Making Service Information Accurate, Relevant, & Accessible

Tech Publication & Service Info | 29 July 2019 | Team EACPDS

Share this

If your organization creates service information, work instructions, installation operator guides, user guides, technical instructions, service manuals, or even service procedure bulletins – it’s time to rethink your process.

Let’s talk about how to make your service information accurate, relevant and accessible.

Defects in products happen, but in the case that a product needs to be taken apart- it’s important to do it the right way. This is especially true with today’s advanced complex products.

This is why organizations often don’t question why they’re managing mountains of paper-based technical publications. But what happens when a service call involves the use of particular tools that aren’t quite outlined in a service procedure manual?

Or when field circumstances turn out to be different than the initial service order and the correct manual may not have made it into a technician’s vehicle?

What happens when technical publications designed to guide service are no longer relevant due to product or tool changes? Despite best efforts – service, installation, and operation problems arise. These problems cause worker confusion, dissatisfied customers, and business risk.

Providing information that no longer applies to specific products forces operators to troubleshoot challenges based on assumptions and experience – or worse – inexperience. Paper-based and locally stored procedures, instructions, and guidelines also have a tendency to make work instructions difficult to find.

If your procedure documentation guidelines are disconnected, they are only hurting you.

The good news is, with the help of simple technology, any organization has an opportunity to rethink their service information. There has never been a better time to make service information accurate, relevant, and easily accessible.

The solution? Interactive digital work instructions.

How to make service information accurate

You might be surprised, but as a matter of fact, the first step towards achieving accurate service information involves using the content (such as Tech Pubs, Arbortext, DITA, XML, Images, etc.) that your organization has already created. Evaluate the current service information processes your organization has in place. For instance, you might currently be using paper documentation.

What’s the problem with paper documentation?

Once your documents are committed to paper alone, you can no longer assure their ongoing accuracy. The underlying information could have changed right after it was printed! Your information should (most definitely) include the latest version of technical publications and content (such as Creo Illustrate, Windchill, Service Information Manager, InDesign, FrameMaker, Oxygen, etc.) that you already have without the need for added latency or work for authoring, styling, and publishing.

When you’re in a digital work instruction environment, that environment is set up to draw from the most accurate up-to-date information available on your system. This is why the best possible way to ensure the accuracy of your service information is to move away from paper workflows and go to digital work instructions – instantaneous access, up-to-date information.

How to make service information relevant

The best way to ensure that your service information is relevant is by connecting your technical publications back to your engineering and manufacturing content creators.

What do we mean by that?

Your work instructions, service manuals, operation guides, and bulletins all come from files you have on hand. So why shouldn’t they directly connect to and show operators and technicians accurate and relevant information about what they do?!

Furthermore, if your current service processes involve the need to find and locate product information before your technicians start the job, you end up losing valuable time.

It’s time to change that.

The way to make your service information more relevant is to have your instructions take your technicians down a specific product path. Using visual work instructions will allow your service teams to get specific information and insights that directly pertain to what they need.

By implementing technology that can cross-reference technical publication content, you can be sure your service information will always be relevant no matter the task.

The technology available today even has features like ‘work process selects’, to route directly to the correct tech pub content. Even better, it also has the ability to navigate to cross-referenced content such as DITA, XML files, images and more!

Simple solutions on the market today can even provide service technicians and operators with the ability to immediately start on a service task. With the help of technology, such as a digital device or a handsfree headset, service technicians can instantly receive relevant work instructions at their fingertips… or eyeballs… by simply scanning a barcode.

Your service information should be accurate and timely, and the best way to make that possible is by directly connecting all the files you currently have! It’s that simple.

How to make service information accessible

Making service information more accessible has everything to do with the use of digital devices such as mobile or wearable devices.

By using mobile or wearable devices, workers have the ability to instantly connect directly to work processes and even existing tech pub source content. Every organization has the ability to make service info easily accessible to the extent that the company wants.

For instance, you can easily make any information accessible and relevant now with a connected Industrial IoT environment. By using Wi-Fi and cellular connections, technicians have the ability to connect online to whatever the most relevant information is.

Your path to better service information

Please contact us to see how Industrial AR can be used to connect and reuse existing technical publications and content. We have the know-how, technology, and team to help you take your digital transformation to the next level, decrease service and manufacturing errors, and improve the way you distribute technical information.

Watch this video to see EAC’s solution for converting work instructions to digital AR experiences with AR Instruct.