Manufacturing firms suffering missed sales and product delays due to poor documentation workflows, survey reveals

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Canvas GFX, Inc, the provider of visual communication and collaboration solutions to the manufacturing and technical industries, has published new research showing the damaging commercial impact of inefficient and ineffective product documentation workflows and processes at manufacturing companies.

Based on a survey of over 500 manufacturing industry professionals, the research shows how documentation that is routinely late, inaccurate, and outdated is causing downstream damage to the organisation. Common outcomes threatening companies’ top-line performance include delayed product launches and delayed or missed sales opportunities.

A report based on the findings lifts the lid on significant challenges associated with product documentation, as well as the causes of those challenges. It suggests an endemic problem in the manufacturing industries, described in the report as Product Communication Disorder.

Carried out in conjunction with Censuswide, the research contains worrying insights for a manufacturing industry which is investing heavily in cutting edge technology and processes in a bid to improve efficiency and performance: Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) felt that inefficiencies in their product communication processes could be undermining gains made through other technology initiatives. 

Additional findings include:

  • 99% of respondents experienced bottlenecks in content creation, with 55% saying such bottlenecks are frequent
  • 73% of respondents had experienced product or project errors or delays in the past two years as a result of difficulty collaborating on content
  • 40% of respondents said they had experienced product wastage through defects as a result of slow or delayed creation of critical product content

The report raises questions about the extent to which the relationship between inefficient documentation processes and negative downstream outcomes is understood within manufacturing companies. But the data also suggests that these companies are aware that a problem exists, with 73 percent of respondents saying their company was actively seeking ways to improve documentation workflows. 

“What this research shows is that challenges which might only be understood as departmental workflow issues are actually intricately connected to the success of the entire organisation,” said Patricia Hume, CEO of Canvas GFX. “How product communication content - from engineering through to sales -  is created, collaborated on, and consumed underpins company performance. Where these processes are malfunctioning, the result is self-inflicted damage. Product Communication Disorder is a systemic problem which must be viewed and addressed as such.”

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