CASE STUDY: ENTERPRISE MANUFACTURER
Large industrial manufacturers operate in extremely complex, high-stakes environments. These corporations often deal with multiple separate supply chains, manufacturing facilities, and branches of management, and it is imperative that all of these elements consistently come together in a seamless manner. Essential Data Corporation has had meaningful experiences working with world-class enterprise manufacturers.
One such manufacturer was a prominent producer of a diverse industrial fan product line, operating with supply chains stretching around the globe. This company’s fans are used in applications ranging from miniaturized electronics all the way up to massive air handling systems. The manufacturer noticed that the Quality Acceptance team was rejecting many products in the initial Acceptance and Testing stages, but that these products were later being accepted after undergoing an Engineering Review. Thus, the company was looking to find out why products were being incorrectly rejected?
In an effort to figure out why adequate products were being rejected, the manufacturer launched an internal investigation. The result of the investigation revealed that there were inconsistencies between the company’s Engineering and Quality Assurance (QA) documents. The original technical writing firm hired by the company failed to notice that the requirements in the Engineering documentation did not align with those in the QA documents. Because of these differences, the QA team was judging products on different standards than those used by the Engineering team. The investigation also found that finding and re-testing these rejected components consumed 25% of the company’s product testing capacity and 15% of its Engineering capacity. These quality issues posed a huge loss of efficiency to the manufacturer.
Essential Data’s team of writers were able to formulate a solution to this firm’s woes. A team of EDC’s technical writers worked directly with members of the client’s supply chain to evaluate each company’s Acceptance and Quality specifications. Using the manufacturer’s Engineering specifications as a source documentation, the technical writing team rewrote multiple Quality and Acceptance Test Procedures (QTP/ATP) documents in order to make them consistent with the Engineering documentation. Another useful feature added by the technical writing team was implementing a Document Management System. This system allowed Essential Data’s technical writers to link each new document to the Engineering specification documents, automatically triggering updates to all documents if one is updated.
Benefits for the Client
The results of standardizing the Engineering specifications with Quality and Acceptance criterion resulted in a massive improvement in efficiency for the enterprise manufacturer. The firm saw a 98% reduction of false negatives during testing, lightening the Engineers’ workload in this field and allowing greater investment of resources into product development and improvement. The technical writer’s efforts also led to the manufacturer achieving cost and labor savings related to handling, storing, and re-testing previously rejected – but acceptable – products.
Written by Jeffrey Pinsker-Smith