In his book, Microsoft founder Bill Gates credits the success of his company to teams of generalists having broad interdisciplinary thinking. Range favors the generalist approach by noting the benefits of diverse experience, and delayed specialization in solving the complex problems of a technical landscape.
The Case For The Generalist
Generalist technicians have a broad range of knowledge and skills that can be applied to a variety of different tasks or systems. They may be able to troubleshoot and repair a wide range of equipment or systems, and may not have a specific area of expertise.
Specialist technicians, on the other hand, have a deep level of expertise in a specific area or field. They may be highly trained and experienced in a particular type of equipment or system, such as office equipment devices or computer networks. They have a specialized knowledge and skills in that field and may focus on a specific type of work or industry.
Generalist technicians are versatile and can work on a variety of systems, and may be able to work in different fields or industries, which makes them more adaptable to change. They may be a better fit for smaller companies that don’t have the resources to employ a large number of specialists.
The Case For The Specialist
Specialist technicians have a higher level of expertise in a specific area, which makes them more efficient in working on that specific system or equipment, but less able to adapt to changes and new technologies in other fields. They are more likely to be employed by larger companies that have the resources to employ a large number of specialists and can afford to pay for their expertise.
Both generalist and specialist technicians can be valuable assets to a company, depending on the needs and resources of the organization.
Deployment Of Generalist Printer Technicians And Specialist Print Technicians
When deploying generalist technicians, it's beneficial to assign them to a broad range of tasks and systems, where they can use their versatile skills to troubleshoot and repair a wide range of equipment or systems. They may be able to work on different projects or in different departments, which can help to ensure that the printer service organization has the technical support it needs in a variety of areas.
In contrast, when deploying specialist technicians, it's beneficial to use them in specific areas or systems where their expertise can be leveraged to the fullest. For example, an production print specialist would be best deployed in the maintenance and repair high production print environment, while a network print specialist would be best used in the maintenance and troubleshooting of printer networks or fleets. They can also be assigned to specific projects or clients that require a high level of expertise in their field, allowing them to provide a higher level of service.
In general, service companies with larger budgets, more complex systems, or more specialized needs will tend to deploy more specialists, while companies with smaller budgets or less complex systems will tend to deploy more generalists.
It's also important to note that generalist technicians can be trained to become specialist technicians over time, and given the right resources and training, they can develop deep knowledge and skills in a specific area.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each option. Service Managers have to think about which is right for their company and customer – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a permanent decision! After weighing all the options – do you see yourself as a jack of all trades or a master of one?
Metrofuser is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of printer parts, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include remanufactured laser printer parts, remanufactured printers and service training for HP, Lexmark and Canon brands. The company's customers include office equipment dealerships, online retailers, repair centers and MPS service providers nationwide.