Making the Case for Arbortext and Dynamic Publishing
Many businesses rely on one or two technical writers to collect all required technical and digital information needed to create technical and marketing publications. Most of this effort is manual, using the tried and true method of emailing, calling, and walking down the hall to bug technical resources for information or a screen grab; over and over. Then the information is created using a one-and-done single-instance authoring software like Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe InDesign, or (please say it isn’t so!!!!) Microsoft Word.
This is a problem because a tremendous amount of risk is introduced when technical information is primarily collected via direct communication, emails, and other manual methods. There is significant room for error and it’s difficult to keep all related data and downstream documents up-to-date in the case of product changes.
Out of date information seems to trickle down to many different publishing channels. Even if tech writers are hardworking and very diligent, there is a natural opportunity to miss updates driven by upstream changes. Just think of everywhere incorrect information could live if an update is missed. Web sites, user manual libraries, manufacturing instructions, service instructions, printed manuals, marketing literature, and the list goes on. This can increase the risk of providing out-of-date or inaccurate information to customers, manufacturing personnel, and service technicians.
There are a few different technologies available to help companies leverage existing engineering and design data for technical publications. If product data is housed in a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tool like PTC Windchill, it can be used to insure all needed technical digital data and information required by technical publications are managed by a single change process. This pushes the responsibility for accurate information to the people that actually own it. It helps insure people throughout the organization are updating content as part of every change and new product release.
Once data is in one place it becomes easier to create integrations between tools like Windchill and tools like PTC’s Service Information Manager (SIM) and Arbortext. An integration like this lets companies automatically, and dynamically, populate key information directly to technical publications. It also allows for the creation of integrations to push data to hosted catalogs and reseller sites.
Making the move from manual technical publications to what we just described allows tech writers to focus on optimization of publishing methods rather than data collection and integration. It helps insure overall accuracy of product data throughout the company and in the marketplace. ROI for this shift is typically measured by the elimination of manual efforts and more importantly the reduction of customer dissatisfaction and lost business.
Stop absorbing unnecessary risk and costs related to out-of-date technical documentation being used by internal and external customers. Consider a dynamic publishing solution like Arbortext or PTC Service Information Manager. Let content responsibility lie with the content creators. And delight customers with accurate product information no matter when, or how they access content.
We can help you map the optimal product data management and dynamic publishing solution for your business. Contact us to start the conversation. No pressure. Just answers.