|Times, They Are aChanging
The essence of Jim Thomas Plain Talk column in the March issue of SN, A Matter of Choice, is that, with
regard to the sources of income for ASTM, matters are to stay
as they are and always have been: a model tested and not found
But Times, they are a'changing as the song goes, and ASTM is
very busy doing just that: ASTM is going electronic!
Which is of course quick, easy, and efficient!
However, it is nowhere ever mentioned in his article that these
electronic procedures would also be extremely cost-effective for
ASTM. No more costs for material (paper, envelopes, copier supplies),
employee labor (copying, sorting, packaging), and postage for
all the ASTM mailings to the membership!
It is the other way round: these new electronic media procedures
will raise the costs for ASTMs voluntary work force to come into
the possession of the various publications.
The stakeholders/investors (as Mr. Thomas calls ASTM members)
will have to get online (need access to a computer and telephone
line) to visit the Web site (Internet connection fees), then download
the publications (telephone costs and computer space) and print
the documents (paper and ink). For it is no secret that this ASTM
work is mostly done during the members own time at home and not
during their companys working hours.
In summary, it is my opinion that because ASTMs new electronic
procedures are resulting in a substantial decrease in operating
costs, ASTM should give some consideration to the possibility
of sharing part of this cost reduction with their unpaid workers.
Chairman F07.07 on Qualification Testing of Aircraft Cleaning
[We would like to correct a common misconception: 83 percent of
ASTM members say they interact with ASTM via e-mail or the web
primarily at their workplace, not at home. Almost all ASTM members
have e-mail, and most, 98 to 99 percent, have Web access.
ASTM has indeed saved some costs in postage and mailing by posting
material on the web, instead of mailing it. As this trend continues,
our postal and mailing costs should decrease. But going electronic
also entails new costs for ASTM, including html and Web database
development; customer and member help desks; and 24/7 operation.
If the net effect of this electronic transition is lower overall
costs, ASTM members and customers will no doubt be the beneficiaries.
Copyright 2001, ASTM