The leaders of industry are so often leaders because of
their distaste for regulation and orthodox methods.
They are often reluctant to be restricted in their
activities by static requirements of a mechanised system.
It may, however, be observed that, with the rapid strides
in the development of machinery itself, the makers are
very willing to make favourable trade -out conditions in
order that users may take advantage of the most recent
improvements. It may well be that, owing to improvements,
ten years might be regarded as the period of most useful
life for the more expensive office machinery, by which time
the initial cost should have been fully saved to the user.
The Question of installing mechanical aid in the
office is largely an economic one, and must be determined
by the need of such aids, and in the return which they are
likely to yield. Needs, on the one hand, are essentially
relative, and cannot be assessed by simple standards.
On the other hand, returns are difficult to translate into
£.s.d. where speed, accuracy, security, and even prestige,
may be involved. It will be the purpose of the pages which
follow to endeavour to afford some guidance on these issues.