Management and Group Facilitation

A group or association of mountmakers must rest on a different functional foundation than most service organizations.The management structure of a team of Mountmakers, rather than linear and vertical; must be a global and interactive task network, with constant communication among all participants.When Sanders takes on a project, our management staff analyzes the project as a whole scenario, looking for the strengths and weaknesses of the situation, and for problem areas outside the norm.We then select a Project Manager and teams of Mountmakers who are skilled in the crafts required to address the project requirements. The resulting group of experts is always unique to the project in hand.The basis of efficiently managing large projects is good information management. The best protection for artifacts in an exhibit situation is knowledge and information management.

SMS’ management devotes a great deal of energy to gathering and organizing artifact data. Our goal is to make artifact information readily available as we design, fabricate, and install the artifact mounts.

We have developed a computer database format which is readily changeable to accommodate different task profiles. Each collection requires a unique set of parameters for information management, and our staff is adept a creating an optimum platform for each project.

When the mountmaking task is at the scale of whole museums, it requires data processing and well organized management, as well as the capacity to set up the whole operation including multimedium shops and data processing in a remote location and operate efficiently in a construction situation. The installation of an entire museum collection is an intense endeavor which normally requires a team of ten to twenty practitioners several months to a year to accomplish. Our mountmaking and management teams are specifically structured to fit the varied and constantly changing requirements of each project. SMS management staff has all become adept at selection and training of individuals who are capable of performing quality work in these extreme conditions. We operate a separate but linked business in Architectural Crafting which provides a rich foundation in multimedium craftsmanship to our potential museum mounting personnel, but more importantly, gives us a long term opportunity to ascertain whether individuals are suited to the rare demands of exhibit artifact installation.

All work performed by SMS is performed in our shops or on site supervised by our management staff. We employ a full time cadre of multimedium mountmakers and have developed long term working relationships with a number of SMS Associates, who are typically self-employed masters of their crafts and are eager to master the unique requirements and skills of artifact mounting. By careful skill phasing on our projects, we have expertly managed the design, fabrication, and installation of mounts for several large projects simultaneously. We have previously been solely responsible for the artifact mounting over 20 new State or National level museums and hundreds of large exhibits.