How do you bring together tens of thousands of pages of certificates, drawings, procedures and specifications into one formatted, organized document with an up to date table of contents?
And then do it all over again the next week with new content for a new customer?
I recently worked with a customer, an equipment supplier to the Energy industry, who had this challenge. They produce some of the largest documents I’ve ever come across, tens of thousands of pages long, an amalgamation of certificates of conformance, technical drawings, procedures and specifications.
Their document data was all held in individual documents in a document management system - Content Server from OpenText - and we were installing Publisher for Content Server, a solution that automates the process of assembly and publication to create a formatted master document.
I’d worked previously with clients who created large Project Books and Data books, and learned that the Energy industry works with its equivalent – the MRB (Manufacturing Record Book, Materials Record Book). But until working with this energy client, I hadn’t realised how many thousands of documents needed to be included and the large teams of document controllers and other people required to spend weeks assembling and collating them all. Even keeping the Table of Contents updated as new documents were added was a time consuming task.
It is in these steps where a technology solution can literally change a task that previously required weeks and hundreds of hours into a task that requires only a few hours:
- Formatting to an approved template
- Generating a table of contents
This customer is now able to automatically integrate their documents and metadata stored in Content Server into a single document formatted to their customer’s requirements with an updated Table of Contents.
SAP Integration - Interestingly, the actual list of documents and their order in the final document comes directly from SAP as this customer uses Content Server with extended ECM (xECM) to directly integrate SAP to Content Server. As they add or change any single document, they just click and the whole document is updated for them.
Managing changes - Many companies still do this through MS Word using file shares. Keeping track of changes this way is very time consuming and there is also the risk, and common problem, that a change could be made in the final document without updating the source document. With Publisher, they can just update the original source documents directly, enabling them to control changes and ensure revisions cascade through the whole process. This also provides the benefit of being able to use existing workflows to manage the change control process. It’s quick for them to re-publish an updated document too – we had one example where an updated 20,000 page document took less than 10 minutes to publish.
The audit trails in Content Server automatically track the changes, which is very useful for tracking change orders that are noted in published documents that they can bill back to clients.
The value of Server Side Publishing - Another area that this energy customer is benefiting from is server side publishing rather than desktop publishing. With documents of this size and complexity (each might include documents in 20 different file formats and can be 20,000 pages long or more), it would be agonisingly slow to try and publish it on a desktop. With server side publishing, the user gets notified once the document has been published and is available within Content Server.
ROI - Our customer expects to achieve a full Return on their Investment in less than 6 months.
If you’d like to discuss this further, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org