Typefi helped PMC realise an “explosive” increase in production of multilingual instruction manuals.

PMC is a Japanese document solutions company specialising in publishing for manufacturers. Its clients include electronics manufacturer Pioneer, power tool manufacturer Makita, and pharmaceutical manufacturer Asahi Kasei Pharma.

PMC grew from Pioneer’s instruction and service manual production department, becoming an independent subsidiary of Pioneer in 1996 and later joining the CDS Group in 2011.

These changes allowed PMC to broaden its client base and scope of service delivery, and the company now offers a full suite of document solutions, including document planning and production, content management, business communication tools and an online proofreading system.

The challenge: An expensive and inefficient publishing system

In 2010, PMC (then known as Pioneer Media Creates) was using Advent 3B2 to automate production of instruction and technical manuals. While the software allowed for the creation of high quality PDF documents with complex layouts, the PMC team found the workflows onerous.

Template design had to be outsourced to specialist engineers, which was expensive and inefficient, and even minor changes to templates were costly.

The nature of the content—with modifications to software and product specifications occurring at various stages of the production process—meant that last-minute changes to publications were often required.

However, the PMC team found it difficult to manage data corrections once the content was laid out due to challenges with handling Advent 3B2’s native data.

PMC’s multilingual publishing workflows also presented challenges, with manuals being published in both Japanese and English.

Separate templates were required for each language, and any late-stage content updates had to be made in multiple documents, leading to an increased risk of errors.

The PMC production team found that it was increasingly unable to meet its customers’ demands. It needed a production system that offered more control over templates, and which allowed the team to update and finalise a single source of content in multiple languages before committing it to layout for publication.

The solution: CMS + Typefi Workgroup with all the benefits of Adobe InDesign

PMC sensed the benefits of XML (Extensible Markup Language) as early as 2000, and developed an XML-based document management system called Enterprise Publisher.

In 2013, PMC launched its current content management and document creation system, Enterprise X Creator (EXC).

As an XML-based platform, Typefi Workgroup integrated seamlessly with Enterprise Publisher and, later, Enterprise X Creator to provide a true single-source document creation solution—with the added bonus of incorporating industry-standard Adobe InDesign software for composition and layout in multiple languages.

PMC now maintains its Japanese and English source content in Enterprise X Creator, where it can be edited at any stage of production.

Meanwhile, PMC’s designers use the Typefi Designer plug-in to prepare dynamic templates in Adobe InDesign.

When content is ready for publication, the PMC production team sends it to their on-premises Typefi server with the click of a button.

Typefi intelligently and automatically lays out the content in the dynamic templates and, within minutes, returns a publication-ready PDF for review or commercial printing, and an InDesign file which allows for any last-minute changes by hand.

An “explosive” increase in production

PMC first implemented Typefi in September 2010 to publish instruction manuals for rekordbox, a Pioneer DJ product.

Tomonori Sano from PMC’s Design Division said that publishing production has since “increased explosively”, with minimal changes to staffing.

“As long as we were using 3B2, the cost and duration of template development was constrained,” he said.

“Now our templates can be developed by our design staff instead of outsourcing to engineers, and we can easily handle the InDesign data for commercial printing which gives us more flexibility.”

Typefi: One of the fastest publishing engines based on Adobe InDesign

Creating and managing dynamic InDesign templates in-house has proven faster and more cost-effective, allowing PMC’s production team to adapt templates to accommodate new categories of product instruction manuals, as well as over eight additional languages.

Typefi’s Professional Services also helped PMC overcome numerous workflow challenges—including problems with cross-referencing, images and file links, and XSLT transformations—to increase the efficiency of its publishing workflows.

“Typefi is one of the fastest publishing engines based on InDesign. In the past six years we have published approximately 500,000 pages with Typefi,” Tomonori Sano said.

“We trust Typefi as a business partner, and we look forward to having an ongoing long-term business relationship.”

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