Outsourcing technical publications: why customers turn to ONEIL

We're often contacted by publications managers who've found themselves in the weeds managing their organization's technical publications initiatives. Often, they already have in-house personnel capable of creating some of the material, but they soon realize bandwidth is limited and they're in over their heads when it comes to meeting quality, delivery, and-- especially-- compliance needs. Specification types vary by industry, but this scenario isn't uncommon.

Take the defense sector, for example. Why do customers turn to ONEIL for help with their technical publications?

Finding experienced and qualified staff can be difficult, so ONEIL customers appreciate our robust team, expansive campus, and years of hands-on experience working with military equipment and personnel. We understand the impact and importance of quality content for the warfighter. Safety and quality will always be our primary focus when developing technical content and supporting mission-readiness in the field.

Building the necessary infrastructure to properly and efficiently produce technical publications takes time and money. Customers rely on ONEIL's existing technology, software, licenses, and best-in-class information security standards to deliver the right product support information at the right time. Whether it's in the form of a ready-to-use paper manual or an electronic environment, busy publications managers count on us to meet all quality and delivery criteria, allowing them to focus on other efforts.

Complying with DoD standards and specifications can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with current requirements, but developing compliant product support information is part of the ONEIL mission. Customers know we have a reputation for meeting standards their own teams may inadvertently miss (sign up for our newsletter to read about some of the most commonly overlooked Mil-Specs!). We've even helped organizations whose previous strategic business partners unfortunately failed to meet requirements.

Across defense, aerospace, and commercial markets, we've seen it all... and we take pride in being the compliant choice. Get in touch to hear more about our unmatched product support experience.

Keeping our warfighters safe with world-class IETMs

For decades, we've produced all types of technical material, including an increasing number of Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs) for our customers in commercial, defense, and aerospace markets.

When developing IETMs, we prioritize keeping the end user safe and their equipment performing optimally. While this doctrine holds true regardless of industry, the defense arena comes with its own nuances we must carefully address to keep our warfighters safe. How do we do this? The key is easy interpretation of procedural steps accompanied with vivid graphics, animations, and interactive schematics, while keeping the different levels of warfighter Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), training, and experience in mind. This allows for quick access to useful information when it's needed most.

What else does ONEIL do to deliver world-class IETMs to our warfighters?

→ IETMs are written to military specification and standards which ensures content is listed in an applicable and effective order. General warning summary, equipment description, and theory of operation are purposely ordered before procedural content to ensure the warfighter has information needed to familiarize themselves with equipment and systems. IETMs provide the warfighter quick content access, part information, and efficient procedural step-by-step instructions for operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting equipment.

→ IETMs identify potential personnel and equipment hazards, risks, and safety concerns in each work package. They contain warnings and cautions with visual icons and detail of the danger that must be acknowledged prior to the warfighter continuing to the next procedural step(s). Warnings and cautions are used reasonably to preserve their value and to avoid overuse.

→ Individual work packages contain information listed in an initial setup section providing the warfighter materials, parts, and tools needed to perform each task. Any other procedural tasks needed to be completed before beginning a task are listed in the initial setup as well. This allows the warfighter to prepare and ensure all items are accounted for prior to operating, maintaining, or troubleshooting equipment.

At ONEIL, many of our employees are military veterans, adding a wealth of field experience when creating IETMs that keep warfighters and military equipment safe. Learn more about our our technical manual development process and download the brochure for more information.

3 parts management problems; 1 intelligent solution

When you're responsible for parts management, you'll likely run into the same data problems time and time again. A bottleneck in productivity can be caused by any number of disruptions--inaccurate data, inefficient processes, and human error are no doubt familiar themes.

With so many moving (literal and figurative) parts to manage, operational malfunction seems unavoidable on the back end, but consumers expect orders will be timely and hassle-free. The last thing customers want to do is call to check on their order status because there's a delay in fulfillment. Ultimately, your organization's reputation--and bottom line--are at risk because of daily inefficiencies in parts management.

Seamless fulfillment requires a proactive approach in day-to-day parts management. After all, preventing these problems is easier (and often less expensive!) than reacting to them as they arise:

  1. Parts data is inaccurate, missing, or outdated
  2. When your client's mission-critical equipment is down, it's imperative that you have accurate information on-hand so you can quickly order necessary replacement parts. Keeping this information up-to-date can be a tall order as new models are introduced, updates are made to existing models, and older part numbers are superseded with replacements. Submitting an order with incorrect part numbers will cause delays in delivery and frustration for all parties involved.
  3. Business systems aren't integrated
  4. As your business grows, you may find it needs more systems to better support the parts management lifecycle and operate cross-functionally. But if one system doesn't "talk" to the others, you could be setting yourself up for an entirely new set of problems attributed to disjointed data. These integration concerns are especially prevalent when dealing with legacy systems which rarely "play nice with others."
  5. Parts content is lifeless
  6. Maybe you're ahead of your competitors and have successfully centralized your parts content by now. But is it inclusive of all data from various sources? Can you link service manuals and multimedia documents to it to facilitate future troubleshooting and training? If the answer to either of these questions is "no," you may not be as far ahead of the competition as you think.

Remaining organized in the parts management field has its challenges, but a centralized system that intelligently manages your inventory's lifecycle in a unified environment can reduce cost, downtime, and confusion. Get in touch with the ONEIL experts to learn more about our ONePARTS™ parts management and delivery system and how it can help your organization continue to delight your customers.

Reflecting on 2018 and looking ahead to the new year

Happy new year from ONEIL! We worked hard in 2018 and had a little fun, too. Here's a look at some of the highlights, plus a sneak peek of what's on deck for the new year:

Hosting and attending events

Our team traveled coast to coast in 2018, from AUSA in Washington, D.C., to the Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing & R&D Summit in Pasadena, California, with plenty of stops in between. Why do we maintain a busy travel schedule year after year? As experts in the product support field, sharing industry insight with peers is an important part of the job. We're already looking forward to another full schedule of events in 2019.

In August, we hosted our first Breakfast Briefing in partnership with the Ohio Aerospace Institute. ONEIL President and CEO, Hernan Olivas, delivered Trends in Aerospace Product Support with industry experts, academia, and local government officials in attendance. AR/VR's role in end user consumption was a hot topic as guests were treated to a complimentary breakfast buffet and a valuable networking opportunity in our on-site workshop.

Receiving awards and certifications

Without question, one of the highlights of 2018 was earning ISO 27001 certification for our information security management system. This means more to us than just another accolade. The certification demonstrates our commitment to protecting internal infrastructure while providing our customers with the best-in-class information security standards they've come to expect from ONEIL.

Over the summer, we were pleased to be presented the "Exceptional Quality" Supplier Award at the Harris Supply Chain Conference. As ONEIL Director of Operations, Erik Shelton, said: "We've prided ourselves on superior strategic partnerships and delivering world-class quality to our customers for more than 70 years. This award is a clear indication of our continued commitment to excellence, to Harris, and to our nation's Warfighters."

Serving our community

Part of what makes us ONEIL is our commitment to helping our neighbors. In October, the Dayton Business Journal recognized us as a 2018 Community Supporter honoree during its Business of the Year Awards. It's easy to see why.

Earlier in the year, ONEIL's Helping Hands Committee (HHC) proudly awarded our largest-ever Larry E. O'Neil Scholarship to a Miamisburg High School senior. Named after our company founder, the scholarship is awarded each year to a local student who demonstrates strong community involvement and academic achievement.

And the HHC didn't stop there. Because of employee generosity, we made Christmas a little brighter in our neighborhood by providing gifts for 40 local children in need. It's a meaningful ONEIL tradition we absolutely expect to continue in 2019 and beyond.

What should our customers expect from us in the new year? Continued efficiency and agility. With construction of our AR/VR lab nearing completion, we'll continue to lead the product support industry with powerful solutions our customers rely on to make their mission-critical equipment safer to operate, easier to maintain, and faster to repair.

Here's to another year of successful events, community service efforts, and satisfied customers. Don't miss a thing in 2019. Subscribe to our newsletter for occasional ONEIL updates.

Under Construction: ONEIL's new AR/VR lab

Mockup design of ONEIL's completed AR/VR lab.

What's new at ONEIL's Miamisburg headquarters? Construction of the new AR/VR lab is officially underway as crews work to transform one of our conference centers into a state-of-the-art workshop for augmented and virtual reality product offerings.

Why did we choose to invest in the AR/VR lab? Simple. As experts in the product support field, we've spent the last 70 years providing our customers with the information they need, when--and how--they need it. AR/VR technology is a natural extension of that capability, offering the next-gen product support format an evolving workforce demands.

"The work we will perform in the AR/VR lab is a new avenue for getting useful information to people when they need it most. Ultimately, it will allow us to enable real-world use cases to demonstrate how our suite of solutions makes people safer, more productive, and more efficient." – Armando Monzon, Director of Software Development

It's easy to see how publications and training managers are benefiting from AR/VR technology:

Meeting new workforce demands: As baby boomers retire at an overwhelming rate, leaders are catching a younger, more tech-savvy labor force up to speed. The millennial workforce was raised on emerging technology in their classrooms and digital devices in their pockets, meaning they're well-accustomed to interactive learning tools. In fact, it's fair to say they expect it: 2016 research by Dell and Intel found 82% of millennials are influenced by workplace technology when deciding whether to accept a job in the first place.

Closing the knowledge gap: We already know interactive, self-paced training results in higher comprehension and steeper retention. Do all your technicians have sufficient training and material to support the maintenance and repair of mission-critical equipment? Do they have to gather information from multiple sources? Is work put on hold while they call in experts from other areas? AR/VR closes these costly knowledge gaps, providing better training and real-time troubleshooting for novice and veteran field techs alike.

Reducing risk: AR/VR simulations are a particularly helpful tool for modeling physically challenging tasks or dangerous environments. One use case: UPS leverages VR headsets to help delivery drivers identify road hazards in a controlled and hands-on approach. By removing risk factors from the teaching environment, learners get practical experience that will keep them safe on the job.

Curious to learn more about AR/VR and other ONEIL offerings? Check out this quick augmented reality video or get in touch with our experts.

Meet ONEIL’s new VP

ONEIL has named Chief Information Officer, Dave Stackhouse, as Vice President of the business, effective immediately.

Hernan Olivas, President and CEO, recently made the announcement, following the official adoption of the resolution from ONEIL's Board of Directors.

"So much of what we do today relies on technology. Dave understood this a long time ago and he made sure ONEIL was prepared to successfully transition to this environment. Today, all our services, solutions, and the operation of the organization depend on the technology infrastructure that Dave created. That has enabled Dave to develop institutional knowledge of the organization. This makes him the ideal candidate for VP," Olivas said.

Stackhouse, a Xenia, Ohio native, has been with the business since 1994. During his tenure with ONEIL, he has spearheaded numerous initiatives, including the design and implementation of the organization's first network. Additionally, Stackhouse led the company's pursuit of Information Security Management System specification ISO 27001, a key differentiator for the 70+ year old business. Working closely with cross-functional company infrastructure has afforded him familiarity with all areas of the business, including IT, HR, business development, and marketing initiatives.

In addition to his continued responsibilities as CIO, Stackhouse will extend beyond the technology space into developing and executing corporate-level objectives, including business support systems and the company's AR/VR initiative, which will serve aerospace, defense, and commercial customers.

View the press release on Markets Insider and keep up with ONEIL news and events on LinkedIn.

Go digital: 3 ways intelligent schematics make field support easier

One thing MRO, Fleet, and Field Support Managers have in common: they're sick of highlighters. The more complex their equipment, the more intricate the schematics, which means technicians spend a lot of time fumbling through binders of multi-sheet diagrams, then manually tracing wires and connectors to get to the root of failure. Simply put: the troubleshooting process is painful.

Let's work smarter.

Converting your electrical, pneumatic, or hydraulic diagrams to a digital environment is the first step in simplifying workflow (and reducing frustration). When your crew can quickly maneuver through the technical data they need--whether they're in the office or in the field--you'll notice a few major benefits:

  1. Reduced downtime (and therefore, cost). Why should troubleshooting be so labor-intensive? You've heard your techs mention it can take longer to trace back to the failure point than to actually repair the issue. With an intelligent schematics solution like ONeVIEW™, wires and components are hotspots, circuits are "turned on" via colorizing, component details are enriched, and the user can easily zoom and pan between sheets without missing a beat. And, with the option for could-based delivery, users can get the information they need anytime, anywhere.
  2. Reduced human error. Trying to keep your place as you leaf through several reams of paper to determine where that ground wire leads? Good luck. ONeVIEW's interactive interface allows users to interact with schematics by clicking into customizable, color-coded lists with direct links to the component they're searching for. It'll bookmark relevant areas and even populate a list of associated components. Make things even easier by tapping associated attachments to see exploded-view images for a clear, visual indication of what the real-world part looks like.
  3. Better training. A new generation is replacing your retiring field techs--do you have a plan to maintain that knowledge? Intelligent schematics are user-friendly and include the 3D renderings this generation expects. ONeVIEW even offers training modules and videos to catch your team up to speed now and in the future with automatic updates as equipment changes over time.

We're well-regarded in many industries for our product support solutions, and with good reason.

Let us introduce you to our ONeVIEW intelligent schematics solution and take your from-to processes from lifeless to interactive. Download the ONeVIEW brochure when you're ready to ditch the highlighters for good.

And the winner of ONEIL’s 2018 Robert J. Heilman Passion Fund Award is…

Congratulations, James Wells! ONEIL's Passion Fund Committee is pleased to present its 2018 Robert J. Heilman Passion Fund Award to James, who's worked in our technology group for more than 10 years.

Created in 2017, the Passion Fund serves to honor the legacy of ONEIL's late President, Bob Heilman, by providing a cash award to help fund the passion of one lucky ONEIL associate each year. With a warm demeanor and genuine care for others, Heilman was known for supporting his work "family" and encouraging their successes.

"We're proud to present James with the award, as his vision and dedication are exactly what the Passion Fund stands for. This is a great way to celebrate Bob Heilman's legacy," said Committee member John Stanley.

James was encouraged to apply for the Passion Fund by a co-worker who thought he'd be a great candidate for the award. With nearly 8 years of flying experience under his belt, he's currently working toward his goal of building a composite airplane, which he hopes to complete within 3 years. The $1,200 award monies will help him purchase parts and supplies for the next phase of his project: the fuselage.

And, true to ONEIL values, James has decided to "pay it forward" by donating a percentage of the money to others. He'll be contributing fuel funding to the Daks over Normandy organized paratrooper jump in June 2019, commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

James has one piece of advice for ONEIL associates who are considering applying for the 2019 Passion Fund Award: Just go for it!

More Documentation Managers are using a CMS for their technical documentation solution- here's why

Proving the need for a Content Management System (CMS) can be challenging for Documentation and Training Managers, but the need to save time and money couldn't be simpler. As part of your role, you're charged with developing and preserving technical documentation to help customers operate and maintain your equipment- this material impacts key partners within your own firm, too. Engineers, operators, trainers, help-desk personnel, and even legal, marketing, and IT groups all rely on the quality of your material in some capacity.

While it's true each business unit has its own priorities, there's a uniform need to improve customer satisfaction, reduce downtime, and intelligently manage content. Decision-makers understand how a CMS can support these needs, but they're under pressure to prove its value. Because we regularly provide clients with technical documentation solutions, we've noticed a few key themes driving demand for CMS implementation. Any of these sound familiar?

  • Legacy data must be maintained, but publication backlog and development cycles are too long, so end users have outdated information- or worse- no support information at all. Reformatting or updating disjointed data with each engineering change or parts upgrade is a drain on your time and resources.
  • Accessibility issues quickly become lead-time pitfalls. If you can't dynamically generate your technical information to distribute to web or mobile environments, your end-users can't get the real-time support they need. And, system integration barriers often exist, making it next to impossible to incorporate necessary information from other business applications.
  • Compliance and language requirements from relevant transit authorities, governing bodies, or industry-specific specifications can put you in the weeds as you work tirelessly to meet standards. The documentation development process can be grueling and costly, not to mention risky. Failing to meet specifications could result in end-user confusion, injury, or worse. Customer safety and your reputation are at stake.

Whether you have files created internally, outsourced to a strategic business partner, or a combination of both approaches, a solution like ONEIL's ONePUBS™ CMS acts as a one-stop-shop with complete authoring, publishing, and interactive delivery of technical content that can be reused, updated, and even translated in real-time. Bonus: it also provides configuration control, tracking and orchestrating updates to conform to the scheduled update cycle.

How's that for traction? Download the ONePUBS brochure to be the MVP of your organization's next technical documentation meeting.

Follow ONEIL from NOLA to Quantico this month

Each year, we travel to dozens of tradeshows, forums, and expositions- and we're certainly keeping the momentum this September. With several scheduled trips around the country, we're looking forward to joining our partners in aerospace, defense, and commercial markets at the events listed below:

September 10-13: S1000D User Forum & ILS Specification Day, New Orleans, LA Hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association and in partnership with the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe and the ATA e-Business Program, the event focuses on putting S1000D into practice and to share experiences with an ever-expanding international Community of Practice. Attendees of the Forum will hear real use-cases and examples of successful strategies to pave the way for S1000D implementation.

September 12-14: Life Cycle Industry Days, Dayton, OH The overall LCID focus is on life cycle management across weapon system portfolios. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC) will lead discussions on USAF requirements, challenges, and topics of mutual interest to industry and government.

September 16-19: AREMA, Chicago, IL The AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association) Annual Conference and Exposition provides an excellent opportunity for members of the railway industry to increase their railroad knowledge, technical expertise, network and a forum for exchanging ideas.

September 17-19: Air Space Cyber Conference, National Harbor, MD As the nation's premier event for defense and aerospace professionals around the world, ASC brings together Air Force senior leaders and experts from government, industry, and academia. From engaging speakers and panels focused on airpower, space, and cyber developments to the technology exposition featuring the latest technology, equipment, and solutions for tomorrow's problems, the conference has something for everyone.

September 25-27: Modern Day Marine, Quantico, VA Modern Day Marine is co-sponsored by Marine Corps Base, Quantico, the Exposition's home base. MCB Quantico, home to the Combat Development Command and the Marine Corps Systems Command, is responsible for setting requirements, developing equipment and systems and purchasing the equipment and systems that the Marine Corps will rely on in the years to come. These vital and unique functions play a large part in positioning Modern Day Marine as the premier military equipment, systems, services and technology exposition.

Will your team be attending any of these? Jot down the ONEIL booth numbers so we can connect at the event. Keep up with us on LinkedIn for updates, too!

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