My clients and students often wonder about the "hot setup" for their manufacturing floor, office, or home. These articles match some of the handouts or fliers I give out.
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>Does using contract computer programmers and consultants >really save money? It seems to me that with the exception >of sick pay, holidays and training all of the costs associated >with permanent staff also occur using contract staff. In many SOHO cases, the client can not afford to keep experts on permanent staff. Those experts are under utilized and over bored. That means they find better jobs quickly. The question also leaves out three major direct employment costs: recruiting, training, and severence. Consider the costs of only 20% utilization or the cost of recruiting technical employees about twice a year and then firing them when the job is done, especially in a period of full employment or a market with few technically trained job hunters. Companies incur higher H.R. costs and seriously hurt morale for the long term troops. The hourly cost of a consultant could be a bargain if you plan wisely, but there is a well-known counter argument: Bringing in a "fresh mind" to look at a problem would seem to be outweighed by the time and effort that the contractor must put in to learning about the problem in hand. Most often, a consultant joins a SOHO project when it has ground to a complete halt. No amount of time the owners devote to the project will get them unstuck. Bringing in that fresh meat (and a new perspective) gets the project moving. Before you hire an outside firm, though, remember that you already have help right at hand. Companies with other internal resources can often use those employees as consultants. That's a good way to keep the troops interested and to save costs.
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