Considerations for Determining the Appropriate Number of Field Managers
We are often asked, “how many field leaders do we need to serve our customers and team members?” Or “how do you determine when to add another field manager.” These are good questions to consider. Having an appropriate amount of oversight or leadership is crucial to serving customers and your team well. This post will discuss four possible methods for evaluating how many field leaders suit your company’s needs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There is no correct answer to the question of how many field leaders are appropriate because there is a certain degree of uniqueness (types of customers served, geographic dispersion of customers, etc.) among all janitorial services companies. The information shared below is simply how we have considered/pondered this question.
Field Leader Definition
Before we provide methods for determining the appropriate amount of field leaders, it is helpful to offer some definitions for the types of field leaders.
- Branch/Regional Manager – Responsible for the success of a particular geographic area or region customer satisfaction, team member satisfaction, engagement, and financial targets. This team member might be titled Operations Manager If your company has only one region. This team member will meet with key customers, provide leadership for Account Managers, etc. Our methodology for determining the number of Branch or Regional Managers has been, and continues to be, total monthly revenue managed. Our average Regional Manager will oversee roughly $2-$4 million in annual revenue.
- Account/Area Manager – Responsible for the success of a particular customer or group of customers – customer satisfaction, team member satisfaction, engagement, and financial targets. This team member is the customer’s primary daily contact, conducts site visits, performs inspections, and trains, coaches, and encourages their team.
Methodology #1 – Budgeted Work Hours Managed Per Week
Under this methodology, estimate your weekly budgeted hours in total, and then by job, by dividing the monthly budgeted work hours by 4. Our targeted work hours managed per Account Manager is 650-700. So, let’s assume your total monthly budgeted work-hours is 20,000. Your weekly budgeted hours would be 5,000. Dividing 5,000 work hours by 650 would equate to roughly 7-8 Account Managers.
Methodology #2 – Number of Team Members Managed (Team Members/Account Manager Ratio)
Under this methodology, gather information from timekeeping reports to determine how many team members report to each Account Manager. Counting total employees per Manager instead of full-time equivalent (FTE) per Manager is important. Our targeted team member to Account Manager ratio is 1:20. In other words, we strive to have each Manager oversee/lead no more than 20-22 team members.
Methodology #3 – Total Monthly Contracted Revenue Managed
Under this methodology, gather monthly contracted revenue data – exclude additional services and product resale revenue. Our targeted monthly revenue managed per Account Manager is $40K – $50K. For example, if your total monthly contracted revenue is $400k, we would estimate having 8-9 Account Managers.
Methodology #4 – Number of Buildings
Under this methodology, gather a count of the buildings your company serves routinely – remove buildings from the count where you may only perform “one-off” type services. Our company serves 194 buildings. Our targeted building count per Account Manager is 8-10.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Most of our customers are on a 5-day or 7-day per week schedule. If your company serves a good number of 1-day and 3-day per week clients, your Account Managers may be able to manage more buildings.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is no definitive answer to how many field leaders are needed. The whole thing is “a little bit art and a little bit science.” The methodologies discussed here are just factors to consider as you and your team plan for the future. Our recommendation is to gather this information, review your current structure, estimate future growth areas, and establish a plan based on the numbers (“science”) and your team’s collective wisdom (“art”).