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How to Make the Move to Paperless Work Instructions

Paperless work instructions bring immense benefits and efficiencies. Learn why companies are transitioning to sustainable digital solutions.

technician with paperless work instructions on the mobile bilt app

The modern business landscape has demanded a comprehensive change to digitally driven business processes. Moving to new, technology-based ways to manage your work instructions is no exception. In fact, the ability of these paperless work instructions to transform the way your business operates is impossible to overstate.

Organizations looking to enhance their efficiency and productivity will explore many directions. Adopting 3D interactive instructions should be among them, offering a transformative solution when replacing traditional paper manuals, PDFs, and linear videos.

The Potential Power of Paperless Work Instructions

A more dynamic and mobile-enabled experience may be just what your business needs. Features such as 360° views, interactive touch-screen manipulation, and animated 3D guides can go a long way toward empowering your workforce with clear and visual guidance.

In fact, paperless work instructions are tailor-made to replace their legacy alternatives. Static PDFs and paper manuals can be difficult to search and update. Videos provide a more visual approach but don’t allow users to manipulate the screen for more relevant instructions.

The interactive, immersive, and dynamic nature of app-based 3D instructions directly addresses each of these issues. Learn why companies across industries are moving toward these types of instructions to build their efficiencies and improve workplace satisfaction.

1. Accelerating Ramp Time for New Employees

Successful onboarding is becoming an essential feature in any industry, especially those working with complex products and pieces of equipment. When used the right way in the onboarding process, paperless work instructions can play a major part in reducing employee ramp time and creating a faster path to full productivity.  

Related: The Benefits of Digital Work Instructions for Improving Employee Ramp Time

Through these immersive instructions, new employees can more easily learn the nuances of any piece of equipment in a way that approaches real-world applications and environments. This better visualization, compared with a more intuitive way of learning, reduces training time and ultimately instills confidence in new employees who can build the foundational knowledge they need from the moment they start.

2. Natural Integrations for In-the-Moment Applications

Of course, companies aren’t only moving to paperless instructions because of their new employees. Instead, digital work instructions can also play a major role in helping experienced technicians improve how they interact with, repair, and replace their products in the moment.

Digitized instructions can become a valuable resource because techs are able to manipulate them onsite to match any given situation. Rather than having to find the specific instructions for a minor nuance or task needed and relying on a single visual to accomplish it, technicians and other professionals can quickly search for and find the exact situation and manipulate the visual to match what they’re seeing in the real world.

As a result, instructions like these are custom designed to naturally integrate with the flow of work on site. That means true immersion, enabling even the most seasoned professionals to leverage an interactive, in-the-moment knowledge base to always get the right information.

3. Improving Tech Support Efficiencies

In part because of the in-the-moment integrations of more modern and interactive instructions, companies are also embracing this technology because it minimizes the need for time-consuming technical support calls. When workers on site are able to quickly and intuitively find the right information, they’ll have less of a need to call on the support of others to get that same information.

These types of efficiencies can have significant cascading benefits for the entire organization. Work can be completed faster with less of a hurdle or additional steps. Meanwhile, significant resources can be saved on the backend, thanks to the decreased need for tech support staff to be available for potential questions or other help.

4. Real-Time Updates for Complex Instructions

Speaking of increasing efficiencies, traditional instructions are inherently static, which can make any updates difficult to accomplish. Any correction or update to the product or equipment requires a reprint of instructions while also introducing the possibility of outdated instructions still remaining in circulation.

Paperless work instructions, on the other hand, allow for real-time updates. Even the most complex manuals and handbooks can receive quick tweaks in the right spots, all while maintaining a single source of truth for all users. It’s a core benefit that has companies enjoying potentially significant efficiency improvements.

5. Two-Way Feedback to Encourage Continuous Improvement

In addition to technical updates, immersive manuals also benefit companies through more qualitative improvements. Feedback from technicians and other users can result in improvements on anything from the animated instructions to the ways new employees are guided through the system. 

This iterative and continuous improvement approach to work instructions has multiple benefits:

  • The instructions can become better over time, improving work productivity and efficiency
  • Employees feel more involved in the process, building a sense of ownership over the instructions used as tools

Best of all, the process is simple and straightforward, so these improvements come with little downside. The end result can reverberate across your organization, making it another reason why 3D instructions have become so popular.

6. Enhancing Sustainability Practices

It’s not a surprise that sustainable business practices have become an increasing organizational priority in recent years. According to Forbes, 90% of leaders agree that sustainability is important to business success, while a Deloitte study found that 57% of organizations are using energy-efficient or climate-friendly equipment and machinery in their daily operations.

This emphasis on sustainability extends to the instructions used for that same equipment as well. By going to paperless alternatives, organizations can save significant amounts of money that would otherwise be spent producing and re-producing high-gloss videos or extensive printed instructions. Paperless work instructions, in other words, are a natural fit for companies embracing sustainable practices.

7. Tightening Connections With Third-Party Partnerships

No business runs in isolation. At the same time, partnerships with external parties can be difficult to manage, especially when that partnership requires frequent exchanges of extensive information.

Consider work instructions as an example. You may work with external installers or maintenance technicians for your equipment. Ensuring that all the information about that equipment transfers easily to everyone who might work on your behalf becomes more difficult when the employees are not your own to onboard and train.

Through digital work instructions, you can tighten these connections by easing the information transfer. Share the entire instruction set or only the most relevant pieces easily and electronically. The intuitive format makes it simple for anyone to jump in, ensuring that techs working on your behalf can get the job done right.

8. Saving Money on the Operating Budget

Naturally, cost efficiencies are among the key decision drivers for any type of organization. The good news: interactive and paperless work instructions can play a significant role in saving on the operating budget, in part due to many of the benefits mentioned above. This is yet another reason they’ve become so attractive for businesses across the spectrum.

Related: How Interactive Work Instructions Save Money

These money savings can come in a wide variety of ways. Increased work efficiency means less time spent on each piece of equipment. A more natural training environment reduces the resources spent on external onboarding tools. Better training also reduces errors, minimizing the need for rework that costs the construction industry billions every year. 

And of course, the savings also lie in the reduced production costs of paper or static video instructions. Each of these cost savings adds up, ultimately making paperless work instructions a sound investment even on a cost basis alone.

9. Positioning Companies at the Forefront of Innovation

Finally, digital instructions are attractive to businesses because they foster a forward-thinking approach. Presenting the ability to train and guide your employees in an immersive environment positions your company at the forefront of innovation, making it more attractive for both prospective and current employees in the process.

The impact of this benefit can be felt in a wide variety of ways, Most importantly, it helps you attract and retain top-end talent in an ever-evolving professional landscape. When you showcase the tools that can help you make training and the work itself easier for your teams, you’ll become more appealing to professionals and job candidates whose alternatives are still static and paper-based.

How to Leverage the Potential of Paperless Work Instructions

Put it all together, and you get a powerful tool that companies of all sizes are embracing for its benefits. Thanks to paperless instructions, organizations are able to improve every part of their business, from onboarding to saving money and improving the work that gets done. But of course, these benefits aren’t automatic. You still have to find the right solution in order to leverage them. That’s where BILT comes in. Our intuitive app is custom-made to build immersive, interactive digital instruction sets from static manuals. It’s a sustainable, scalable, and easily maintained app designed for your long-term success. Ready to learn more? Get the app and see the power and potential of digital instructions for yourself.

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