Question: Electronic VS. Paper Documentation

Subject: Question: Electronic VS. Paper Documentation
From: Jonathan Soukup <jsoukup -at- ESKIMO -dot- TAMU -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 19:49:36 -0600

The technical manuals that we produce are used mostly by our field service
technicians. We are finding that after about a year, a new tech will know
his job well enough to stop using the manual. The problem is that we are
constantly updating the manual with new and changing information that they
are not learning. Instead they make costly long distance phone calls to
field service support when they run into a problem.

We have about 8 volumes with about 300 pages each (8.5 X 11 pages double
sided). This makes them very awkward to carry around and a result, stay in
the service van most of the time.

Each tech also has a laptop computer which they use for remote billing,
email and logging their work time. We are considering upgrading all of
their laptops and converting all of our paper documentation into
electronic documentation.

Our hope would be that we could issue each tech 3 updated CD's every 2
months that would contain the manuals in pdf, html or something like that.
Do you think this would increase manual usage if it was in an electronic
form?

Also, since our manuals are considered highly confidential, any type of
public electronic file transfer (the Internet) is out of the question.

Any suggestions you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan Soukup
Universal Computer Systems
jsoukup -at- eskimo -dot- tamu -dot- edu




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