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Forest Research incurs costs associated with managing, running and delivering the system to users. The costs incurred by Forest Researchinclude ‘fixed’ costs such as administration and server charges and ‘variable’ costs such as software support and technical support which will be variable dependent on the level of uptake of the system by the users. The total cost will be the sum of ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’ costs.
To keep costs low for users the proportion of the ‘fixed’ costs allocated to individual users will be based on the predicted number of subscribers in the first year and then the actual number of subscribers in subsequent years. As uptake of the system by the forest industry increases this should lower the ‘fixed’ costs over time for individual users. As ‘fixed’ costs tend to be higher than ‘variable’ costs the greater the number of sites managed by individual users (or user groups) in a given year, the lower the impact of the fixed costs in that year. The benefit of this is that it translates into a lower overall cost/ha as the number of sites that are managed using the system increases (see table of subscription rates).
Forest Research reserve the right to vary annual subscription charges. Any changes to these charges will be dependant on the number of groups using the system in the previous year and the changes to Forest Research’s fixed and variable costs associated with running the system. New charging structures will be advertised on these web pages and will normally be updated annually in March.
The benefits of a web-based system include: reduced production and distribution costs, easy upgrading of software (i.e. inclusion of newly developed features without the need to redistribute), centralised secure data storage and easy feedback mechanisms and access to support for the registered users.
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