Topics can be reused across documents and channels, improving time to market
Create new customer experiences by allowing customers to interact with product documentation in more ways
Improve writing and editing efficiency for the global documentation team
Support documentation for 6,000 products translated in up to 50 languages
Accelerates time to market with faster updates and less redundancies
Improves content quality by allowing writers to focus on copy, not layout or design
Manages 750,000+ topics that can be reused across documents and channels for greater consistency
Speeds up translation time for updates from up to 7 weeks to less than an hour
As companies explore ways to improve the customer experience, documentation is getting more recognition for its role in creating loyal and satisfied customers. Clear and informative installation guides, user manuals, and service documentation elevate experiences by helping customers get more from their products and solve problems fast.
Bo Jensen understands the importance that documentation can bring to customer experience. For more than 15 years, he has helped a team of 40 technical writers support more than 6,000 products from Grundfos, the global leader in pumps and pump solutions. From household heating systems to industrial applications, Grundfos pumps are used by millions to keep systems running.
“Supporting documentation is often the first thing that customers and service operators look at when trying to install or fix Grundfos pumps,” says Bo Jensen, IT Project Coordinator at Grundfos. “Documentation should be clear and consistent to help customers get the best performance from pumps every time.”
The Grundfos technical documentation team creates supportive content for all 6,000 Grundfos products, including installation and operations guides, data booklets, data sheets, and service kits. In addition to working on new product documentation, older content is regularly updated to fix errors, clarify steps, or update boilerplate language. While documents are created and managed in English, they are translated in up to 50 languages to meet the needs of international audiences.
Today, Grundfos uses Adobe Experience Manager Guides to manage thousands of data topics and provide customers with up-to-date information across more channels.
“Adobe Experience Manager Guides streamlines content creation and editing processes to help us keep documents updated and accurate faster,” says Bo Jensen. “Our writers can spend more time making sure that they are answering all of our customers questions and providing the clearest and most user-friendly experiences possible.”
IT Project Coordinator, Grundfos
When Bo Jensen first joined Grundfos, Adobe FrameMaker was the tool of choice to create highly professional documentation. As the IT Project Coordinator, it is Bo Jensen’s job to find ways to improve the documentation process and make workflows even better for technical writers. Because the 40 writers work at Grundfos offices around the world, Bo Jensen created FrameMaker templates and intuitive widgets to improve consistency and efficiency.
Bo Jensen continued to search for ways to improve the workflow and the customer experience. While writers would copy and paste standard copy between documents, content reuse was low. Updating copy involved scrolling through multiple long FrameMaker documents to find areas that need to be updated.
Most importantly, relying on PDF documents created in FrameMaker limited the customer experience. Customers who wanted their questions answered needed to go to the website, download a lengthy PDF, and scroll through the guide until they found the information they were looking for. Bo Jensen wanted to give customers an easier way of getting the answers they need on any device.
Several years ago, Bo Jensen heard about a new trend in documentation that sounded like the solution Grundfos was looking for: structured DITA XML content. But finding the right component content management system (CCMS) for DITA content was no easy task. Bo Jensen required a web-based system that would make it easier to perform updates, check systems, and collaborate with writers anywhere.
After a false start with another CCMS that was not up to Grundfos standards, Bo Jensen heard about Adobe Experience Manager Guides. As Grundfos was already using Adobe Experience Manager to manage its website, executives jumped on the idea of maximizing existing investments for documentation content.
“Adobe Experience Manager Guides was still a new application at the time, but I trusted Adobe,” says Bo Jensen. “I knew that Adobe could make the application everything that we needed in a CCMS. I have been extremely impressed by the work Adobe puts into continuously improving Adobe Experience Manager Guides.”
Grundfos now creates all content in DITA format. The company developed a built-in migration tool to help convert all existing FrameMaker files into DITA so that content can be added to the CCMS and reused across documents. Writers love working with the web editor in Adobe Experience Manager Guides, which makes it simple for people to create and edit files online.
“I’m a big advocate for cloud-based authoring, especially for a dispersed team like ours,” says Bo Jensen. “Writers can create, update, and review content from anywhere, and edits are automatically applied to every system inside the company. It makes it much easier to collaborate and share work with not only other writers, but other departments.”
Working in DITA format, technical writers don’t need to worry about layout, style, or design. With a click of a button, the fast DITA-OT rendering engine in Adobe Experience Manager Guides turns content into DITA Merge XML files. These DITA Merge XML files can be turned into any type of output based on pre-designed stylesheets, from PDF files to HTML content and more.
“By removing layout and design decisions, writers can focus on improving content and creating more accurate and valuable information for customers,” says Bo Jensen. “We have more than 777,000 individual topics so far, with more created all the time. Writers can reuse topics across document types or product lines. This improves consistency, but it also further saves times for writers as they spend less time copying or rewriting content.”
Updates are much easier and faster, as writers can quickly edit individual topics. If the topic is shared across multiple documents, updates can be automatically applied to each.
This also leads to faster translations. When topics are updated, writers can send just the updated sections for translation. While writers previously expected translation turnaround times of up to seven weeks, now updates are returned in an hour.
“With more reuse, easy updates, and fast translation, we are achieving a much faster time to market,” says Bo Jensen. “We can deliver documentation for new products or fix errors as soon as they’re spotted. Adobe Experience Manager Guides allows us to be much faster with documentation today.”
IT Project Coordinator, Grundfos
The next step for Grundfos is to start using DITA content across more channels. Bo Jensen has ideas for how content can be reused across the website, mobile apps, and virtual training sessions to help customers access information much more quickly and easily. For example, instead of customer needing to download a PDF file, the support portal could display a lightweight interface that allows customers to look up an error code and instantly view troubleshooting steps. An augmented reality training module for service representatives could pull part descriptions from the CCMS.
“We have so many ideas for how we can reuse content, and it’s not the far-off future,” says Bo Jensen. “We have all of the technology that we need right now. We just need to start showing teams how they can use DITA content today. With Adobe Experience Manager Guides, we’re on our way to finding new ways of providing content to customers and giving them a fantastic experience with Grundfos.”