Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fixed or variable costs

I had an interesting conversation recently with an organization that is going to purchase equipment for digitizing books. The person had decided to invest in lower cost equipment so that the fixed costs would be low (compared to some of the higher priced equipment). While that means hiring more people to work on projects, it shifted the cost to variable costs which will change (vary) based on the project. The overall fixed costs would remain low.

Others might decide -- and have decided -- to have high fixed costs on their projects. Vendors may argue that there is a correct answer, but the answer is really what the institution itself prefers and the compromises that answer entails.

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1 comment:

Alain said...

Given the very rapid pullout of Microsoft from the Live Books scanning operation, it seems to make sense to invest in cheaper technology that may be slightly more labor intensive. If the end result is a lower cost per page digitized. Being able to do this inhouse with recent more affordable technology such as the i2s CopiBook and Atiz BookScan DIY preserves the integrity of the volumes in question, shipping valuable books via UPS to a third party scanning center just doesn't make sense. Gives far more flexibility to the library or institution in times of significant changes.

May I ask what technology option your colleague chose?