×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

(OP)
Has anyone ever flirted with selling documents on-line? What are the necessary steps to take, both to offer the product but also protect the product?

I'm thinking of spending some time to produce checklists, documents, etc. for other engineers/firms. There is a lot of focus right now around getting documentation in order for all projects and to legitimize the firm for the regulator. I've also heard from some colleagues regarding their difficulties with maintaining (or following) their own (or their company's) QA processes, if they even exist.

It's a low-impact investment for me, based on my existing works. But I'm wondering if it is more complicated than simply binding the package, getting a copyright, having a website, and distributing it after accepting payment.

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

Do you mean as in bolierplated or customized? The former doesn't seem particularly germane to me; the latter would seem to me to require inside knowledge of the client company's processes and specific contract requirements.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

(OP)
Probably ability to customize, but more or less a ready-to-use sheet.

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

I guess the question then is how much value-added are you providing? I envision these documentations and checklists need to be customized to match client processes, nomenclature, etc., so other than providing a starting point, is your product worth that much to a potential client?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

(OP)
Yes, I hear you that they may need to be customized to a certain point. The goal would be to have a "booklet" of sorts that people download, use, and then modify or contact me to customize. Whether or not that is value-added or worthy, is something I would consider further.

Although I understand your line of question as a means to caution whether to put effort into a project, it doesn't really address my original question which has to deal with the publishing aspects of digital documents. I'm more interested in exploring the copyright facets of the question, and the locking/protecting of the document in question...I guess this could even carry over to something like a design tool or spreadsheet, and understanding if there is really an effective method to do this.

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

That's how my project notes started out... catch all for problems encountered... file size is now a 400K text file.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

for PDF, there's at least this https://www.locklizard.com/pdf-digital-rights-mana...

Quote:

Protect PDF documents no matter where they reside:

Stop unauthorized access
Stop sharing and distribution
Strong US Gov strength encryption, DRM and licensing controls

There's something similar for Word
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/restric...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

I've been searching for a checklist management system, that allows us to register/sort checklists by project and type. With everything digital, it's hard enforcing a company standard based on a mix of old word and excel checklists. Especially when we're sending filled checklist to outside parties.

I haven't found any usable existing products that allows 2 (or more) signatures and checkboxes for peer review (national requirement), all existing apps and sites seems to be for groceries.
A few that could work, lacks functionality or are too expensive (~50 usd/user/month..).

We ended up creating our own in excel, but a database based system with customizable checklists could sell if prized correctly (in a fairly small market..)

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

We treat the standardisation that we've developed as intellectual property, and the money is in using it ourselves. Handing that out for others to use is not happening. I suspect I'm not alone!

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

(OP)
@BrianPetersen: I agree. It is intellectual property, which is kind of why I wouldn't want to make it free-ware, open-source, etc. I also don't know how to handle the "audits" our firm(s) are scheduled for in the coming months. As in: an external auditor (hired by the regulator) basically reviews all processes/standards and rates your compliance. I'm not sure how to protect myself (and others) from possibly giving up intellectual property in that audit...

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

You might do better as a consultant teaching modern quality methods and processes, assuming you have the requisite certifications and experience. IME engineers doing so are rather rare vs non-engineer PMs, not to suggest that the later cannot be extremely good with engineering processes. The documentation itself seems to be fairly ubiquitous, there are a bazillion nearly-identical templates online for everything from FMEAs to Pugh matrices and process overviews. Many mega-corps share them for the supply chain's use as do design consultants with clients. The various communication platforms like MS Teams today have all manner of cool features for sharing/using templates and automating workflows internally and externally.

JME but the main issue with companies not following modern standard process is a lackadaisical culture. Most seem to resolve that by hiring a consultant to teach a few days worth of either agile or lean philosophy to establish the reset/inflection point and set expectations going forward.

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

I don't know that it's necessarily "lackadaisical culture," per se; it's certainly at least a failure to adequately incorporate new initiatives into the existing culture, coupled with a failure to monitor and measure such incorporation. What had been incorporated was reasonably and rigorously followed. In some cases, the tools don't live up to the expectations required of them, making it essentially impossible to fully implement something such as MBSE (model-based systems engineering).

I've had one occasion where a PM was actually fired from a program for refusing to follow company procedure, but that was at our customer's level and not us.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

How do you plan to price docs? $ amount? $ per copy? $ for unlimited use by a company?

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

(OP)
RE Pricing: not sure at this point. I envisioned this being a pay-per-download with the probability that the download would be somewhat substantial (ie. not just 1-page document). And then at this stage of thinking, I never considered licensing, so probably unlimited use.

RE: Documentation and checklists: How to sell as a product

@skeletron: I think you are onto something. At our small consulting firm we have our own checklists and documents that have been developed. Their purpose is both for quality checking and compliance with the regulator. They can be a pain to create, so I see the benefit in off the shelf documents which could be customized to your firm. If you do go forward with this, I could be your first customer!

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login



News


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close