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The Cost of Doing Business

July 21st, 2010 · No Comments

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A recent question posted on the AMP blog, “Is preservation cost-prohibitive?,” made me think about costs related to archives in general. As a former corporate archivist, I am painfully aware of budgets and bidding out work! Now that my shoe is on the other foot, and I am consulting in the field, the issue is even larger for me. When I was the “client” and was requesting bids for work, I (and my coworkers) were always concerned by the process. We knew many vendors were underbidding to get the work and that could pose a financial risk for them if they got the project. We also were forced to consider those bids because there was quite a bit of paperwork to do if the lowest bid was not selected. In the end, we could often work around it by choosing the firm with the most expertise in an area as long as their bid was not too much higher than the lowest one.

It’s easy for a client to forget about the hidden costs of operations related to projects. There are often random emails with questions, monthly or more frequent conference calls, technology testing or review, on-site meetings or visits, etc. All of these items take up staff time – and not just a little bit of it either – it really adds up. I think many clients might be shocked if they realized exactly how much time. Often a fair amount of this time can be billed back as project management time, but only if the client is willing or that category has been built into the project.
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Category: Archiving Challenges · Skills with a Capital I and T

What is Technology? Archives’ “Frenemy”

October 29th, 2009 · No Comments

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Technology relative to the field of Archives is a much-needed friend as well as an enemy of sorts. The merits of technology are easy to note – probably most importantly the quick access it provides to Archives both internally and externally. Items are much easier to keep track of and to locate internally. When items are made available to the public online, research is easier, time is saved, and so are many other resources. There’s no doubt that technology has opened Archives up to the world.

The speed with which information can be uploaded and made available is astounding – whether from a digital camera, digital video recorder, or general file type (Word, Excel, etc.). Gone are the days of waiting days, if not weeks, to update your files and information. Time to clear the library of that old hand-written card catalog. Or is it?
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Category: What is IT?