Providing First Class Accountability for Workshop Manual Delivery

This work that USE* have delivered on workshop manuals has fulfilled everything that the client asked for. The quality of the deliverable has been superb, and the client has consistently had a very clear picture of the statuses of their projects with USE*. All this, and the costs for our services have also been favourably competitive.

Paul O’Connor, USE* Manager of Sales and Marketing
USE* values propose an ethic of care as an integral aspect the value we deliver: care for our company as a collective, care for the individuals who compose the collective, and a genuine and sincere dedication to what best meets our customers’ needs. We encourage a transparent and accountable approach to our business which enables our customers to feel confident in the quality of our service offering.

The Challenge

Before USE* Publications began their partnership with one of our prestigious OEM clients, workshop manuals were authored off-site by various suppliers. Prototypes were sent to the companies and were returned at the end of the project, along with raw data containing the workshop manual procedures and warranty times. Very little was heard from the suppliers during the projects, and it was unclear if the work would be delivered on time, or if there were issues with any of the procedures.

The Challenge for USE* Publications was to transform this kind of delivery and provide the client with the accountable kind of service that our other customers were accustomed to, and to deliver a workshop manual of unprecedented quality in alignment with the status of the customer brand.

The Solution

USE* Publications offered the client a new approach to workshop manual creation.

  • By working with CAD data instead of prototype cars, work could be conducted on site at the client by USE* Methods Authors. This in turn facilitated far more interaction between the client and the USE* authoring team, and between the client and the USE* Operations Manager overseeing the project. For example, enabling the authors to speak to engineering directly if they had any issues or questions, or to validate assumptions made on the basis of CAD data by talking to operators and engineers on the production line. This mode of working has also enabled USE* to work closely with the client generally, and has helped in the identification of a wide range of cost-saving opportunities
  • As everywhere where USE* services are provided, our team immediately implemented a set of work-tracking measures to offer the customer complete transparency with regard to the status of the project, and accountability in terms of its fulfillment

In the context of workshop manual authorship, three aspects of our work were tracked in detail:

  • General time utilisation was tracked for each member of the team. In this way it was easy for the USE* management team and the client to understand how much of our team’s time was being spent on the direct creation of the deliverable, and how much time was spent on supporting actions
  • The time spent by every author on each step of the service-repair operation authoring process for each authored repair procedure was also tracked. In this way, we could alert the client to the time required by our team, on average, to create a workshop manual procedure
  • Our tracking process also allowed us to understand the completion status of each procedure to be authored

Its Benefits

The tracking methods deployed are standard with most USE* projects. Here, as elsewhere, at any time the USE* Publications team could provide a reliable snapshot of the project status to our client's managers.

Since our USE* management team could also analyse data relating to the time spent by each of our authors on each authoring stage for each repair procedure, they retained a firm understanding of each of our team members’ strengths and weaknesses so that training or work allocation could be arranged accordingly.

Understanding the distribution of time spent on directly creative tasks that were deliverables focused, and supporting tasks, allowed our team to identify efficiencies to improve this ratio, or to better understand subsidiary tasks that could also be measured in their own right.

Knowing the ratio of time spent directly on creating workshop manual procedures, and understanding the time required to create each procedure, has meant that USE* can accurately predict the resources needed to complete current projects, and to deliver new projects in the future. It also allows our clients to feel confident that our projects working with them are appropriately priced, resourced and managed.

Our Achievements

For our client, this USE* style of working has already proved successful with the delivery of two workshop manuals projects. Over 550 repair methods were authored in just four months, with the team of four authors finishing the projects in time for the respective launches of the two cars. The next project to be completed will be a full workshop manual, containing over 1,000 procedures, which will be finished in just six months.

Working for our client, the time required to compose a complete workshop manual procedure (including illustrations drawn from CAD, a labour time, annotations and any required text in Simple Technical English, all composed and compiled in the USE* Service Repair Times Database SRTD Portal) is less than three hours - a KPI that we feel should be of interest to a wide range of potential customers in the automotive sector and beyond. Our team have consistently produced the best quality workshop manual publications that our client has ever provided to their dealer network.

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