The new research comes from Mekon, the specialist content creation, management and delivery consultancy. While reviewing publishing firms’ content management strategy, Mekon found that authors using traditional publishing software are typically wasting between 30 and 50 per cent of their time formatting documents instead of creating content. For some firms which publish across a wide variety of different publishing formats and in multiple languages, up to 90 per cent of authors’ time can be taken up with manual tasks such as formatting, translating, editing, localising and updating content across multiple outputs. What’s more, lack of automation adds extra process overheads, such as locating all the out-of-date files and performing quality assurance tasks manually.
Mekon’s Director Rich Murfitt said, “Publishing houses, analysts, research organisations and other publishers traditionally produce a very large amount of documentation and thus have a correspondingly large content management budget. In grim economic times organisations need to know that they aren’t throwing money away through easily avoidable inefficiencies.
“Traditional publishing systems lack automation, forcing authors to waste time performing multiple manual tasks, such as finding changes within a document, re-writing content for each new context and re-formatting for different outputs, or micromanaging translation processes. This is both labour- and cost-intensive, while also giving greater opportunity for errors to creep in.”
Qualifications provider Edexcel identified savings of over 300,000 thanks to a Content Strategy Audit™ from Mekon. Mekon then achieved these savings by implementing a strategic approach to content and document management.
Mekon works closely with an organisation’s staff to provide a cross-departmental understanding of how information management strategy can be improved and to identify potential cost savings.
Even smaller organizations with only a few documentation staff have saved over 100,000 a year by coping with growth without needing to increase headcount.
Mekon conducts a day of on-site staff interviews to gather priorities, goals and a picture of the business from a process and priorities point of view. They then analyse the information gathered and deliver a management-oriented presentation. This report raises staff awareness of content issues and options, as well as enabling decision makers to see how, why and where existing content creation, management and delivery strategies can be improved.
“Not every Mekon content audit ends with a recommendation for change and there is no commitment to implementing the cost savings that we have identified,” said Murfitt. “But if you do decide to implement a structured content management strategy, Mekon can slash your budget by as much as 50 per cent or more, delivering a clear return on investment.”
“And it’s not just about the money,” concluded Murfitt. “There are also numerous ‘soft gains’ such as more diversified, more structured content; different navigation options; content syndication and change notifications; the ability to deliver content in customers’ desired format and browsable HTML instances of documents wherever they’re needed, which all contribute to maximising customer satisfaction.”