In the era of industry 4.0, many manufacturers are still neglecting their technical documentation and still rely on standard office software to write their work instructions, technical manuals and other operational procedures. But this approach is a source of dissatisfaction and inefficiency.
Updating content, managing versions and duplicates, organizing files or formatting work wastes valuable staff time. Paper documentation does not keep up with your product developments and quickly becomes obsolete. Its accessibility is limited and no longer corresponds to the new working methods of your customers.
It is time to consider new approaches to documentation.
Documentation that truly meets the needs of users
An operator does not usually consult paper documentation when he or she is sitting in front of the machine. He or she will usually prefer to contact an internal referent or the manufacturer’s support for an accurate answer to his or her question. Documentation is losing its usefulness and support costs can quickly spiral out of control.
Responding to users’ needs means giving them access in a matter of seconds to the information they need to carry out an action: a complete operating procedure or a specific step, a short video, good practices shared by other technicians in the same factory or at the other end of the world.
Responding to users’ needs means giving them access in a matter of seconds to the information they need to carry out an action
By assisting our clients in redesigning their documentation methods, we have identified four main levers to make technical documentation useful and fully exploitable:
- Accessibility: this is one of the major challenges. The user wants to access the information regardless of his or her situation: from his or her desktop computer, smartphone or tablet while on the move, or from the HMI of the machine or from his or her smart glasses if equipped with them.
- Clear, visual and up-to-date documentation: digital documentation platforms can be used to illustrate an operating procedure using photos, videos, 3D illustrations or links to other documents when relevant. Procedures are updated in a few clicks and centrally. It is essential to provide the user with documentation that corresponds exactly to the machine or software version they are using.
- Collaborative documentation: reassured by documentation that helps them in their day-to-day operations, users become contributors. A digital platform allows them to ask a question about a procedure, view the answers or comments of other users and get help from an expert if necessary.
- Multilingual: in order to avoid misinterpretations, it is necessary to make your documentation accessible in the user’s native language. Digital documentation allows the user to switch to the desired language with a single click and to improve certain translations when necessary.
Continuous improvement and increased productivity
The implementation of digital documentation will allow you to significantly improve your productivity and that of your customers. Online documentation platforms enable your teams to create, update, translate and distribute all documents centrally. The use of predefined document templates (work instructions, guide, tools, materials templates) makes it easy to capture and reuse content while standardising documents. Your teams are more productive. Your printing costs are kept to a minimum.
Your teams are more productive. Your printing costs are kept to a minimum.
By making your documentation available to your customers in a digital format, you enable them to adapt the content to their own context. The customer benefits are immediate. This allows them to improve the reliability of their procedures, reduce non-conformities in production, and it can also facilitate the attainment of ISO 9001 certification. On the manufacturer’s side, you thus have a feedback loop to follow any comments or corrections made by your customers on their platform.
By distributing your documentation in a digital format, you can increase customer satisfaction, improve productivity, and reduce your internal costs while differentiating yourself in your market.
Dokit offers a solution to ease the transfer of knowledge within organisations. The Dokit platform, based on Mediawiki, allows you to create, manage and share work instructions, guides or any procedure in a structured, visual and collaborative format.
To learn more about the Dokit platform and our services, visit our website at www.dokit.io