How Global Manufacturers Can Better Manage Technical Information

Technical Information_Global Challenges

Expanding operations around the world have opened vast new business arenas for many manufacturers. Each year, sales outside of their original domestic marketplaces may constitute ever-larger shares of these companies’ overall returns.

Yet with globalized opportunities have come globalized challenges. And perhaps no one feels these challenges more sharply than the manufacturers’ technical information departments.

It’s not uncommon for a product to be designed in one country, assembled in another, and then sold and serviced around the globe.

In a perfect world, product documentation would be concurrently authored, delivered, and referred to in multiple languages. But it is hard enough to keep up with only the most pressing demands each time a new product is rolled out.

Using a product-centric approach, manufacturers can meet some of these global challenges head on by making technical information:

  • Easy to find. Information is easy to navigate visually. Users can search and sort by models, configurations, and parts – or by service tasks.
  • Easy to understand. Information is highly graphical and contextually pliable.  Users can easily focus on only the information they need – in their native languages.
  • Easy to trust. Information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date.  It’s consistent across functions, and fully reflective of the latest design changes.

When a manufacturer fully recognizes the value-enhancing promise of the product-centric approach, planning and implementing their improved technical information solution can begin. Key components will include industry-proven software tools for:

  • Accurately repurposing and adapting, in 2D and 3D CAD, the engineering organization’s latest product designs for use in service applications.
  • Efficiently authoring user manuals, service guides, parts lists, and other product documentation in practically any format, for any media required.
  • Securely providing access to complete, accurate, up-to-date product information for end-to-end utilization throughout the service lifecycle.

The technical information solution should deliver:

  • Just the right product intelligence (specific to the product and parts) to
  • Just the right service people (whether at the call center, in the field, or elsewhere) in
  • Just the right formats (more graphical – and thus easier to understand and use) and in
  • Just the right configurations (no less, and no more, product information than needed for the service task at hand).

When a product-centric approach to technical information improves the service team’s performance, the manufacturer attains an important goal. But ultimately the best measure of the solution’s value will be the higher numbers of satisfied customers making more consistently productive use of the product.

Improved service performance and increased customer value – these, for the product’s manufacturer, are the results from which all bottom-line benefits then flow.

Can a product-centric approach to technical information work for your company?

Attend the PTC Live Service Exchange June 11-12, 2013 in Anaheim, CA to learn from 30 thought leading speakers discussing best practices to increase service revenue, profitability and customer value.

About Christa Prokos

Christa Prokos is a PTC marketing manager based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She researches and writes about service lifecycle management, taking particular interest in understanding manufacturers’ service challenges and best practices. Follow Christa on Twitter @ChristaProkos
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