When introducing any new system, the goal is to achieve a return on your investment, or at the very least reap a clear benefit. Introducing a content management system often goes hand in hand with rethinking your processes, methods of writing, content, and documentation structures. While they are relatively quick and easy to introduce, a major benefit lies in how they will modernize your entire workflow. Here we have compiled some of the key benefits to justify your investment.
Content Management System Checklist: When Is it Worth Investing?
“Complex documents made easy” is SCHEMA’s motto (the manufacturer of SCHEMA ST4). But what is it that makes documents complex and therefore makes a content management system useful?
- Lots of information: The more extensive the information to be drafted, the more single source publishing and content reuse pay off, instead of having to do the work all over again each time.
- Multiple target languages: The modular design coupled with the management of translations as content modules can dramatically reduce the requirement for translation.
- Intensive management requirement: Using clean version management and customer-specific creation of variants make version statuses transparent and versions of documents can be processed or published again in a targeted manner.
- Variant diversity, customer-specific documentation: A common reason for introducing a content management system is the desire for “specific” documentation. Instead of always describing all options and potential actions in technical documentation as a matter of course, these can be marked and automatically shown or hidden depending on the variant or customer project.
- Quality standards: Legal certainty, comprehensibility, clarity, structure. As the result of countless technical documentation projects, a large number of legal requirements relating to the formal, structural and layout presentation of documentation is contained in the standard version of SCHEMA ST4, such as ANSI-compliant safety notices.
- Reuse of information: Reusing instead of copying makes version management easier and also enables changes to be performed centrally. It is also possible to retrofit or form branches for documentation.
- Retrievability of information: Full text searching and indexing using metadata, and the logical visualization of modules and “subtrees” in tree or even network structures make it easier to find the desired information, regardless of how you want to logically nest the information.
- Interconnection: If you are involved in workflows, approvals, or gathering information from ad hoc external employees, a content management system will bring structure to this aspect of your work.
- Layout requirement: As already described in the Dynamic Publishing and Interactive Information sections, separating content, structure, and layout practically eliminates the need for manual layouting of documents. This applies both to print media as well as digital and interactive online media.
The Savings Potential of a Content Management System
To be able to reliably analyze your savings potential, we would need to sit down with you and precisely determine key performance indicators. We would be happy to do this as part of our consultancy program: “The Path to a Content Management System”. To give you an initial idea of the potential savings involved, we’ve provided a general guide. We’ve split up the documentation process into individual stages to enable you to adapt the key performance indicators to your own circumstances.
Research constitutes an average of 25% of the entire process. The advantage of a content management system in terms of research lies in the central management of variants and versions, the central storage of all information modules, as well as structures and projects. Communication between colleagues but also with those providing information and the ordering system, for example, can be reduced significantly. What’s more, by reusing content the majority of redundancy in the research process is cut. Savings potential: 30%
Writing itself only makes up 20% of an editor’s task. A content management system can help here by promptly providing existing information, guiding you through the writing process, giving a better overview of tasks and timelines, and providing authoring support in the form of consistency checking and checking for existing texts and terminology. Reuse of content is increased, while writing the same thing twice is avoided. Improvements to existing data automatically take effect for all subsequent projects. Savings potential: 20%
Compiling existing content for documentation projects constitutes approximately 10% of the overall process and is an area that has the potential to be highly automated. Straightforward manual or automated (documentation automatically produced from parts lists, ERP connection, etc.) compilation of modules in a project achieves a high degree of automation. Change management is also much easier to handle. Savings potential: 80%
Translation accounts for roughly 20% of the costs involved in a documentation project. A content management system can bring enormous savings, as existing translations are automatically recognized and the text does not need to be submitted for translation again. Manual preparation for translation is no longer required and interfaces are clearly defined. Savings potential: 50%
Layout and Publication
The proportion of the process dedicated to the layout is approximately 25%. By separating content, structure, and layout this stage can be almost entirely automated. Layout changes are only made to the template and take effect immediately. The corporate identity is always consistent and the manual application of finishing touches to documentation (in all languages!) is no longer required. Savings potential: 80%
Individual information modules that are as easy as possible to manage form the basis of modern editing. These modules need to be easy to find, capable of being combined dynamically, and made “intelligent” using metadata. Separating layout, structure, and content simplifies matters by a large degree and increases efficiency. However, this requires precise planning and consistent implementation.
SCHEMA has been setting standards in editing systems for over 20 years. Their ST4 DocuManager meets the needs of small and medium-sized businesses and is based on SCHEMA ST4, the market-leading professional and scalable editing system in German-speaking countries. The SCHEMA product range covers all eventualities in day-to-day editing and content management work for companies of all sizes.
The fundamental difference between working with and without an editing system is the principle of single source publishing. This method breaks documents and publications down into information modules, which may then be used time and again in different locations, but are only ever managed centrally. Prolific copying and pasting is replaced by a neatly structured data base.
SCHEMA ST4 DocuManager sets new standards, and is yet a standard system with technical support and upgradeability. SCHEMA consistently “standardizes” recurring requirements from numerous projects. “DocuManager” is a standard configuration of the powerful ST4 system; a turnkey solution for simple projects and the perfect basis for complex enhancements.
Technical content management systems should not simply be regarded as new software; they also enable you to reassess processes, writing methods, and documentation structures. While they are relatively quick and easy to introduce, a major benefit lies in how they will modernize your entire workflow. Here we have compiled some of the key benefits to justify your investment.
Separating content, structure, and layout in a CMS is the key to first-class dynamic publishing: Create different layouts from or customer-specific versions from the same source – cleverly controlled by metadata, with documents automatically produced from the data available in the ERP system. With all this and much more besides, the possibilities of SCHEMA ST4 are endless!
The trend towards electronic media could not be stronger, with benefits such as faster updates, interactive presentations, and context-sensitive help being harnessed for applications such as website assembly and catalog production. SCHEMA ST4 offers an extensive range of publication options for both print but also electronic media, separating content from structure and layout.
Your colleagues, partners, and customers need the latest information at their fingertips. How do you manage that in times of increasingly faster product cycles? How do you ensure these documents can only be used with proper authorization? SCHEMA´s Content Delivery Suite (CDS) intelligently supplies the different target systems – online and offline – via browser, tablet, or smartphone.
Do you want to speed up working in SDL Trados Studio and SDL MultiTerm even further and customize it even more precisely to your needs? Then you should take a closer look at our little digital helpers: expertTools enable elegant processes and solutions that would otherwise be highly complex and time-consuming. Many of our expertTools are available both as a freelance and as a professional version.
While you can simply download and try out some of our products for yourself, larger-scale solutions such as SCHEMA DocuManager or SDL WorldServer have extensive configuration options. To enable us to tailor these systems to your individual requirements, we can offer you specialist guidance and workshops. This will give you a clear picture of the desired and perfect solution for you.
Do you want tailored guidance and prompt support response times? Then you can rely on us! We provide support both for the SDL Trados products we market and for the software solutions we develop in-house, such as quickTerm, smartQuery, globalReview, and expertTools. In order to support the products from our other partners, we negotiate direct support and maintenance contracts on your behalf.