Actually, there's no way to sugar-coat it. The world is currently in crisis: human lives are at stake, our social lives are off the rails, and the economy is starting to crumble. The surreal current situation reminds me a little bit of David versus Goliath – or even: a virus versus globalisation.
We’re in daily contact with our customers. We’re in our home offices, our contact people are in their home offices; in-between there’s an internet connection, two headsets and an online meeting tool.
Of course, our customers and partner companies are also affected by this crisis. Many tell us what problems they’re currently experiencing with not being able to dispatch their technicians to their customers for maintenance or repair work. There are many reasons for this: staff shortages due to quarantine measures, bans on visiting companies, flight cancellations, border closures or even entry restrictions in border regions.
Nevertheless, this work must be carried out if you don’t wish to risk major damage to plants or machines – or even have to completely shut down production for legal reasons. Especially now, it’s essential to enable those who still must work on machines on-site to carry out their activities.
This is a challenge that can only be met through the rapid provision of information and open communication, and kothes offers you the support you need to achieve this. Our bread and butter is the creation of operating manuals (whether they have little text or are text-intensive), installation instructions, instruction videos (for example, based on technical drawings) or training documents. We have the tools and appropriate systematic abilities to create process descriptions for maintenance activities, repair work or for fault detection and elimination within the shortest possible time.
An example of what this might look like in practice: The demand for personal hygiene products is higher than ever, so your customer's toilet paper production machines are running around the clock. Suddenly, a timing belt breaks. The spare part can be delivered by courier within 24 hours – unfortunately, the Technician who would normally replace the spare part is now not able to. But what can be delivered within 24 hours is the instruction-set on how to replace the timing belt.
Hour #1: We’re on the phone together. You describe the problem to us, provide us with the contact details of your Technician (who is stuck in his or her home office), and you send us all the documentation you have on the machine (e.g. 3D models, technical drawings, and photos).
Hour #2: Our Technical Editor contacts your Technician (either via telephone or online interview), and he or she researches all the necessary information for the repair procedures.
Hours #3 to #8: Our Technical Editor develops the process description, while at the same time, a Technical Illustrator creates clear and concise graphics that illustrate how to carry out various activity steps correctly.
Hour #9: Your Technician checks the content for completeness and correctness. We take care of the output and the digital provisioning of the information.
Hours #10 to #24: If necessary, our translation team will ensure that the content is translated as quickly as possible – and into a language that’s easily understood in the target country.
Hour #24: Spare parts and manuals are available to your customer's staff. The work can begin, and production can resume promptly.
Perhaps there are queries and maybe unexpected malfunctions will occur during the replacement of the timing belt, despite everyone’s best efforts. Now it’s important that your Service Technician and the personnel on-site can enter into discussion. If necessary, we will offer you the option of contacting our translators via online meeting, in order to let them take action as an interpreter. It mustn’t be the language barrier that defeats us in such a situation.
At this point, we’d like to use Angela Merkel's (translated) words from her speech to the nation: The epidemic shows "how we can protect and strengthen each other by acting together." (Quoted from NWZ online)
Right now, it’s important to bundle our competencies, get creative and stand together in partnership. Whatever your concerns, contact us anytime and we’ll put our heads together (metaphorically of course!), in order to find a solution.
Our promise to you at this time: pragmatism is our priority. You let us know your timeframe, and we design the best possible information product within this period. Rapid solutions instead of lengthy bureaucracy.