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Life sciences company adopts new technical content solution

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To streamline its content creation and management process, Waters, a developer of analytical science solutions, has implemented SDL Knowledge Center. The solution will also help Waters drive content reuse and promote standardization of its documentation to improve the customer experience.

Waters develops analytical technologies—hardware, software and chemistries—to advance healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, water quality, value-added chemicals and more. Its technical communications department produces installation guides, user manuals, system guides and online help, totaling thousands of pages each year.

Delivering high-quality timely publications in closely regulated industries became challenging because the company was using different vendors to localize content in as many as 16 languages, as well as multiple content management processes and workflows. Writers found it difficult to identify and reuse existing content. After reviewing various options, Waters chose the SDL Knowledge Center to organize and manage its technical content.

Joshua Steen, principal technical writer and tools specialist at Waters, says, “It’s vital that we present, for example, similar product instructions in a consistent manner to deliver a great customer experience and ensure that we meet compliance requirements. But without a centralized, organized content repository, it was difficult to ensure that consistency.”

With SDL technologies in place, Waters is experiencing a more efficient and controlled production process. Content formatting is now handled separately from writing, allowing the company’s writers to focus exclusively on authoring their publications. Waters’ 300 subject matter experts and editors can now review subsets of publications as standalone topics, rather than having to tackle huge volumes from start to finish. As a result, writers can see feedback in real time and up to 60 percent of the source content can be reused in multiple publications, representing huge cost and time savings, according to SDL.

(Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com)

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