I was once shown by an above-average technician how he could change out a disposal in 5 minutes with just a simple Swiss Army knife. With this one simple multi-tool, he could address the plumbing, electrical, mounting hardware, etc.; execute faster, and with ease, with just the one tool. He required less space to operate in, had no tools laying around, and had less mess, including less tools to haul in and out of the client’s home.

In comparison, other technicians took 3-4 times longer, and utilized all of the specialized tools for the appropriate portion of the service to address the plumbing, electrical, etc. They required more space, more mess to clean up, more tools to bring in and out of the home, and they had to make sure they didn’t leave any tools behind.

This is not to say that most other services don’t require specialized, or a variety of tools to complete, but there is a level of efficiency with utilizing a Swiss Army knife, rather than using all of the “appropriate” tools for all of the various portions of a service, especially one so simple.

Recently, there have been commentary and articles about how businesses are focusing on hiring the “right specialist” for various positions, positions that don’t necessarily require a specialist, nor does the company necessarily need to have a specialist position to begin with. There is a tendency for companies think they need a specialist because other companies have one, or “that is how it is always done”.

I would encourage to¬†NOT¬†dismiss the “Swiss Army knife”, because they can bring great value with having working knowledge of all of the areas, and not just one specialized area. This is especially important for companies that want to be agile or to grow, because a “Swiss Army knife” person can be more efficient at getting from point A to point B, with less mess and hassle, than a team of specialist trying to work together.

One cannot understand the value of a Swiss Army knife until they have been exposed to the value of the tool.