Equipment Type

Who's the Boss?

June 19, 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.

I have been greatly encouraged by the responses to our thread on the issue of equipment responsibilty, which I am calling The Waterboy Syndrome. And I am learning more about the dynamics within organizations, dynamics that easily defy classification.

First, equipment-management professionals rarely carry simple titles. I have explained this to industry newbies who are used to simple designations such as “manager,” “VP,” “president,” or “CEO.”  At Construction Equipment, we use generic titles such as “equipment manager” and “asset manager.”

But that’s not often the title on the business cards of our constituency. Titles carried by senior, respected and successful equipment professionals include VP-Equipment, Corporate Equipment Manager, Shop Supervisor, VP-Equipment/Asset Management, and simply Equipment Manager. But I will wager that their responsibilities are not the same.

Second, there are organizations where the person responsible for maintaining and fielding fleet has little input on the larger asset-management decisions. They specify equipment, collaborate in purchasing decisions and vendor selection, but they are not consulted on the financial implications of returning the most from the investment in iron.

If you’re responsible for equipment-management decisions, tell me who your boss is. Do you report to the owner/CEO? How about the CFO? Or do you report to the operations side of the business? Perhaps you are the owner; let me know that, too. And give me your title, too, just because I’m curious.

In order to accomplish the organizational changes necessary to elevate the equipment professional to a status worthy of his responsibility, we need to identify the levels of authority above him.

(Image licensed under the GFDL by the author, TotoBaggins; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.)

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