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Introduction This paper presents the value of and need for quality TWB – Leading Technical Documentation Technical Publications in the Automotive Engineering industry. Outsourcing Company TWB is a leading technical publisher with an excellent Technical publications include a wide variety of record of providing unmatched technical documentation material such as design documents, analytical reports, to many major companies. handbooks, technical specification documents, user manuals, requirement documents, technical reports, white papers, online help files, classroom and web TWB is the ideal choice for leading manufacturers in the based training material, policy manuals, lab reports, automotive industry. TWB helps customers with all their and case studies. technical documentation needs such as design documents, analytical reports, handbooks, technical specification documents, technical reports and training Modern automotive engineering is a complex process, materials. integrating elements of mechanical, electrical and electronic, software and safety engineering. The key concept behind the integration of multiple processes is TWB works closely with client teams located globally, to automate vehicle manufacture and increase and assists them in meeting their worldwide product efficiency. announcements and launch deadlines. TWB works round-the-clock with client teams and help them with quick responses that facilitate timely distribution of This has led to rapid innovation in the development of documents around the globe. automotive systems. Today, customers are offered highly customized products at low prices. This is “Knowledge is people, money, learning, flexibility achieved by configuring individual vehicles from a and competitive advantage. Knowledge is more large number of options. This necessitates the creation relevant to sustained business than capital or labor. of highly accurate and specific product documentation. And yet knowledge remains the most neglected asset of a business. TWB helps you unlock and Further, the rapid technological progress in the share your technical knowledge with the world.” automotive industry has led to increased complexity in technical products. Owner and user manuals have increased by over 100% in volume in the last decade. This has proven to be a challenge, since globalization has necessitated an increase in the number of languages into which a technical document is translated. With each additional language translation, costs increase, directly proportional to the size and complexity of the documentation. This makes the creation of simple, easily comprehensible documentation essential to the automotive industry. This, in turn, necessitates the involvement of Technical Documentation Specialists in the creation of these documents. In this paper we will discuss the importance of technical publications to the automotive industry, to facilitate the growth, and development of the industry. “TWB believes that technology cannot exist without being communicated effectively.”The Writers Block www.twb.in 1 1
Automotive Industry – Technical Publications Growth of the automotive industry in Challenges and Solutions India India is the 9th largest automobile industry in the world, Some of the greatest documentation challenges that with a production of 2.3 million units in 2008 alone. In most companies in the automotive industry face today 2009, India became Asia’s 4th largest exporter of cars. include: Automobile companies like Nissan, Volkswagen, Toyota Increased complexity and diversity of products and Hyundai have expanded manufacturing facilities to Increased competition with regard to India. Nissan and Hyundai predict an export of over documentation quality and efficiency 250,000 vehicles by 2011. Stricter product liability regulations, placing more importance on completeness and comprehensibility of documentation. Rapid technological advances in the automotive industry have resulted in complex and diverse technical products. The task of creating documentation for such a wide range of products may seem complex and daunting, since documentation has to be revised or updated to keep pace with advancements. Quality documentation is easy to update and maintain, reducing the cost involved despite the massive amounts of documentation required by the industry. Differences in the functionality and quality of technical “The automotive industry in India grew at a products are slowly reducing. However the complexity compounded annual growth rate of 11.5% over the of these products is increasing correspondingly. As past five years.” – The Economic Survey, 2008 – product complexity increases, the quality of the 2009. documentation is often the deciding factor in customer decision making. TWB provides documentation with professional quality. Growth of the automotive industry Globally Product liability regulations, like the EU product liability directive, have impacted technical documentation The recent economic crisis has created momentum for a enormously. Today, the demand for experts in massive structural change in the auto industry, preparing technical documentation is high to guarantee quality the industry for growth for the next decade. document creation, thus avoiding legal ramifications. “Mark Oline, a Fitch Ratings Analyst predicted that sales will rise to 11.1 million cars and trucks next Benefits year, a 7.8 percent increase over the 10.3 million he expects for 2009.” For a leading vendor in the automotive industry, association with TWB has benefited them immensely China’s automobile market showed massive growth in in saving costs and producing professional 2010, with output and sales for January continuing from documentation along with services such as: the growth in December 2009, to reach 1.6148 million and 1.6642 million units respectively. Transferring complex technical data into easily understandable language Autofacts forecasts a 10% improvement in sales in the Protecting technical and commercial data of newly North America, predicting sales of 13.9 million units with an assembly forecast of 10.4 million units. developed products Creating, editing, reviewing, and maintaining content In South America, the vehicle sales reached 3 million units in 2009, a record-breaking 12.7% increase over Preparing training material, online Help, graphics sales in the 2008. This growth is expected to continue, and illustrations both in sales and assembly.The Writers Block www.twb.in 2
Value of Technical Publications Technical Publication for Transferring Publications for Different Levels of Product Knowledge Technical and Product Knowledge The purpose of technical publications is to transfer In the automotive industry, it is necessary to create product knowledge to the end user, in a comprehensible several different types of documentation for different format. The strategies of communication and levels of purposes: design documents, technical reports, information vary depending on the type of product. specification documents, user manuals and training material and so on. Each of these documents When delivering a product, whether a hardware product addresses a different audience, each of whom has a or a software application, it is equally important to give specific role in the automotive industry. It is important the users information about the product’s operation and that documents be created keeping in mind the role of maintenance. the person who will use the documentation. In the real world scenario, technical publications are For example, a technical analyst, who is accustomed often developed as an afterthought. This usually results to reviewing satellite images on a workstation, needs in inaccurate and hard-to-understand material. As a to learn how to use the system and software to result, the users dislike these materials and avoid using magnify the image, but not how to analyze the image. them. For users who start without technical or product Inaccurate and hard-to-understand material also results knowledge, you need to provide instructions to use the in the user’s inability to understand and implement high- product as well as information they need to look for as end technologies. The users might reject the product. a result of using the product. This presents a more difficult problem. Different needs of the end users and the gap between Faulty Assumptions that Result in their technical and product knowledge determines the Problems in Documentation amount of information that goes into technical publications. These faulty assumptions result in incomprehensible documents: The developers know the product better than anyone Attractive Publications as Useful else: With time constraints and limited resources, Marketing Tool many companies are tempted to let the programmers do the documentation. The engineers and developers Providing useful and accurate documents is critical to know the product very well. However, the developer ensure that the user can easily find the required is likely to provide technology-centered information; information. If the end users cannot find the answers where as the end user requires task-centered to their problems, they assume that the documentation information. is useless. For engineers and developers it is almost impossible to step back and look at the To be useful, the documentation must be clear, application from the end users point of view. concise, and well designed. The documentation that is accurate and complete also needs to be well designed. The application is complicated; having a writer learn about it will take too long: Learning the product should not be a major obstacle for the writers with the Accurate and easy-to-understand technical right technical background. documentation is the only way to provide information to the end user, and it is also cost-effective.The Writers Block www.twb.in 3 3
Conclusion The Importance of the Automotive Industry: The automotive industry is among the few that have shown steady growth during the last few years, particularly with the troubled economy. The automotive industry is important not just for its direct effects, but for its indirect effects as well. The industry has a large, complex supply chain, which draws from both specialized component suppliers and material suppliers. The automotive industry is one of the largest consumers of products of the aluminum, rubber, glass, plastics and steel industries. For many industries, the automotive industry is a leading consumer, whose requirements provide an impetus to innovations that benefit other sectors. Value of Technical Publications: Technical Publications are very essential for transferring product knowledge to the end users. Providing proper material to use technology and products enables the user to accept and efficiently use the product. Frequently, the quality of documentation is a factor which directly contributes to a customer’s decision to purchase or reject a product. Faulty assumptions about documentation lead to inaccurate and hard-to-understand material which discourages end users from the product itself. This also decreases the changes of marketing the products in the global markets. Role of Documentation Outsourcing: The complexity involved in automotive engineering, arising from the integration of electric, electronic, manufacturing, software, and hardware systems requires that vendors and purchasers look at outsourcing their documentation needs to well-established Technical Publications Solutions providers. This helps the company cut costs and at the same time deliver their products with quality documents.The Writers Block www.twb.in 4
TWB Services TWB is India’s leader in technical communication outsourcing and education. TWB offers a complete suite of services that allow our customers to effectively publish their technical knowledge with their people and processes. TWB’s customers range from Global 500 – including Cisco, Accenture, McAfee, LG, Samsung, Citrix, SAP, Siemens, AOL, Intel; Indian technology majors – including Infosys, Wipro; Global defense majors - Pratt & Whitney, Honeywell, DRDO, HAL; and exciting technology startups. TWBs expertise in technical communication ranges from IT Products and Outsourcing, ITES, Banking, Financial, Aerospace, Defense, Ship Building to Hi-tech Manufacturing, and Discrete and Process Manufacturing. TWB’s services include: Technical Marketing Technical Product Documentation Quality Solutions Documentation Management Datasheets Administrator’s Guide Datasheets Copy Editing and Proof Reading API Document Cheat sheets Managing Writing Configuration Guide Solution Briefs/Solution Brochures Editing Services Functional Specifications Document Presentations – Products/Corporate Layout and Design Profile Installation Manual Creating SLAs Brochures and marketing collateral Interface Document Web content Interactive Electronic Technical Manual (IETM) Business Documentation Audio and video scripts Maintenance Manual Business Proposals Press releases Online Help Legal Disclaimers Direct mail Operation Manual Policy Manuals Newsletter design copy Product Demo Style Guide Design Sales catalogues Product Specifications Document Template Design Sales sheets Product Overview Document Quick Reference Guide Business Communication Content Management Release Notes Short Reports Requirement Analysis Document Single Sourcing Proposals SDK Document File Version Control Case Studies Troubleshooting Manual Document Naming Conventions Lab Reports User Manual Consistent Document Formatting Memos Open Source Documentation Data Transformation Progress/Interim Reports Programmers Guides Writing for Electronic Media Functional Specifications Document Use Cases Web site Development Illustrations Online Help /Context Sensitive Help Web 2.0 development Troubleshooting Guides Graphic Designing Web content Info graphics Web applications Qualitative Analytics for 2D & 3D animation Decision Support Translation and Localization Line drawings and illustrations Services Economic Business Research Process Documentation Industry Analysis Software Translation Services Workflows Market Opportunity Analysis Document Translation Services Standard Operating Procedures Competitive Business Analysis Localization (L10N) Testing ISO Documentation Company & Prospect Profiling Internationalization (I18N) Testing CMM Documentation Reporting Solutions Assessment of Unmet Market Needs Records Management Deployment and Support Status and Potential of Technologies Document Management Solutions Benchmarking of Strategies Vs Competition Record Management Storage and Installation and Configuration Guides Retrieval Operations Manual Forecasting Sales Force Effectiveness Market Assessments Competitive Intelligence Opinion Leadership Emerging Markets - evaluation and researchThe Writers Block www.twb.in 5 5
Industries Served TWB services a wide range of technology and knowledge driven industries, helping them meet their markets better, these include: Banking, Insurance and Financial Services ITES/ KPO/ BPO Consulting and Business Services Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Defense, Aerospace and Hi-Tech Manufacturing Process Manufacturing and Allied Industries Education and Learning Steel, Ship Building, Construction and Aviation IT, ITES Telecom and Digital Communications TWB has been the preferred technical documentation outsourcing company for: The TWB Building US Office: No: 4062, 19th Main Road, TWB HAL 2nd Stage, 11701 Norwegian Wood Drive Bangalore – 560008 Austin, TX 78758 India. Landmark: Behind Carlton Towers Telephone: Telephone: +91.80.40741400 / +91.80.41256367 +1.512.586.8357 Corporate Enquiries: email@example.comThe Writers Block www.twb.in 7 7