© 1994-2016, Frank Stearns
Site Revision 2016-03beta
Frank Stearns Associates Makers of IXgen for FrameMaker FSA  1 435 275 8981 franks@fsatools.com
Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

A Real-World Cost-Savings Example (from the IXgen White Paper)

How much time can I really save with IXgen? How can I pay for IXgen licenses? As an example, let’s use a 300 page document spread across 10 chapters. Consider doing the most basic indexing task: indexing each chapter head and each first and second level head. That’s a lot of mouse movement, clicking, and trips to the marker window. Shall we say three hours? Maybe four hours? Five? IXgen can do the same thing in a few minutes. But at this first step, you’ve got a rather poor index, by any standard. What about making some typical variants of those entries? If you had energy left over from creating these markers using just the standard FrameMaker marker window, you’d need at least another two or three hours to permute those markers. Use IXgen to intelligently permute the entries in a few seconds. What about the inevitable variations in capitalization, particularly following a permutation? Plan on at least another two hours to correct these by hand; IXgen can do it in seconds. What about “specials” and “tweaks” — in other words, how much time do you spend polishing the index? Where should you add the “see also’s”? The page ranges? Doing it manually can run into many more hours. With IXgen, you can polish in minutes, not hours. It’s fair to say that with a 300 page document you can do a good start-to-finish index in less than an hour using IXgen. The same index done manually could take 15 hours or more. As you add layers of sophistication and completeness to the index, the time differences to simply manipulate the markers to improve the index become even more pronounced. Two writers, using two IXgen seats, can more than pay for those seats in a single day of use from the time saved. Here’s how we figure this: Assume a competent, medium-scale writer is worth $45/hour, gross pay, including benefits and other non-direct compensation items. If 28 hours are saved between two writers, that’s $1260.00. If you create only three documents like this each year, that’s $3780. Two IXgen Windows licenses cost only $398! In this very simple scenario, you’ve picked up $3382. Your savings will most certainly be much higher, because we’re illustrating a minimal-use case. Also consider these items in terms of their additional value: With IXgen you can afford to spend a little more time to get a true, high-quality index — carefully crafted — because you’re not fighting the limits of the FrameMaker marker window and thus settling for “good enough.” If you spend even one of those 14 hours of savings on polishing, you’re adding tremendous value to your index. Quality indexing means fewer support calls from those who use your documents. Quality indexing improves the overall format, flow, and content of your documents. Quality indexing — or even the presence of an index — improves the image of you, your company, and your product. Certain marker management tasks, such as deleting markers, conversion of marker types, or general clean-up, are virtually impossible with the marker window but easy with IXgen. On a per-writer/per-year basis, the time savings will add up to substantial savings.