Cutsforth is a manufacturer of specialized products and services designed to support the power generation industry. Cutsforth’s products require very specific technical documentation to ensure that both their internal staff and their customers have the information they need to be able to install, maintain, service, and troubleshoot the products safely and effectively.
As a fast-growing company, Cutsforth needed a more defined, long-term technical documentation strategy. They wanted to be able to support the company’s growing portfolio of products and services while decreasing the documentation task burden on the engineering staff.
Cutsforth wanted to find a partner to help them navigate through their documentation challenges and make necessary improvements, so they could focus on delivering quality products.
Cutsforth chose Orbis Technologies because the team had demonstrated success working with similar challenges and Orbis took the time to learn about the needs of Cutsforth’s business. Orbis recommended a customized solution that addressed Cutsforth’s key challenges.
Orbis implemented changes to the way content was developed to reduce complexity and support content reuse. We collaborated with Cutsforth engineers to identify the different kinds of information and the different types of documents required to support the needs of internal and external users. Then, we established a topic-based structure to chunk content by information types, such as procedures, reference information, and concept introductions.
Orbis also implemented a Component Content Management System (CCMS), a single-sourcing content platform for developing content and managing the content reviews with Cutsforth subject matter experts. For Cutsforth, the CCMS was an ideal choice because it supported cloud-based single sourcing for product manuals, knowledge articles, and white papers, and it enabled the publishing of those same documents to Cutsforth’s ZenDesk help desk platform.
Orbis updated the publishing templates with Cutsforth’s branding standards so the documentation would match the website and other published materials. The team also implemented standards for the use of other visual design elements like AutoCAD line drawings, technical illustrations, image labels, and layouts.
Orbis’ customized solution offered a few key advantages compared to what Cutsforth had been doing to develop and manage documentation in the past:
A key factor in making the Cutsforth-Orbis partnership a success was the level of integration between the Cutsforth stakeholders and the Orbis project team. The Orbis project manager was key, facilitating workflow implementation, managing the budget, and providing status reporting to Cutsforth every step of the way. Individual Orbis team members were brought into the project as needed to stay on schedule and on budget. With this approach, Cutsforth could rely on its engineers spending more time on engineering tasks and less time on documentation.
Working with Orbis as a partner has helped Cutsforth minimize the need for internal engineering staff to support the technical documentation effort—a key goal for the project—and has also reduced the cost to develop and publish technical content.
Based on these results, Cutsforth expanded the partnership into a long-term engagement, with Orbis handling all ongoing technical documentation work.
Trusting Orbis Technologies to create and manage technical product documentation has allowed Cutsforth’s internal teams to focus on product innovations and drive their core business.