Average Copier-Channel Service & Operations Manager Salary is $85,154

Copier Careers, a U.S. recruiting firm for the copier channel, has published its 2017 Service & Operations Manager Salary Survey, with responses indicating that the average salary for service and operations managers is $85,154, an increase of 0.9 percent.

Other highlights include:

  • Non-cash bonuses like health benefits, company car, training, etc. increased 6.5 percent to a value of $28,654.88.
  • 98 percent of respondents say they are actively or somewhat actively looking for a new job in 2017.
  • Service managers are showing a significantly increased interest in collaboration and community over past years. Compared to 2016, 15 percent more say they want to work with “highly talented peers” and 27 percent more value “a sense of community in my work group.”

This year 1,927 copier-channel service and operations managers from across the industry participated in our survey, an increase of 63 participants. Their responses reflect an industry that faces ongoing challenges in an evolved IT-based channel.

According to the survey, in 2017, service and operations managers increasingly expressed a willingness to work collaboratively across their organization:

  • 66 percent say they want to work with “highly talented peers,” an increase of 15 percentage points over 2016.
  • 61 percent say they want to feel “a sense of community in my work group,” an increase of 27 percentage points in the past year.

“Before managed print services and managed network services, sales and service operated in silos, and words like ‘community’ were not used by service managers or technicians,” said Paul Schwartz, president of Copier Careers. “Now, I think they realize that they are dependent on each other to be successful. These departments are not in silos anymore. They get it.”

Of those responding to the survey, 81 percent pointed to the effectiveness of their immediate supervisor as a concern — an increase of 10 percentage points since last year’s survey. This also could be a measure of frustration over a lack of resources to hire, train and retain staff to better service and support complex IT solutions.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents also expressed a desire to have “tools and support to do my job well,” which is also a measure of a commitment to effectively deliver service and support for new solutions.

Only 46 percent of survey respondents said they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their jobs overall. Twenty-eight percent were “neutral,” and 26 percent said they are “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied.”

Most respondents seem to be looking past pay and benefits to measure satisfaction. More than 95 percent of respondents say they care about “the company’s understanding of the importance of IT,” want to “understand the company’s business strategy,” want “to work with leading-edge technology” and are eager “to work with creating innovative IT solutions.”

“Ten years ago, a service manager was a guy who knew the nuance of a device and had the mechanical skills to make it work,” Schwartz said. “Now they’re responsible for making sure that network solutions are implemented, that installs are implemented and everything flows. Everyone’s success depends on it, and that’s why they’re interested in strategy, team building and training.”

n 2017, service and operations managers worked an average of 60 hours per week, an hour more than they reported last year and 13 hours more on average each week than they reported working in 2002.

Average Hours Worked Per Week

From 2002 to 2017, the educational attainment of service and operations managers also increased. In 2002, 42.1 percent reported having “some college” and fewer than 1 percent held an associate’s degree or an MBA.

In 2017, more than 45 percent have some college, 7.2 percent have tech/trade school training, and more than 3 percent have an associate’s degree or an MBA.

“They need that education, because they are operating in a much more sophisticated environment,” Schwartz said. “The industry has just gone zoom in the last decade,” he said. “There are so many new products. They manage networked solutions, implementation and logistics. It’s an entirely different world.”

Even as the hours they put in each week have gone up slightly, the number of years that service and operations managers work in the industry has declined significantly, from 23 years in 2002, to 12.9 years in 2017.

“As IT solutions began to dominate the industry, a generation of longtime service and ops managers began to retire,” said Jessica Crowley, business development manager and senior recruiter at Copier Careers. “A new generation of managers, with a wider range of skills and education, were hired to lead the industry’s evolution to IT solutions.”

The generational shift is also reflected in how long service and operations managers expect to stay in their current jobs. In 2002, survey respondents said they expected to stay in their current job 11 years. In 2017, service and operations managers said they expect to stay in their job only five years. That aligns with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that indicate the average American worker now changes jobs every four years.

In the copier industry, some of the willingness to change jobs is driven by the swiftness of change in products, services and technology — and the frustrations it creates for service and operations managers.

“If service and ops managers are hired to implement technology and they haven’t been given the ability or authority to actually make the changes, then they will move to another job,” Crowley said.

One key issue is having a budget that allows the company to attract and hire qualified staff or to train existing staff on new solutions. It’s about resources — where to invest and how much to invest in training and staffing.

“The industry is on a learning curve about allotting resources, and ownership does not always want to give out a lot of resources,” Schwartz said. He noted there can be a high cost for failing to invest in training.

One survey respondent outlined the repercussions: “Without advancement of technical skill, the person is doomed. They become obsolete, then defensive, unreasonable, unreliable and unmanageable.”

What Matters Most? Almost Everything

When asked to identify seven factors “most important to their job” from a list of 37 variables, nine things were named by more than 90 percent of service and operations managers. This included a juxtaposition of personal and professional needs “base pay” and “the company’s understanding of the importance of IT,” which were chosen by 100 percent of respondents.

In addition to the choices that were highly rated by more than 90 percent of respondents, there were seven variables that more than 60 percent of respondents rated as important to their job. This included:

  • 88 percent want job stability
  • 82 percent want to know their job helps achieve company goals
  • 81 percent are concerned about the effectiveness of their immediate supervisor
  • 78 percent are interested in the prestige/reputation of company
  • 77 percent want the tools and support to do their job well
  • 66 percent want to work with highly talented peers
  • 61 percent say they want to feel a sense of community in their work group

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