In our previous blog post we touched on 5 key topics to discuss with your team while picking a PDF remediation provider. We identified these five points and scratched the surface of each topic. Here we’ll be digging deeper in the first key topic: the importance of company age when choosing a pdf remediation service provider.
Section 508 lists elaborate accessibility requirements for each PDF, which makes it clear that PDF remediation is a skilled work. This is especially true for organizations with large and varied collections of PDF documents that need remediation. Schools, universities, hospitals and municipal/local/government agencies are all legally bound to comply with Section 508 and ADA recommendations.
Picking the right PDF remediation service provider is a critical step that either means a smooth, cost-effective process or disaster.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, so here are a few tips on how to approach the service PDF remediation provider selection process based on a company’s age.
Benefits of hiring a young PDF remediation service provider
When we are talking about older companies in the digital world, we have to keep in mind that online, time flows much faster. Think of it in terms of dog years.
A company that’s been in existence for 1-3 years face startup challenges and won’t have the time to solve most of them. These teenage-like companies still struggle with establishing internal operations. This usually results in unpredictable volume and quality of output.
Granted, this is a vast oversimplification, but it’s what we’ve observed from our own history here at Armedia, as well as seeing these struggles in younger companies we’ve worked with over the years.
The benefits of working with a young company that has barely gone past the startup stage are easy to spot. In our case of PDF remediation services, these young companies may be a great fit if the following items are high on your list:
- They will do everything they can to serve you well. You will be much more than just another client simply because their internal operations may not be honed to a level needed to keep their pipeline full of new projects.
- They will be a lot more flexible with you when you send change requests. Because you’re more than just another client, they will do whatever it takes to make you a happy client. This comes in handy if your organization did not spend too much time and resources in planning ahead, and merged the Discovery stage with the Delivery stage.
- They will be more eager to participate in longer weekly meetings to go over what they have completed, and will be more attentive to your questions. This is important if your organization does not have an in-house team to participate in the PDF remediation process.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. But at the same time, there are also risks of working with a young PDF remediation company. The lack of processes, resources, expertise and experience can mean poor quality of PDF remediation, slower turnaround and multiple revisions. This can greatly increase the workload your team has to take on to ensure a decent level of productivity and quality.
Benefits of picking an average-age PDF remediation service provider
Continuing the analogy of dog-years, we can loosely put the average age between 3 and 6 years, or the years of young adulthood.
If you are looking at a PDF remediation partner in this age group, there are plenty of benefits you can hope for. But, there are also some risks.
However, since we are focusing on benefits, let’s quickly list several you can expect if you pick a more established PDF remediation company:
- Predictable level of output. This may be of critical importance if your organization has thousands of PDFs and a strict deadline. More established teams are better prepared to deliver PDF remediation services almost like clockwork.
- Predictable level of quality. If a company has had its ups and downs on the market, there is a higher probability that the PDF remediation team will have enough field experience and expertise to provide the level of remediation you need. The level of remediation is not a fixed value. I’s a variable. It can be done according to a “minimal requirements” approach where you expect some corner-cutting in order to meet your budget and timeline expectations.
- Fewer meetings, fewer consulting initiatives. For companies that are still setting deep roots in the industry, they are also still racing to get more done. You can see this when you talking to the team leads. They will either have limited first-hand expertise about PDF remediation, or they will focus on page counts and document counts rather than the quality of remediation. This can come as a benefit if your organization has limited time and budget for the PDF remediation process.
These “young adult” companies will have enough enthusiasm to produce quality, but you will feel a bit of a detachment from them. This isn’t necessarily a red flag, since at the end of the day you still want to find a partner that will handle the PDF remediation project without too much hand-holding on your end.
The benefits of hiring an older PDF remediation company
In the digital world, anything over six years can be considered an established player in the field. These companies have been on the market long enough to have acquired industry expertise and wisdom, so think of it like dealing with a person between 35-55 years of age.
As a rule of thumb, if you have three companies that offer the same service (PDF remediation) and their service comes with the same price tag, most people will choose the oldest provider.
This is because people jump to the conclusion that if the company is well established in the industry, they will most probably deliver superior service. Sometimes this is true. Sometimes, not so much. But let’s jump in and list several benefits you can expect from these PDF remediation veterans:
- They will usually have a higher output compared to the other two age groups. This is because the company had enough time to build all needed internal structures and teams. There are plenty of experts on staff that have been doing PDF remediation for years, and with over seven years of experience, there’s hardly any challenges left to discover.
- They will have a better price-per-page quote. Established companies can afford to go as far as setting internal verticals that specialize for regular PDF documents, interactive forms, annual reports etc. People in these sub-teams can turn around PDFs much faster, and usually cheaper, because of this focused expertise.
- They will usually have some internal automation or even full-fledged PDF remediation software solutions. This can be the best competitive edge these companies bring to the table. With their own solutions, they can provide extremely competitive prices and timelines that are hard to beat for newer companies.
Clearly, working with industry leaders has a lot more benefits than these. The internal know-how accumulated over the years can be a life-saver if your PDFs are more complex.
However, there are pitfalls too. Established PDF remediation companies will usually have so much history in the field and a packed pipeline that you are just another client, a number in a row of other leads and ongoing projects. Their dedication to your project may be far less compared to the other groups.
Also, because of economies of scale, the more established PDF remediation service providers may have teams overseas as the backbone of their production line. Chances are, if you’re looking at hiring the cheaper options, you’re hiring a company that outsources your PDFs to overseas workers. In some cases this may be a non-issue. But in some cases, this could be a deal-breaker.
PDF remediation is a big industry. With Section 508, ADA, WCAG, there are plenty of guidelines that companies use to ensure proper PDF remediation service. There are also plenty of solutions providers to choose from.
When looking for a PDF remediation company, keep in mind that there are plenty of things to consider, company age being just one of them.
Depending on the type of PDFs your organization has and the number of PDFs that needs remediation, picking the right partner for the job isn’t a simple exercise.
In some cases, you may be best served by a young company. These are eager teams ready to jump at any question or request and make you a happy customer. They have a lot to prove to the world, and to themselves, so you may get the best bang for your buck.
If you’re more interested in predictable outcomes and a balance between weekly reports and free consults, you may be best served by an average-aged company. These PDF remediation companies will have enough experience to guide you along the way, but will also have solid expertise and won’t get caught off guard by a complex PDF remediation project.
If you want a fast turnaround with a great price, you may be best served by an industry veteran. With over a decade of experience and perhaps hundreds of employees to do PDF remediation, these powerhouses can turn around hundreds, even thousands of PDFs per week. Economies of scale, automation and outsourcing are enabling these agencies to be the heavyweights in the PDF remediation industry.
Armedia is an interesting mix of all three age groups. As a company, we are definitely an established company. With 20 years of experience, we’ve had the time to set up internal processes and tools we’ve developed to streamline and automate as many repetitive activities as possible. Because of this, we have had the privilege of working on vast projects for many government agencies and institutions over the years. In some cases, these projects required security clearance staff to handle sensitive documents.
However, we also have the energy and desire to serve like a younger company because our Accessibility Division is younger. The team that handles PDF remediation has successfully processed PDF remediation projects with serious complexity. The people involved in PDF remediation are eager to provide amazing level of service that you can only find in new companies.
In a sense, you get the best of all three age groups packed into one team to deliver PDF remediation services with little stress on your end, all with a great balance of budget and quality.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can help you with your PDF remediation needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.