Technical writing and the economy
The recession isn’t coming; it’s arrived. Companies are getting more and more budget sensitive, and looking for ways to cut costs. This is impinging on the field of technical documentation. I know of at least one major electronics company that asked its technical writers to take a pay cut. The writer I know there took it gladly, happy to have not been laid off completely like some of his co-workers.
But technical publications still need to be produced. As long as products are going to market, the technical documentation has to be there on how to use them.
Some companies are turning to off-shoring, but, in the words of one former client who was forced by upper echelons to go that route, “It’s a challenge since English is not the first language of the writers… things … need to be sacrificed along the way.”
Is there another solution? You betcha.
At Precision Wordage, we’ve been taking only outsource projects now for about 15 years. The projects we work on minimize client costs because the client pays only for the actual writing project (and gets a high quality product in the process). No overhead, no paid vacations, no severance packages when the project is over.
If your company is looking for ways to cut costs, consider using an outsource company. Crunch the numbers and you’ll discover that technical writing from an outsource vendor will deliver the most bang for the buck, especially if you can negotiate a flat bid or not-to-exceed deal.
And if the writer is American, chances are the technical communication will actually communicate.