Equipment Type

Three Questions: Dennis Sullivan, Corporate Equipment Manager

July 10, 2012

Rod Sutton is editorial director of Construction Equipment magazine. He is in charge of editorial strategy and writes a monthly column for the magazine, The Sutton Report. He has more than 30 years in construction journalism, and has been with Construction Equipment since 2001.

In a follow up to our ongoing investigation of equipment professional responsibilities, we talked with Dennis Sullivan, corporate equipment manager for Sunland Construction.

Big Iron: To whom do you report?

Sullivan: I report to the senior VP of operations. That happened about seven months ago. Prior to that, I reported to the president.

The company now has three VPs reporting on the operations side. Equipment is too important, and the president is too busy to devote the needed time. The new senior VP now oversees the three operating divisions plus the equipment division.

BI: Who has final financial responsibility over the equipment fleet?

Sullivan: The operating divisions do an annual capital expenditure budget, and we meld it together for corporate purposes. When it’s approved by the board, we are free to purchase equipment as needed by the operating divisions.

I make the equipment decisions, but I work with the operating divisions on the financial implications. The decision is mine, but I am not so cocky to think it doesn’t hurt to get their buy-in. On items that are required after the budget is approved, we discuss the need and the cost before putting it on the budget as an addition.

BI: What are the key performance metrics on which you are evaluated?

Sullivan: It’s too early [after the reorganization] to tell. We are not a profit center, so we should be keying on breaking completely even.

Others in our series:

Dan Miller, President/CEO, Manitou Americas.

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