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General Maintenance vs Specialist Maintenance: What's the Verdict?

Many factories have their own highly skilled maintenance team in-house, who are good at what they do, can turn their hand to pretty much everything, and generally keep things humming along. Sometimes though, the question may arise, (either in the management team or in the in-house team themselves) something along the lines of ; “for this particular item or circumstance, would we be better off calling an expert?” This is a perfectly normal way to think, and below are some thought processes regarding the benefits of both ways of getting the job done.


General Maintenance Team


  1. They are already onsite so I can get them without delay, not pay any call out fee, and not have to do any site inductions and all that extra health and safety work.
  2. They seem to be able to fix everything that they are asked to do, so why go to someone outside the company?
  3. Their hourly rates are cheaper, so the job shouldn’t cost as much.
  4. They have their own workshop onsite.
  5. I know them, and can trust them.


  1. They aren’t bound to a price, or have to quote for the work they do, there could be cost overruns.
  2. Unless on contract, there is annual leave, sick leave, statutory holidays, ACC and other things that have to be paid for.
  3. They often make their own parts or repair something, rather than getting a new part. This takes time, and doesn’t always work out long term.
  4. There is no warranty on their workmanship. If something doesn’t work, they just try again.
  5. Even when they aren’t busy, they still have to be paid to come to work.
  6. If they are already busy, that means that some jobs wont get done on time.


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Specialist Maintenance Team


  1. You have to call them and wait until they arrive. You get charged a call out fee, and have to sort out signing them in etc.
  2. If you haven’t used them before, you’re not sure whether they really know what they are doing. How many years have they been in their job?
  3. They always use factory made parts, which look quite simple to make, and are expensive.
  4. They seem to charge a lot for the time they are onsite.
  5. They have to work out of a van.



  1. You can get them to quote the work they do. No surprises with the price.
  2. You only have to pay them for that particular job. Then they leave and aren’t your problem. The job could possibly be done quicker as well.
  3. If you are already busy, you don’t have to leave the job you are doing. You can show them the new work, and leave them to it.
  4. Their factory made parts are a perfect fit, made from exactly the right materials, and are backed up by the manufacturer. The fact that the manufacturer backs their workmanship must be an indication that they deliver good value.
  5. They work on those type of products all day, every day, so identify problems and find solutions quickly, and also work out why the problem occurred and fix that as well. There is years of combined experience in their establishment.
  6. Their work is guaranteed, and they will come again at no charge if there is something wrong with the job done.
  7. They can call their manufacturers anytime and get an expert opinion on the problem.
  8. Some of the electronic circuitry can only be understood by an expert.
  9. They use the manufacturer recommended lubrications, and have specialised tools.
  10. They know what options are available to help fix a recurring problem, and what those options will cost.


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End result? Pretty even….What’s the verdict then?

There are times when the resident tradesperson can sort things out fine, but there also are times when a specialist needs to be called in. It is a bit like your family GP. Most of the time they can fix your problems, but sometimes something happens that means you need to see a specialist. A good GP will know when that time is. It is no reflection on them when they hand you across to the specialist, that actually makes them a better GP.

A good tradesperson will know the same thing. Sometimes you are doing more for the company by getting in a specialist. You just need to know when that time is. Honestly think about some of the points above, and that will help your thought process.

It is no reflection on you when you call in a specialist, at times it will actually help you give your company better value.

So get in touch with us today for advice on how to approach maintenance for your doors, we're here whenever and wherever you need us!


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