Waters Corporation Selects SDL for Enterprise-Level Content Management
SDL Knowledge Center enables life sciences company to streamline publication processes and reuse content more efficiently across technical publications
For more than 50 years, Waters Corporation has developed analytical technologies - hardware, software and chemistries - to advance healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, water quality, consumer product development, and high value-added chemicals. Waters’ technical communications department – a subsidiary of the marketing department – produces numerous installation guides, user manuals, system guides and online help, totalling thousands of pages in a year.
With thousands of scientists around the world relying on Waters’ products and services, all of which operate in highly-regulated industries, it is essential that the technical documentation being created is accurate, reliable and compliant. However, delivering high-quality, timely publications became challenging as they were using a number of different vendors to localize content in as many as 16 languages as well as using multiple content management processes and workflows, which made it difficult for writers to identify and reuse existing content. After an extensive review of out-of-the-box solutions for creating product documentation, Waters turned to SDL Knowledge Center to organize and manage Waters’ technical content, so it can be easily shared, filtered and delivered to any channel.
“It’s vital that we present, for example, similar product instructions in a consistent manner to deliver a great customer experience and ensure that we meet compliance requirements,” said Joshua Steen, Principal Technical Writer and Tools Specialist at Waters Corporation. “But without a centralized, organized content repository, it was difficult to ensure that consistency.”
With SDL technologies in place, Waters is experiencing a far more efficient and controlled production process. The workflow gates each stage, triggering actions and preventing duplication of work. Content formatting is now handled separately from writing, allowing the company’s writers to focus exclusively on authoring their publications. Waters’ 300 subject matter experts and editors can now review subsets of publications as standalone topics, rather than having to tackle huge volumes from start to finish. As a result, writers can see feedback in real time and up to 60 percent of the source content can be reused in multiple publications, representing huge cost and time savings.
Additionally, localization now occurs more quickly as the team is not waiting for entire publications to be finalized before sending for translation. They are also drawing on huge quantities of previous translations such as standardized boilerplates and safety advisories.
“Organizations are looking for collaborative solutions that will enable their writers to easily find, create, reuse, review, track and publish information,” said Mark Lancaster, CEO and founder at SDL. “With SDL Knowledge Center, Waters is able to achieve a quick return on their investment with a flexible solution that can grow with them as their needs continue to evolve over time.”
Currently, Waters is primarily using SDL Knowledge Center for internal reviews only. However, plans are in place to expand SDL across the business.
“From the start, the intention was to extend SDL Knowledge Center to other departments across the business to support our content management ecosystem,” added Steen. “We are seeing noticeable improvements on our source language development. We are exactly where we wanted to be and it seems we are well-poised for the next phase of production.”