How do we manage all our information? Faster product releases require new ways of developing and updating information. At the same time, every user needs to find the relevant information and understand it quicker than ever. More and more companies face this reality and need to take action.
Product information plays a vital role in the user experience. There are also legal requirements that the product information need to fulfil. Leading mining and infrastructure company Epiroc reached out to Semcon to create a strategy for digitalising its technical information, and further support Epiroc’s corporate strategy.
Changing user behaviours
User behaviours have changed, when it comes to searching for and understanding information. Looking for information in a PDF-manual is a thing of the past. Companies need to be proactive and provide the user groups with the required information at the right time. Ideally, users should not have to search for it at all, but receive it at the right time. Semcon assists companies in their digital transformation of information to:
- minimise operation errors,
- reduce support time,
- enhance the user experience and
- meet the demands for information in a fast-moving society.
Together with Epiroc, Semcon created a strategy for the digitalisation of Epiroc’s technical information. The strategy is based on a profound understanding of the current situation, together with a well-defined future ambition. To ensure successful implementation, Epiroc’s team was deeply involved in all parts of the strategy project. This created a genuine understanding of what to accomplish and how digitalisation of technical information contributes to Epiroc’s corporate strategy.
Semcon has been a very important partner throughout this journey to understand our end users' needs, what gaps we have today and how we should create our strategy to successfully reach our objectives.
Digital product information
To understand how a company should digitalise its product information, you need to start by answering some fundamental questions.
For example, what are the information user groups, and what is important for these people to succeed in their daily work? How easy is it for them to find the relevant information, as well as to understand it?
Some other questions companies can ask themselves:
- What current and future requirements are relevant for the product information?
- What information do we develop today? What is missing and what is redundant?
- What types of channels are, and will be, used for the distribution and consumption of the product information?
- What parts of the company could benefit from using the product information? Are there synergies, related to technical information, that may be realised across the company?
- What are the challenges of leaving print and going digital?
- What will happen if we do not invest in digitalization and make our processes more effective?
You need to discuss and answer this type of questions before deciding on how to proceed.
Production or distribution?
A prerequisite to meet the user groups’ expectations is to distinguish between e.g. information development, information distribution and the channels. This enhances flexibility as the same information can be re-used in more channels and situations, and be updated more easily.
Together, Epiroc and Semcon have identified the necessary conditions for information distribution in a context of increased user expectations and faster product development processes.
It is always a challenge to work cross-functionally but it is necessary for any implementation of new information solutions.
“We conducted in-depth interviews, with a large number of people and roles within Epiroc, to understand all requirements and expectations. Through these interviews, priorities and challenges for Epiroc’s future technical information became clear.”
– Åsa Furnander, Manager Strategy and Business Excellence at Semcon
As a company, it is important to get a thorough understanding of the user groups to be able to provide them with the best possible solutions. As a spin-off to the strategy project, Epiroc decided to conduct a worldwide target group analysis for an even deeper and broader understanding of the user groups’ needs and wants. The strategy work and the target group analysis have both contributed to a solid understanding, within Epiroc, of its current technical information and what user requirements need to be fulfilled in the future.