For most companies, the content they create is critical to the running of the business. Consider for a moment:
- Policies and procedures – state how the business is to be run, who does what and how. In industries with oversight, such as finance or medical, the business also must show auditors how the company has been running since the last audit. Failure to show this content can result in heavy fines or other bad things.
- Internal product documents – describe how products should work, the thought processes, the solutions, and so on for developing the products sold. Without these documents, a business has no idea how it builds what it builds. It also don’t know why decisions were made to do X rather than Y.
- External product documents – explain how to use the products to the people who purchase the products. If the external documents are not helpful, the business (at best) incurs an unreasonable support cost or (at worst) has a high return rate. Both impact available capital in the business. If the business functions in a regulated industry, it must keep the history of the external documents to show potential auditors how the product was described to work or potentially face large fines.
- Customer support documents – help internal support teams and external customers find a solution to their problems. For expensive internal support teams, quickly finding and understanding how to help a customer gets the customer off the phone and able to move forward. External customers who find a solution on the support site and never call is the ideal, as it costs the company less than pennies per customer.
- Training materials – few staff arrive knowing how the company works, what safety information they need to know, or how the products work. Training is how a company shares it’s tribal knowledge with the new tribe members. Many companies save a great deal of money on their insurance by making sure all new employees are trained in the required safety protocols. If the business needs to train customers on how the products work, the training center is a profit center.
- Marketing collateral – positions the products to the appropriate sales market. Few companies have a product so needed that no advertising is needed to sell the product. Failure to attract customers to the products negatively impacts the business.
Content as a business asset
The groupings above just touch on the broad types of content a business needs to manage. Even a small mom-and-pop store has some of the types of content listed above. For large international companies, the sheer amount of content assets, just as with hardware assets, for example, can be overwhelming.
Best of Breed companies know their business content is an asset that needs to be managed, just like the other assets in the company. Most companies track the computers and cell phones they use, for example. Annually, all the equipment is inventoried to make sure they have what they think they have.
Many companies never think about the business content as a business asset. The content that’s critical to the business is in Word or Powerpoint files or who knows, saved everywhere: on people’s local computers, somewhere on the network, maybe on a Sharepoint site. No one has any idea how much content they have, much less where it all is or what the most recent version might be.
If you ever wondered what Author-it products do, this is what we do. Our products help you manage your business content as the business asset it is.
In other news
We have a new line-up of free webinars coming your way in April and May. We’re really pleased with the offerings and hope you are too.
High on the list of must attends are 2 in particular:
Content Development: Future Trends, Future Solutions
Paul Trotter, CEO of Author-it Software Corporation shares his vision of the future in this hour long event. You’ll leave knowing what trends are and what you need to prepare for now.
April 25 at 4pm Eastern time. To sign up for this tools-neutral webinar, click here.
What’s New in Author-it 5.5
by Sharon Burton
Additionally, we have several webinars scheduled to show you what’s coming in Author-it 5.5. To see the times and dates, click here.