become overwhelmed wearing too many hats. At this stage in business it’s important to decide whether you want to hire a Production Supervisor or a Production Manager. Before making the decision be clear on the difference between the two and how you should decide.
What is a Production Supervisor?
A Production Supervisor supervises the work to be completed as well as the employees and other workers doing the work. The key word here is supervises.
With a Production Supervisor on-staff employees performing the work typically have little authority to make decisions about how the work will be done, who will do what, and in what sequence the work should be performed. All of those decisions are typically left up to the Production Supervisor.
When subcontractors become involved in the work they too will be supervised by the Production Supervisor. They will be required to contact the supervisor for project information, onsite decisions and to discuss solutions when challenges and or discrepancies occur at the jobsite.
If the home owner has questions, wants to make changes, and or is upset about something they too would typically be referred to the Production Supervisor.
This method of production management works well if your business relies heavily on subcontractors and or only hires carpenters with little or no project management experience. You might want to think of the production supervisor as sort of a baby sitter of both the job as well as the workforce used to complete the work. If you decide on using a production supervisor be sure to hire employees who are OK with being supervised all the time and are not interested in career advancement.
What is a Production Manager?
Unlike a Production Supervisor a Production Manager manages the work and the workers involved in completing projects. The key word here is manages.
With a Production Manager on-staff employees working on the job should have the skills and or be trained to independently follow written work orders. They should also have the skills to make on-the-job decisions about how the work will be done, what equipment is needed, when to order materials to maintain efficiency and what to do when common challenges and discrepancies occur. To facilitate this ability many remodeling companies hire or create real lead carpenters.
When subcontractors become involved in the work they are typically managed by the on-site project foreman or the Lead Carpenter. Onsite decisions and discussion about challenges or discrepancies with their contracted work descriptions are commonly solved right at the job site. This can be very cost effective because the Lead Carpenter or foreman is already at the jobsite, saving hours of commuting time and other related costs for the Production Manager.
If the home owner has questions, wants to make changes, and or is upset about something, again those things are typically handled right at the jobsite. The Lead Carpenter can reach out to the Production Manager for things outside of his expertise or authority.
This method of production management only works well if your business hires and or trains field staff to take on project management responsibilities. You might want to think of the Production Manager as the Production Mentor. In addition to organizing project schedules and securing the right resources so site employees can be successful, the production manager is also typically responsible to mentor the company’s field staff so he or she isn’t required to supervise at the job site. If you decide on using a Production Manager be sure to hire employees who have the cognitive ability and desire to learn project management skills.