Localization Tips / Technical Writing

Benefits of Having Your Technical Writers and Engineers in the Same Place


Benefits of Having Your Technical Writers and Engineers in the Same Place

China’s role in the global economy is a powerful one, especially in the R&D sector where it continues to show steady growth. As a result, China is now strategically placed in a prime location, serving as a platform for global enterprises wanting to explore R&D opportunities within Chinese borders, and equally for domestic enterprises wanting to explore opportunities abroad.

With these developments, enterprises worldwide are beginning to invest more time and money as they realize the importance and benefits of localization, technical and other translation services. These services, usually performed by technical writers, help companies in driving more value to consumers through the products and services that they sell. Ultimately, the results of these services lead to an increase in revenue as discovered in Common Sense Advisory’s report, Fortune 500 Companies that Invest in Translation Report Higher Revenue. Below are some additional benefits of why you should consider having your technical communications and engineering team within the same location.

Better Communication

Communication is one of the most essential requirements for undertaking any successful project. By having your technical writers and engineers within close proximity, effective communication (which includes cognizance of language, cultural, organizational and interpersonal nuances) is achieved. This results in improved workflow, preventing a myriad of issues that could potentially occur. Among those issues is managing cultural differences, which ranked fifth place as one of the most challenging attributes when conducting R&D abroad. With that being said, great technical writers are skilled and efficient communicators, capable of asking the right questions, and thereby eliciting the necessary responses from engineers. This back and forth exchange between technical writer and engineer is crucial in ensuring optimum project delivery for the client and all other stakeholders involved.

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An Intuitive Working Relationship

One of the greater benefits of effective communication between a technical writer and engineer is the working relationship and trust that is formed. By working closely together, both parties are in the best position to learn from one another and adapt to each other’s unique styles. This builds and encourages trust, forming an intuitive working relationship that fosters the reliability of project execution, which would otherwise not be possible under remote circumstances.

Access to Technical Talent

A 2015 study conducted by PwC, Strategy& 2015 Global Innovation 1000, revealed that access to technical talent accounts for 39% as one of the key reasons for moving R&D functions to China. This astonishing figure comes as no surprise considering that a skilled technical writer has worked on a great number of projects, ranging from varying levels of complexity, fields and areas of expertise. Furthermore, excellent technical writers are always broadening their scope of knowledge, whether it’s drawing from past experiences or acquiring new information. This makes technical writers a valuable asset to any team, and within close collaboration, engineers are able to take advantage, thus gaining access to their knowledge and resources.

Simplifies Your Process

Time is money, and one of the more obvious benefits for having your technical writers and engineers within the same time zone is the cost-to-time factor. When deadlines have to be met and there are pending issues which need to be resolved promptly, having your technical writers readily available for any potential queries and issues can be a life-saver.

Keep in mind, end-user documentation, including other forms of publications reserved for public use, often have a far-reaching cost and effect that extends way beyond the company’s border lines.
Therefore, errors in documentation (such as A $2 million comma) could cost a company millions of dollars, tarnishing its credibility and reputation.

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Having your technical writers as near as possible not only saves a company time and money, but it also allows for more productivity, as issues can be resolved quickly and business can drive forward.

Written by Tarance Mathebula – Technical Writer at CSOFT International

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CSOFT International is a translation, localization, and globalization services provider that helps international businesses reach out to customers around the world.