Reducing Technical Writing Costs Without Sacrificing Quality

Global Technology Firm Outsources Technical Communication

Challenge

A global communications technology company offers hundreds of products to both businesses and consumers. Each product requires detailed documentation to support service technicians and end-users. The need for cost containment is critical.

But with every addition to its burgeoning product lines, the client’s requirement for world-class technical communications expands.

After years of authoring product documentation in-house—during which time the client attempted to outsource technical writing several times unsuccessfully—the client determined to focus its search on potential partners with proven expertise and experience.

In its efforts, the client found price less of an issue than quality—whether the potential partner was onshore or offshore.

Some third-party providers could not deploy domain and subject matter expertise at the required scale. This meant that their output—especially when working with products that required some understanding of complex engineering, science or technology—was unequal to the support task.

Other providers simply lacked staff with adequate language skills.

Solution

After researching a range of firms, this company chose Innodata because we were the only provider that offered them real cost savings and experienced writers with the required technical and language skills.

To best serve this client, we used a multi-shore approach: we deployed resources from our competency centers that best met client requirements, including domain expertise, technical skills, and language proficiency—in this case, American English Usage. We deployed these resources where necessary to extend the client’s internal technical writing teams.

Implementation

Working with our client’s in-house technical communications team, we developed a long-term partnership plan that extends its inhouse technical authoring and editing capacity. Based on our many years of outsourcing expertise, we review this plan on an ongoing basis to continually improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of outsourcing workflows.

We have more than 20 technical writers and editors integrated into several of the client’s product development teams, handling between 20 percent and 50 percent of product documentation requirements in each area. Although the consultants are located in the Philippines, they remain in continual contact with our client’s engineers. They collaborate with the client through conference calls, web conferencing, and real-time videoconferencing.

Our team works closely with the client to produce content. Our writers become part of the product development teams and work with product development engineers and product managers to gather the necessary information. Our experienced professionals transform this raw information into well written, highly technical product documentation, circulate drafts to obtain client approval, and then flow the text into the client’s Framemaker or XML templates for publication on the client’s corporate website, where it is made available to users.

Impact

Before partnering with Innodata, this global technology giant believed it faced a stark choice. They could develop great support documentation or they could reduce costs.

We helped them achieve both objectives. With our team of highly experienced technical writers and editors, our client cut costs significantly and improved quality, increasing customer satisfaction ratings.

In addition, within the first year of engaging Innodata, the company saved 40 percent on its benchmarked content development and production.

  

 

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