Monday, March 14, 2005

How do you find a digitization consultant?

Finding someone to help you plan and carry out a project may be even more difficult than finding a vendor to do the actual work. Digitization consultants -- who may be considered a document management consultant -- are not always in the phone book. So how do you find them? Here are places to contact that should be able to help you find a consultant that will meet your needs:
  • Your local library consortia group -- They may be your best source, since they talk to their members and know whom their members are dealing with on projects.
  • Local consultant/entrepreneur association -- Many areas have associations of consultants or entrepreneurs. Such an association should know of a digitization or document management consultant in the region.
  • Local government agencies (e.g., town planning board) -- Many local governments have been putting in processes for managing their documents. Often they work with outside vendors and consultants on these projects. Therefore a local government may be able to point you towards a consultant.
  • Local digitization vendors -- I suspect that these vendors (e.g., vendors of scanning services) are oblivious about who the consultants are. It's a suspicion based on nothing but gut feel. However, it is worth asking them, just in case they do know.
  • The chamber of commerce -- The chamber is not as "all-knowing" as we all think, but since they are interested with many businesses in your region, they might know of consultants.
  • The Internet -- The search term "digitization consultant" retrieves very few web sites. Broader searches may help even though it will be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Can you do something now that will help you when you need to find a consultant? Yes. Given that you may need a consultant in the future, or may be asked to recommend a consultant (or a digitization service), start a file of those that you find. The notes that you keep now may be extremely valuable in the future.

No comments: