External Standard Services

#1
Hi All,

I am wanting to look into utilizing a service like TechStreet or IHS to manage the external standards my company uses. In the service we currently have, we only have access to the documents that we purchase individually and pay a yearly fee for each one. There are lots of limitations with this such as with IPC standards we can only get single user pdf or paper copies of. These are hard to manage and we have a wide range of people across multiple sites that need to reference them.

Ideally I'd like a service where we can pay for access to all standards from a given publisher (ISO, IPC, IEEE, ASTM, for example) so if something new comes up we don't have to go thru the song and dance of getting it ordered and added to our list of external standards, etc.

Does anyone have any first hand experience with these services and can give an idea of how they work and a rough order of magnitude of what they cost. I'm trying to avoid getting sales people involved until I have a better idea if this is something we want to actively pursue. Thanks!
 
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John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Staff member
#2
Hi All,

I am wanting to look into utilizing a service like TechStreet or IHS to manage the external standards my company uses.
Does anyone have any first hand experience with these services and can give an idea of how they work and a rough order of magnitude of what they cost. I'm trying to avoid getting sales people involved until I have a better idea if this is something we want to actively pursue. Thanks!
Good day @JasnahKholin ;
It has been approx 12 years since I was engaged with it but yes, for numerous years my organizations did indeed use (specifically IHS) a subscription service. Loved it. The way it worked was (I assume it still is), we simply signed up for the subscription service and then selected all the standards applicable to us. Whenever any of those standards were updated, IHS would notify us. We could then select to "purchase" or "ignore".

The subscription cost at that time was extremely reasonable (cheap even).

Summary: I think you'll like it and I certainly recommend it.

Hope this helps.
Be well.
 

indubioush

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Even if you use this service, you will still have to do a periodic review of external standards to ensure you have the correct ones in your library. There are new standards all the time, and these services do not pick up on this.
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Staff member
#4
Even if you use this service, you will still have to do a periodic review of external standards to ensure you have the correct ones in your library. There are new standards all the time, and these services do not pick up on this.
Not sure I understand the point @indubioush ....
* you will still have to do a periodic review of external standards - Why ?
* There are new standards all the time, and these services do not pick up on this - Are you referring to revised or truly "new" standards. In regard to revised, then a subscription such as IHS that is being discussed will indeed notify them if a revision occurs (that is the point of the subscription).

If, however, you are referring to "new" standards that apply to his/her organization (such as when a new OEM drawing is released referencing any standard that organization has not owned/utilized before ), then you are absolutely correct . Their system will need to ensure as part of feasibility review, activity, that the newly introduced standards are part of the review as applicable and, as new business is added, that necessary standards are procured and added to their library.

Hope this helps.
Be well.
 
#5
The subscription cost at that time was extremely reasonable (cheap even).
Do you recall roughly what the service cost? Unfortunately I don't think that I can get management to even look at it unless it will offer a cost savings over what we currently use which is a little over 11k per year, but is increasing rapidly every year because of the increasing number of standards we reference.
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Staff member
#7
Do you recall roughly what the service cost? Unfortunately I don't think that I can get management to even look at it unless it will offer a cost savings over what we currently use which is a little over 11k per year, but is increasing rapidly every year because of the increasing number of standards we reference.
What ?....$11k annually ?
Are you part of an extremely large organization and speaking of the document/standard purchasing budget as a whole or just the subscription/monitoring service? (I'm curious how it is possible to spend that amount annually simply maintaining current standard revisions)

If my memory serves me correctly, the IHS document revision monitoring subscription was in the HUNDREDs of USD annually.
(this does not include the cost of any documents/standards that you purchase, but even then, considering many standards are in the $100~$500 USD range I struggle to understand an annual expenditure of $11k)

Are we speaking of the same thing? Please help me understand better. Thank you.

Be well
 
#8
OK so with the service we use currently we pay an initial fee for each standard that we purchase from them and basically we purchase a license to view the standard online thru their portal. We also pay a yearly "subscription" fee for each standard that is currently in our library, that is where the 11K/year comes from. We have over 60 standards managed in this system, must a few dozen others which are paper or individually licensed paper copies that we also have to keep track of. These are mostly IPC standards which we can't get site licenses for through our current service.

Hopefully this clarifies things a little?
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Staff member
#9
Thanks @JasnahKholin ;
Man,,....60 is probably a similar amount of standards that I had on subscription and we certainly spent no where close to that $11k amount.

Most standards that are purchased for "on-line" access only (I currently "own" a few that way) are a one-time payment...and the one's that I purchased that way are less than $250 USD each, so I'm really struggling to understand the exorbitant cost.

Maybe someone else here on the Cove can weigh in ?

Be well.
 

indubioush

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
with the service we use currently
So you are already using a service. I just want to add a note from personal experience. I have managed external standards for a long time, and have done a cost comparison more than once on joining a service/subscription or just buying standards individually. Buying standards individually has won each time. Using Techstreet Tracker is free. You get an email notifying you about a standard revision, and you then buy it from any website you want. However, I see that you may be in a bind with strict license requirements that IPC imposes on its standards. Still, I agree with John that 11k seems like a lot.
 
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