During the last three months, we were exceptionally busy because we had one big additional task to deal with: moving to a new office. After more than 25 years in the same location, we spent months purging out old files and office furniture that we had accumulated. Customer needs were always our priority, so we never took the time to clean house. As our moving date came nearer, so did the pressure to complete our purging. Then came the task of updating all the places where we had listed our address.
Where to begin? Sales literature…Update the footers on all marketing pieces…Check. The website contact information page…Check. Business cards…check. Done! Right?
Wrong. There were a million (ok, maybe not a million, but it sure felt like a million) places where we had listed our address that we had forgotten about. It was in almost every document we created, from proposals to marketing pieces to websites that we sponsored. And so many more places…it took lots of time just remembering where they all were, not to mention the time it took to update them.
This exercise reinforced the concept of content reuse, and just how important it is to manage that reuse. It’s easy to lose control of where all of those copies of content are, and how quickly they can become obsolete. A simple address may not seem like a huge deal. But suppose this was a critical instruction on a drug label that could make someone really sick if it wasn’t properly updated? Or an important warning on how to operate a piece of machinery safely so it doesn’t injure someone?
And this is why we put so much effort into developing a component content management system that can accurately and automatically track the reuse of content components. Relieving technical writers of the stress of finding all of the reuse instances of a piece of content and the time it takes to update each one manually is one of the specialties of the Vasont CCMS. In one quick instant, a change to an instruction or warning can be made globally and republished to many different channels. Content reuse maintains the integrity of your content. And, if you work in a regulated environment, it can be even more critical to ensure you are meeting regulatory requirements throughout your content base.
So, where in the world are we now?