Advantages of structured content authoring for Toyota Motor Europe

In the fast-paced world of automotive engineering, the way technical information is communicated can be just as important as the information itself. Service bulletins are essential for highlighting safety concerns, maintenance needs, and other vital updates.

However, the traditional process of creating these bulletins was fraught with inefficiencies. Picture a laborious task of assembling data from various sources into a Microsoft Word document, followed by a painstaking review and approval process. Toyota Motor Europe recognized these challenges.

Service bulletins

Service bulletins are a form of technical documentation designed to offer guidance for the maintenance, repair, and modification of equipment that is already in active service. These bulletins are issued by the manufacturer or authorized entities to alert operators to potential safety concerns, maintenance needs, or other critical information.

Traditionally, these service bulletins were created in MS Word, copying and pasting data from different sources in a Word document that was manually reformatted. Review and approval took place on this Word document, which was a time and labor intensive process. 

Streamline the creation of service bulletins

Toyota Motor Europe was aware of the fact that this traditional, MS Word-based, creation process is far from optimal. Time consuming, inefficient, error prone and inaccurate. Some departments within the Japanese Toyota headquarters already used DITA XML for their service bulletins. 

Advantages that these departments experienced after moving from Word to XML are:

  • Smart re-use of the content;
  • automatically adapt data within templates, based upon variables, like models, markets and configurations. 

With this information in mind, Toyota Motor Europe selected our partner Componize back in 2015 as the CCMS (component content management system) that’s capable of connecting to various data sources, implementing workflows per service bulletin type and creating dynamic forms. All with variables from third-party systems and with the aim to simplify the authoring process. 

Supporting subject-matter experts to create DITA XML content

Most of the content within Toyota Motor Europe is written by automotive engineers. The integration of Fonto Editor in Componize CCMS made it possible to replace the MS Word-based documentation process. The intuitive interface, that feels like a traditional Word-processor, contributed to the smooth transition to the XML-first process. 

Advantages of structured content authoring

A big advantage of the move to structured content with the Componize CCMS and Fonto Editor is the fact that snippets of content can be easily reused over multiple documents, without copying and pasting. This reuse, together with the integration of the datahub, ensures that the bulletins contain the most recent and accurate information. 

The template based approach does ensure consistency and quality over the documents, while the component based model of DITA contributes to smart reuse of content elements and the fact that authors can collaborate within the same bulletin. 

Providing localized versions of this standardized content to the 28 national marketing and sales companies (NMSCs) in Europe, reduced the translation costs and workload for the NMSCs. 

For a complete overview of all the benefits that Toyota Motor Europe experienced and the return on investment metrics, please visit the Componize website.

About Toyota Motor Europe

Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA (TME) oversees the wholesale sales and marketing of Toyota, GR (GAZOO Racing) and Lexus vehicles and parts and accessories, as well as Toyota’s European manufacturing and engineering operations. Its eight European manufacturing plants are located in Portugal, the UK, France, Poland, Czech Republic and Turkey. 

Today, there are approximately 16.5 million Toyota, GR and Lexus vehicles on European roads, whose drivers are supported by a network of 28 National Marketing and Sales Companies and around 2,800 retail sales outlets in 53 countries.

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