Teammate or Waterboy?

Teammate or Waterboy?

May 15, 2012

Forgive the hyperbole, but I wonder if some equipment managers feel as under-utilized as a waterboy. Here they are, responsible for numerous machines worth millions of dollars, and the organization does not consult them on budgetary matters.

I wonder if it’s ignorance on the part of upper management or owners, or if they really believe that an equipment manager doesn’t have the financial acumen to contribute to these sorts of discussions.

It had better be ignorance, because if it’s the latter I worry about the leadership of the organization. I have talked finances with asset managers, and those discussions often outmatch my understanding. These managers have forgotten more about return on investment, the cost of money, and residual values than I will ever learn. Some of them talk like bankers.

Pity the owner or CFO who walks into his place of business each day and thinks the person sitting in the equipment manager’s office off the shop is just another mechanic with a lot of experience.

Then consider the organization that includes the equipment manager when discussing bidding procedures, cost of capital, and profitability. That business has placed the manager on the team, not on the bench, and it is benefitting from the wisdom he brings to financial discussions.

Which company will be the more financially aware? Which company will field the more accurate bids and operating ratios?

If you’re on the team, tell others how to make that move. How can we promote this profession to a point where the equipment asset manager is part of the corporate-level management team? How can we educate organizational leaders that their future can be better informed by adding another chair at the boardroom table?

Email me with your ideas and thoughts, or post a comment below.