If you, or one of your key staff members, were unexpectedly absent from your organisation for any length of time, what would happen? Would business carry on as usual? In most cases, the answer is a resounding no. Too often, much of the critical information necessary for the smooth operation of a business is stored only in the minds of long-serving team members. The unexpected absence of such a person, from an accident, illness, family emergency, a sudden resignation or even retirement can seriously affect production.
This, amongst many other reasons, is why comprehensive documentation of your company’s operations can act as a guarantee that production will not be disrupted under such circumstances.
How detailed documentation can maximise your productivity
We are often called upon by organisations in general industry, manufacturing and mining to provide detailed documentation on their plant’s operations in the form of parts and operation manuals, maintenance manuals, work instructions, policies, procedures and training guides.
These documents not only provide the assurance that production will be unaffected in an emergency, but they are the foundation for achieving and sustaining maximum productivity, efficiency and safety. Having this type of documentation available to new or existing staff is paramount to ensuring maximum productivity.
An example of how important it is to have comprehensive documentation arose with a major manufacturing client of DS Techwrite. The client had a hydrogen production plant as part of their operation, however, over time; the staff who had been able to use the equipment had left the company, taking with them the skills and knowledge required for operation. Eventually, the plant lay idle, and the company had to purchase hydrogen from a supplier at a cost of $300k pa.
DS Techwrite was engaged by the client to formulate the necessary documentation to act as an operation manual for the entire plant. The topic was raised by the client of the old unused hydrogen production plant. We took this on board and developed not only the operational material, but also the maintenance manual for this part of the plant. At the conclusion of our documentation, the client was able to re-engage the idle machinery and produce their own hydrogen, negating the need to purchase from a supplier and saving the company significant costs.
Such documents are referred to on a day-to-day basis. Comprehensively documenting your company’s operation will guarantee a higher level of safety, as well as arming your staff with the vital information they need to develop into a confident and successful working team.
A solid base of documentation and specific reference material is now considered essential to enable integrated work management and procurement processes, which in turn, maximises the company’s growth, profitability and safety.
Why call on the professionals?
Establishing this library of documents is no easy task. Using an organisation’s internal experts to write these manuals may capture the main information, but it’s the essential background details that can be taken for granted, and inadvertently left out. The absence of such details can relegate the entire document useless at best, or even potentially create a dangerous situation.
The advantage of employing an external entity to write the documentation means that no piece of information is taken for granted. There’s never a case of ‘not seeing the forest for the trees’, so to speak.
Our writers all have industry and trade backgrounds and are trained to write technical documents that are comprehensive yet easy to understand. They aren’t afraid to ask the ‘silly’ questions in order to achieve complete clarification on the operation. Employing an external source also has the added benefit of not having to take a team member away from their role to document procedures, a task that can prove extremely time-consuming.
If you feel your organisation’s documentation is inadequate, now is the time to act. Don’t wait for an emergency to discover how vulnerable you are to productivity disruptions.