IN THIS MONTH’S NEWSLETTER:
The Feed – Highlights from the 2013 Copier Careers Service Tech Salary Survey
The Top 5 – Employees You’re Better Off Without
News In Brief – Announcements from Copier Careers, Xerox, Sharp, Kyocera, and Samsung
Sound Off – Our readers respond to last month’s poll
Poll-of-the-Month – How would you rate your company’s sales manager?
Highlights from the Copier Careers 2013 Service Tech Salary Survey
The Copier Careers 2013 Service Technician Salary Survey is fresh off the press! This year’s survey reflects the responses of more than 4,000 copier service technicians who took our online survey over the past year. It provides data and commentary on how well today’s copier techs are compensated, how happy they are in their jobs, and how well their employers are meeting their needs. Highlights include:
For the first time ever, we started tracking how many copier techs are working for IT or MNS providers rather than copier dealerships.
Average salaries are up 2 percent since 2012.
The divide between traditional break/fix and modern hybrid techs is growing, and employers are increasingly looking to hire people with strong networking skills.
Competition from IT and MNS providers is causing big recruitment headaches for copier dealerships looking to hire hybrid techs.
To get the full story, read the entire survey at //copiercareers.com/salary_survey/2013_service_tech_salary_survey.pdf.
THE TOP 5… Employees You’re Better Off Without
Tips from the trenches to keep your copier career on track
Firing an employee is like amputating a limb: it’s incredibly painful and unpleasant, but sometimes it has to be done to preserve overall health and vitality. Just as an infected finger can eventually kill a man, a toxic employee can bring down an entire organization. According to management consultant Steve Tobak, “A few bad apples can definitely spoil organizational effectiveness in a hurry…These days, companies just can’t afford to keep those kinds of people around.” Tobak breaks problem employees up into several categories, and encourages his clients to let these people go as soon as possible. “The longer you wait,” he says, “the more damage they do.”
- Troublemakers. Everybody has their personal issues, but some employees create more problems than they solve. “When the damage [employees] do to the organizations weighs more heavily than their achievements,” says Tobak, “it’s time to cut them loose.”
- Overpromisers. The copier business is built on relationships, both within and outside of the organization. Employees who can’t make good on their promises are a huge liability. “When their egos consistently write checks their capabilities can’t cash, that’s a real problem that’s not likely to be resolvable,” Tobak says.
- People who act out with customers. In this business and most others, customers are hard to gain and easy to lose. When anyone in the organization — from the receptionist or a junior tech to the sales manager or a vice president of the company — treats a customer poorly, they are an employee you can’t afford to keep around.
- People who can’t or won’t do the job. If you have a salesperson who can’t make quota, a tech who refuses to work on printers, a manager who can’t control his team, or anybody else on staff who isn’t getting the job done, you need to think about letting them go.
- Flakes. According to Tobak, “Some people look the part but, when push comes to shove, you can’t count on them to get the job done or even to show up on a regular basis. Whatever the specifics, you can never tell when they’re going to flake and you just can’t trust them.”
NEWS IN BRIEF
Copier Careers 2013 Service Technician Salary Survey Now Available! This year’s Service Technician Salary Survey reflects the responses of more than 4,000 copier service techs working in dealerships all across the country. Read the exclusive full eight-page survey for free at //copiercareers.com/salary_survey/2013_service_tech_salary_survey.pdf.
Xerox Combats Counterfeit Supplies and Parts. Continuing efforts to protect customers from counterfeit consumables and products, Xerox recently conducted raids in China and Dubai and introduced a new program to help detect imitations. The raids resulted in the seizure of more than 55,000 boxes of counterfeit consumables and parts from numerous Xerox products slated for distribution in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and South America. According to The Imaging Supplies Coalition, the estimated impact of counterfeiting in the imaging supplies industry is more than $3 billion annually worldwide. “Counterfeit production is not just an OEM issue. It impacts governments, resellers, and customers due to lost taxes and investments in poorly made products,” said Irina Maslennikova, VP of the Global Supplies Business Group for Xerox. “Purchasers who think they are cutting cost with counterfeit items are instead jeopardizing the safety of their equipment and the quality of printed materials.”
Sharp to Replace President and Chair. After posting significant losses this quarter, Sharp Corporation has announced that it will replace both its president and its chairperson. Sharp announced in May that Executive Vice President Kozo Takahashi will replace the current president, Takashi Okuda, who led the company during a difficult year. Okuda will become a chairperson, replacing Mikio Katayama, a former president who oversaw Sharp’s aggressive but unsuccessful expansion of its LCD TV business. The changes are scheduled to occur after Sharp’s shareholder’s meeting at the end of this month.
Kyocera TASKalfa Color MFPs Receive Official Pantone Approval. Pantone, the world renowned provider of professional color standards, has approved the TASKalfa 5550ci, 4550ci, 3550ci, and 3050ci MFPs for Pantone color productions capabilities. Pantone approval is granted only after rigorous analysis. When testing the TASKalfa devices, the company’s color scientists and color analysts developed Kyocera device-specific lookup tables, allowing users to print superior simulations of proprietary Pantone Matching System colors. “Pantone standardizes color systems, but the reproduction of those colors is reliant upon individual printing systems,” explained Chisato Hatakeyama, General Manager, Global Marketing Division for Kyocera Document Solutions. “With these approvals, Pantone has reenergized our commitment to enhanced image quality and accurate color reproduction.”
Samsung Announces New Line of ProXpress Mono Laser Printers and MFPs. The new products for SMBs and home offices provide fast print speeds and have been specifically designed for users who require low operating costs and high performance. The new M4020ND, M3829DW, and M3320ND printers and the M4070FR, M3870FW and M3370FD MFPs offer an all-in-one integrated toner system and duplex printing for lower operating costs and higher efficiency. “Small to medium-sized businesses and professionals who work at home are increasingly seeking lower operating costs for maximum profitability without sacrificing on high performance,” said Tod Pike, senior VP of Samsung’s Enterprise Business Division. “The Printer ProXpress and the Multifunction ProXpress series are built to offer an efficient experience with fast speeds and high quality images at a reasonsable cost.”
SOUND OFF: Our readers speak
Last month, we asked you your opinion on the future of break/fix technician jobs: will they even exist in five years? With a record response of 2,027 votes, the majority of respondents believe that they will, but anticipate that IT/MNS knowledge will become increasingly indispensible for modern techs. The full results:
- Yes, but they will need IT/MNS knowledge (63%, 1,273 Votes)
- Yes, but IT will support the break/fix tech (33%, 663 Votes)
- Yes, someone will always need to fix devices (4%, 83 Votes)
- No, tech jobs will all migrate to IT departments (1%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,030 (April 25, 2013 @ 2:05 am - May 25, 2013 @ 2:05 am)
Our readers shared strong opinions on the topic:
“No, soon it will all be swappable gear.”
“This already happened.”
“We’re just a finger on the hand of IT!”
“We’ll always need break/fix techs…or maybe I’m in denial.”
“There will always be a need for installation, preventative maintenance, and on-demand service. But the technician of tomorrow is on the verge of redlining his or her income by not getting CompTIA A+ and/or Net+ certification and experience. Changing jobs won’t help because you don’t have the skill set that dealers want.”
“Since the beginning of February, I have been contacted by ten recruiters all looking for highly skilled technicians. Over half of them were internal, corporate recruiters. And here’s the thing: my IT skills, which are not the greatest, never came into question. I let them know that those skills were lacking and they did not care. They need skilled technicians.”
“Nearly 100 percent of the devices placed need connectivity. It’s a shame that technicians are not being trained faster for this need. It seems many companies think one side of the business is break/fix and the other side is IT. This is not true anymore and many break/fix techs know it and are waiting for management to do something about it. Our company trains 100 percent of our technicians on a 5-day IT course just for office equipment. It’s not CompTIA Net+ or any of the other courses that technicians would only use 10 percent of; ours focuses on what the techs use every day: scanning, secure print, mobile, etc.”
“You have to follow technology if you want to stay in this field.”
“Techs should already be gaining IT knowledge. If the organization you work for is a good one they should be getting help to move in that direction. Future compensation should be based on gaining IT knowledge.”
“The bottom line is that IT people don’t like to get their hands dirty, so there will always be a need for break/fix techs.”
“MNS is the future — the devices are just plug and play.”
“There will always be a need, but it may end up being a ‘power end user’ doing the job!”
“Copier/printer repair is still a vibrant, respectable trade. That said, the whole industry has changed. Digital has all but taken out longevity and competitiveness and replaced it with ‘lowest price point possible’. The days of copiers in the field for 10-12 years with periodic refurbishments are long over.”
“Five years ago, my bosses said that in five years only 20 percent of our job would be break/fix. They were wrong. Break/fix will be around for a long time.”
“As long as we are selling five-year leases, we will still have work!”
“It seems the trend has been to move to assembly replacement versus component-specific as dictated in the design by the manufacturers. The technicians are not troubleshooting, but rather depending on ‘idiot lights’ and internal parts counters to determine the problem assembly. This trend is driving parts costs higher as we end up replacing costly assemblies because a $1 part failed.”
“I think good technicians with strong IT skills will become more valuable. A well-rounded skill set is a valuable thing.”
“The break/fix tech will be passed over for a more well-rounded person. Knowledge of how an MFP works completely is necessary for anyone who hopes to survive in this ever-changing market.”
THE COPIER CAREERS® NEWSLETTER POLL OF THE MONTH
- Trying to get better (34%, 713 Votes)
- Excellent (18%, 380 Votes)
- Good (17%, 355 Votes)
- So-so (15%, 315 Votes)
- Poor (13%, 273 Votes)
- Terrible (3%, 57 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,093 (May 25, 2013 @ 2:09 am - June 25, 2013 @ 2:09 am)