Blair Douglas Associates Ltd. - Consulting in Technical
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Products & Services

Blair Douglas Associates Ltd. specialises in technical communications. We can help you to create standards for your corporate communications, templates for your Adobe FrameMaker documents, or procedure guides for your Technical Publications team; we can help you find permanent or temporary TechComm staff, plan or manage a big documentation project, even create a new TechPubs department. If you're wondering about technical writing, illustration, or editing, check us out.

Recommend, schedule, and assess projected costs for adding a TechPubs function
We offer a flat-fee contract to perform a detailed, customized study of your business, and produce a recommendation regarding your needs in technical communication. This product is optionally available as a split contract: phase one to determine whether TechPubs are required; phase two to create a recommendation, if our study shows that you need to change.

First, we determine whether you need any TechPubs, and, if so, to what extent—from one-time contractor through to a full TechPubs team. We review your operations, interview selected staff and customers regarding your products, customers, customer complaints, current practice, support costs, and other issues. We examine current and upcoming practice in your industry, review your contractual obligations, and get a feel for your budgetary constraints and plans for the next few years.

If we believe that you should grow or change your current practice in technical communication, we develop a recommendation that you can use as a guideline for change over time.

If you hire us to implement any part of the recommendation, we offer you a discount equal to up to 20% of the recommendation development fee, to a maximum of 20% of the cost of the new work.

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Plan or manage TechPubs projects
We can facilitate the planning phase of your TechPubs project. This could mean providing a professional project planner, or an assistant to work with your team leader, and includes project planning knowledge transfer to your team. If the upcoming project is larger or more complex than you're used to, or if you are taking on your first TechPubs project, this service could be for you.

If you prefer to handle the planning phase, we can execute your project to your plan; we are experienced in all aspects of TechPubs project management, and will happily help you keep your project on track.

If you use a plan that we help develop, and hire us to manage the project, we'll reduce our management rate by up to 5%.

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Manage TechPubs print jobs
This includes developing the job specification with you—budget, paper, colours, art, binding, quantity, timing—selecting and submitting RFQs to appropriate printers, presenting the job to the printer you select from our short list, handling technical issues with the printer, monitoring timing issues, and either proofing or assisting you to proof interim tests and the press run.

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Develop a TechPubs group
We can find staff, develop standards, policies, and procedures, or train a group leader. First, we develop a plan tailored to your business needs, then fulfil the plan in an orderly progression. When we step out of the picture, your new team is up and running.

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Find and qualify candidates to fill TechPubs positions
These could be contractors, consultants, or employees, depending on your needs. Our rates are competitive, and appropriate to the candidate you choose. This is our industry; we know what it takes to get this job done, and we know lots of the players, too. We will make every effort to find truly appropriate candidates for your objectives, and if we can't, we'll say so.

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Provide templates for standards, policies, and procedures
Our templates include both basic outline content, and instructional material that guides you through further development, in the context of your company's needs and plans; for example, Written Communications Standards might include a Grammar section, with subheadings like Spelling and Punctuation, but these subsections contain example content and ideas for appropriate additional development, rather than "complete" content.

Our policies-and-procedures templates include a variety of subjects, and are growing all the time; for example, Internet and e-mail policy, employee handbooks, departmental procedures, and so on.

Of course, if you prefer, we can also develop finished guides on any of these subjects.

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Develop Adobe FrameMaker templates
If you're new to FrameMaker, or to the idea of using templates, we can help. We can develop templates to your requirements, or guide you through the process—you choose.

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