With over 20,000 registered users, Digabit’s Documoto platform has generated enough data for us to estimate the return on investment (ROI) for various scenarios at manufacturing companies.
Here is one common dilemma: While it’s a given to create electronic parts catalogs for new and current models, some of our customers have decades’ worth of older models that are still in operation and require ongoing service and maintenance. Older units tend to generate more parts orders, so it may prove worthwhile to convert older parts catalog content into an interactive online format to help capture more of those revenues.
In a traditional desktop publishing environment, where the end product is often a paper copy and/or PDF, the process of converting and migrating older files and data into an acceptable format is so time-intensive that most companies cannot justify the labor and expense to update past technical documentation.
However, Documoto’s publishing platform automates or eliminates many manual tasks, like copy-and-paste and other layout chores, once a company has loaded its product data into the database.
So, how do you determine whether it’s worth the time and trouble to move older product info into Documoto?
Let’s assume a manufacturer has eight extremely popular models of earth-moving machines for which they want to update support documentation. Using desktop tools, Digabit customers have reported taking three weeks or longer per model for the publications department to convert older data and publish high-quality PDFs. That equates to a 24-week backlog of work to update eight parts catalogs.
We’ll conservatively estimate that the average publications employee compensation equals $50,000 a year. That means the cost of creating updated parts catalogs is roughly $23,000 for labor alone. And six months’ worth of labor during which those employees aren’t accomplishing anything else of value.
Imagine that you had a publishing system in which you could create electronic, print and PDF catalogs in three days versus three weeks?
Now you’re looking at around $4,600 in labor to update your legacy catalogs. Similar savings can be achieved every time a revenue-generating parts catalog needs updating. And it doesn’t take many returned parts, hours of phone support, or lost part sales to add up to the cost of transforming legacy to digital.
What would a modern publishing system like that cost, you ask? Digabit’s Documoto Authoring Essentials starts at $1650 a month, or less than $20K per year. Just about the cost difference between the old and new ways of doing things.
What are we not factoring in? The huge opportunities afforded by freeing up five months of publishing labor. And the potential boost in aftermarket sales provided by having up-to-date parts information in Documoto’s Cloud Storefront (with additional subscription costs). Customers have proven their willingness to pay for the convenience of buying online, especially when they know they’re getting the right, high-quality OEM parts!