Establish a system in your office where each employee knows their responsibilities, and each function is handled in a timely and efficient manner. This is best accomplished by the design of a job description, including a priority listing of tasks.

Include on the job description form a space for providing training as well as who the training is to be provided by, and the date and acknowledgment by the employee that the training was provided and understood. This can eliminate many problems in the future.

The manager should not let himself get bogged down with office details, such as maintaining records, billing and collecting, correspondence and filing. Incoming phone calls should be screened, and unless the manager’s personal attention is required, calls should be handled with information taken and given by someone else.

The following information can be used as a guideline for designing job descriptions. Be sure to include the title of the person (or job) that you are describing. List tasks in order of importance and assign priorities to these tasks. Indicate whether they should be accomplished on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, etc.

Obviously, you’ll modify the list to suit the needs of your individual organization. Have others review the job description. You may find that other aspects of the job have migrated into the position without a lot of thought as to who should actually be completing these tasks.

1. Manager:
2. Estimator:
Organize job plan.
Make take-offs.
List items for pricing.
Develop job budget.
Qualifications to consider: experience in trade; ability to work with detail; ability to follow procedure; ability to constantly work toward deadline under pressure.
Estimate all jobs.
Prepare bill of materials.
Prepare all change orders.
Visit jobsites.
Consult with Purchasing Agent.
Review plans for alternate methods.
3. Purchasing Agent:
Order materials based on estimate, or from orders phoned in from the field.
Check material received against purchase orders, including stock numbers.
Check quantity and price.
Check invoices - extensions, prices, and applicable discounts.
Maintain a file on current prices.
Schedule drivers for material pickup, tool transfers, etc.
Maintain tool inventory.
Maintain file on temporary poles.
Order rental shacks and other equipment.
Keep a maintenance log of trucks and cars.
Maintain inventory in the warehouse and job trailers.
4. Receptionist/Secretary:
Answer phones.
Open mail.
Greet people.
Label folders and maintain files.
Type correspondence, billing, etc.
Type proposals and contracts.
Handle outgoing mail.
Receive and sign for packages.
Keep office presentable.
Check office inventory and replace when necessary.
5. Bookkeeper:
Accounts Payable.
Accounts Receivable.
General ledger.
Government reports.
Current records.
Late payment statements.
Job cost evaluations.
6. Superintendent:

NOTE: For other closely related topics, be sure to review the section on Company Policy (#78) in this series of articles on Labor Management.

Mike Holt’s Comment: This newsletter was extracted from my Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we encourage your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. Please respond to

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