JPG Case Studies
Location: Local office in Chaska, Minnesota; headquarters in San Diego California.
The Challenge: Client A is partnering with another company B to sell company B’s products under the client brand. This rebranding involves converting an entire suite of the company B’s technical manuals (spanning several thousand pages) into the client’s current FrameMaker template. The goal is to do all the conversions within 3-1/2 months (including reviews). With a staff of only two technical writers, the client does not have the resource bandwidth locally (or at headquarters) to accomplish the objective in the given time frame.
Enter JPG: Client contacts JPG and requests a team of contract writers who have experience with composing technical pages in FrameMaker templates. At this point in time, the client intends on using multiple writers in parallel to accomplish the objectives, without any pre-conceived strategy.
JPG Responds: Within 48 hours of contact by client, JPG assembles a team of 10 experienced technical writers to bolster client bandwidth. JPG immediately sets up a “kick-off” meeting with management to discuss strategy. Within one week, JPG team finalizes the production strategy that ensured a timely delivery.
Results: The adopted strategy works so well, that within 4 weeks into the project schedule, the initial team of 10 writers is reduced down to 6 writers, thus saving the client thousands of dollars in resource expenditures over the 3-1/2-month period.
Client Benefits of Using JPG: A quick response by JPG allowed the project to get off to a fast start, thus not burning up precious production time. With JPG’s team of experienced writers advising the client on strategy, this input made it possible for the converted manuals to be delivered on time, and at less costs than originally anticipated.
Location: Local office (and world-wide headquarters) in Arden Hills, Minnesota
The Challenge: Client has a sudden and drastic exodus of technical writing talent. The goal is to recruit 4 new senior-level medical device technical writers within a 3-4 week period. With a fulltime direct staff of 2-3 writers remaining, the client needs to backfill fast. The client HR department cannot get fulltime requisitions approved soon enough to satisfy the department manager project needs.
Enter JPG: Client contacts JPG and requests a team of contract writers who have experience with writing IFUs, (Instructions for use), product labeling, and other FDA documentation background. Additionally, the client requires experience with Adobe InDesign.
JPG Responds: Within 36 hours of contact by client, JPG presents the client with 4 experienced technical writers that meet the profile requirement s. Two are immediately called for interviews.
Results: The first two candidates interviewed are hired. Several weeks later, the client requests additional candidates to fill two additional requisitions; two candidates are called in for an interview, and subsequently hired by the client. All total, 4 senior-level technical writers are hired by the client from JPG in less than 30 days.
Client Benefits of Using JPG: A quick response by JPG allowed the project to get off to a fast start, thus keeping ide production time to a minimum. JPG’s extensive network made it possible to provide the client with four excellent writers within a short span of time.
Location: Local office (and world-wide headquarters) in Plymouth, Minnesota.
The Challenge: Client (manager of training and user documentation) has several new end-user manual projects assigned to his department from the world headquarters in Denmark. The goal is to complete three new manuals in a three-month period (by the end of the calendar year). Combined page count of these documents is potentially in excess of 350 pages. Client has zero captive resources with which to complete the projects in the required time frame. Since the client does not have the office space nor the computer hardware/software to support in-house writing activity, these projects must be done off-site (remotely).
Enter JPG: Client contacts JPG and requests a team of 3-4 contract (temporary) technical writers who have backgrounds with writing for electro-mechanical or manufacturing environment, have written for a service manual audience. All must be senior-level experience. Additionally, the client requires experience with Adobe CS5 (InDesign, Photoshop, and Acrobat). Client also favors those with photography experience, and the ability to use mechanics tools for generating remove-and-replace procedures.
JPG Responds: Within 24 hours of contact by client, JPG presents the client with 4 experienced technical writers that meet the profile requirement s (all four have previously worked with JPG on other projects; in other words, they are proven performers by JPG). All four candidates are interviewed by phone.
Results: After reviewing the resumes, client decides to hire JPG’s team of 4 technical writers, and immediately sets up a meeting, with JPG and the team. Over the course of next 5-7 business days, JPG and the team of writers meet to asses and plan. From of the assessment meetings, JPG develops a proposal/quotation and submits it to the client. Client accepts and gives the “all clear” to proceed with the projects. By year end, documents completed and delivered.
Client Benefits of Using JPG: From initial call by client to start of projects by JPG team, less than 7 calendar days were consumed. A quick response by JPG allowed the project to get off to a fast start, thus keeping ide production time to a minimum, and preserving the remaining 12 weeks for dedicated and focused development and production. JPG’s extensive network made it possible to provide the client with four senior-level writers within a short span of time. Also, JPG’s technical communications experience provided the client with a proposal and quotation that met client objectives on all levels.
Location: Local office in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
The Challenge: The client offers customers standard and customized linear and rotary actuators. As the company has grown knowledge of manufacturing process and technique were not being effectively communicated as new people were added. Personal could not be transferred between assembly lines to accommodate changes product in demand because employees could not be cross-trained. As a result, the company was experiencing production delays and assembly mistakes.
The company adopted Adobe Captivate to allow online access to documentation. The existing documentation however was often incorrect or did not match the variations in model type and product options.
Enter JPG: Client contacts JPG and requests a contract (temporary) technical writer with electro-mechanical and manufacturing experience. Additionally, the client requires experience in working with both Design and Manufacturing Engineers and the ability to organize and presenting information for effective training and cross training.
JPG Responds: JPG presents the client with technical writers that meet the profile requirement (all candidates have previously worked with JPG on other projects; in other words, they are proven performers by JPG). Candidates are interviewed on site.
Results: After reviewing the resumes, client decides to engage JPG’s technical writer. The technical writer works with the client to assess project requirements and to develop a project plan. From of the assessment meetings, JPG and the client developed the project’s scope, time line and expected budget. Client accepts and gives the “all clear” to proceed with the project.
JPG’s technical writer interviewed subject matter experts and documented and photographed processes as they were actually performed. Within a product line many, but not all, of the processes were the same for all products. In addition, there were variations in both the sequence of operation and the process being used. This information was segmented into individual modules.
By breaking the information into modules, the correct information could be presented for each product by creating a web-based page for each model/option type, and listing the correct sequence of modules and links to the appropriate document.
JPG’s technical writer worked with engineering to review and approve the newly created documents. This allowed engineering to review processes as they were currently being performed in each area and identify improvements to tooling and area layout as well as establishing best practices to be uniformly implemented throughout the plant.
Client Benefits of Using JPG: JPG’s technical writer had a wide variety of industry experience and was able to craft a solution to fit the unique needs of the client.
Better control over documentation and production processes: The segmenting of information into individual modules eliminated the problems associated with repeating the same instructions in multiple documents. Since these documents were linked using a web based interface to multiple products/ options, engineering would not have to try and identify all the documents that might need to be changed. They could change just one document and be assured that change would appear in all instances.
Faster training and a more flexible workforce: Prior to the implementation of this system, new personal had to create their own crib notes as they performed tasks. They would not become fully trained until they had actually built all models and options several times. This process typically took between 6 and 18 months. After implementation, a person just needed to learn the information in each module and could rely on the information on the web pages to identify the correct sequence and number of operations for a particular product. This reduced the training time to about 6 weeks.
Location: World-wide headquarters, suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Challenge: Technical communications manager for the cardio-vascular product division has a need for a senior-level technical writer on a long-term temporary basis. The job has been unfilled for more than 2-1/2 months, with more than to 20 staffing suppliers (international, national, and locally-based) working on finding technical writing candidates to fill this one position.
Results have been extremely disappointing–both in terms of number of resumes received, and the quality level of the match. Client (technical publications manager) is frustrated and express it this way: “Most of these suppliers don’t get it; they either don’t know what a technical writer does, and often they don’t pay attention to skills match, or they simply don’t know where to find candidates—especially local candidates. I don’t want someone from out of state and has to deal with re-locating.”
The client begins networking with professional colleagues to find a local company who can get the job done and put an end to this dead-end exercise.
Enter JPG: Client hears about JPG from one of their professional colleague while attending a professional networking event. Client contacts JPG to engage them in the search.
JPG Responds: Within 36 hours of contact by client, JPG presents the client with 3 experienced technical writers that meet their profile requirements for work experience, communication strengths, and software skills.
Results: After one phone interview and one in-person interview, client gives a “thumbs up” and an offer is made to candidate by JPG—candidate accepts. JPG immediately moves forward with completing all the necessary paperwork and pre-employment on-boarding requirements. Problem solved. Client is extremely happy that they found out about JPG.
Client Benefits of Using JPG: Compared to 20 other staffing firms involved with the client who failed (the majority of which much larger in size), JPG ‘s ability to responding quickly and efficiently to the need for local technical writing talent was due to the fact that: 1) technical communications is our only business, and therefore we do it better, 2) our professional network is extensive and up-to-date, 3) our size provides us the advantage of being quick to react, quick to take action, and quick to communicate, 4) we have more than 24-years of experience in the technical writing business, 5) we are on the advisory boards of several major colleges and university tech. comm. programs in the state of Minnesota.
Location: Headquarters in Maplewood, Minnesota.
The Challenge: Client is scheduled to deliver a large food processing/handling system to a world-wide food beverage giant for a processing facility in Poland. With delivery to Europe scheduled for mid-May, there is a need to develop and complete 5 technical manuals that will comply with European import requirements (or CE mark). This company has no internal staff or resources for developing these manuals, and therefore must use an outside resource. Three primary challenges facing an outside writing firm include: 6—8 weeks to complete five manuals, 2) limited access to equipment, and 3) all client feedback and retrieval of information by the writer is limited to one person within the client company—due to the fact that the company has a small staff.
Enter JPG: Upon recommendation from professional colleague of JPG, client contacts JPG and requests meeting to review their project needs and discuss how JPG can meet those needs. At the same time, JPG reviews its roster and assigns a senior technical writer who has a background in the packaging automation and food processing equipment market as project manager. For graphics support, JPG also assigns a second senior-level writer who is an expert in producing 3D graphics using SolidWorks, and an extensive background with commercial and manufacturing equipment.
JPG Responds: The day of the meeting, JPG introduces its team to the client, and client presents an overview of the project. From the meeting, JPG retrieves all the project specifics, including identification of milestone dates and potential roadblocks, unknowns, and variables. Within 72 hours of the meeting, JPG presents the client with a proposal/quotation. Client approves, releases a PO, and gives the “all clear” to proceed.
Results: Within the 8-week window, 130 pages of documentation is develop, reviewed, approved, and delivered with assistance of two JPG technical documentation professionals.
Client Benefits of Using JPG: This particular client got a late start in lining up resources for its documentation needs. So basically, JPG came to the rescue by doing the improbable—producing five technical manuals with only a 6 to 8 week window. Additionally, because the client did not have the office space nor the computer hardware/software to support in-house writing activity, these projects had to be done off-site (remotely)—which JPG was able to accommodate.