The right information exactly when it is needed
Imagine that you are a service technician and the machine you should service gives you all the information you need to do your job. Or that your car lets you know if you have installed the child’s car seat wrong, and shows how you should do it instead. Semcon’s distribution platform Lodges makes it possible.
It’s for the people we’re doing this - not the products. Lodges can help anyone who’s using a technically complex product to make more use of it, which is what really matters.
In 2009, having produced Volvo Car’s printed owner manuals for many years, Semcon started, together with Volvo Cars to look into ways of digitalising the content. The aim was to be able to continuously update and reuse information, thereby lowering printing costs and reducing the weight of the cars.
“The first step was a simple app, which was forward-thinking in itself at the time”, Fredric Larsson recalls.
But building a new app for each car model and each production year soon felt unsustainable. There was a need to gather everything in one place. This is when the idea of Lodges was born; a platform for databases with product information, and with APIs so all channels communicating with current or potential users can extract the exact information that is needed at that moment.
Creating product information as user manuals, which many organisations still do, does not fit a digital world. Even if it is available on a website or in an app, such static documents don’t allow for searching for information in a satisfactory way, let alone presenting an answer in a useful manner. The information that is relevant right now simply cannot be filtered out. For example, if you want to know how to clean the filter in your washing machine, only that part of the information is interesting. Internet theorist Clay Shirky says that the problem of our time actually is not ”information overload” but ”filter failure.” And this is where Lodges makes a difference.
As of today, Lodges is helping hundreds of thousands of users across the globe in a number of industries. The platform can be implemented for manufacturers within any industry and is scalable in all dimensions. From a local web to a global infrastructure. With Lodges, product information goes beyond contributing to aftermarket communication by also becoming a tool for improvement and development of new products.
“When the manufacturer and customer exchange information, it is more likely that the customer will stay. Someone who is already owning a product is at the same time a potential new customer. We see that users and manufacturers are communicating more and more with each other – the relationship is kept alive in multiple ways. Fact is, that information is often a part of the product nowadays”, says Fredrik Larsson at Semcon.