Brian Trombley, DCL
If you have ever logged miles on a treadmill or powered through an interval workout on an exercise bike at the gym, then you are probably familiar with Cybex products. Cybex equipment is a staple at fitness centers across the US and around the world, and the Cybex International, Inc. product line includes more than 150 unique strength training and cardio training machines.
The company has experienced great success in helping gym-goers achieve their fitness goals, growing as they muscle up or lose those last 10 pounds. Now, Cybex has two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the US and a workforce of 560 employees.
Any global company that manufactures leading-edge fitness equipment needs extensive documentation that must be distributed to a vast international network. As Cybex increased its global market share and expanded its product lines, the Cybex team faced an urgent need to streamline and modernize its documentation production process to do the following:
- Accommodate constant updates to its manuals
- Add new languages
- Provide current information to its suppliers, vendors, sales people, and service technicians
The company’s publishing process was proving to be inefficient; and much of it was manual, including making the same edits across several separate documents. As a result, customers were forced to wait longer for information, and adding languages became a dreaded and cumbersome task. The technology was not scalable and the existing functionality could not keep up with customer needs.
The question remained: How could Cybex’s documentation team meet the challenges of providing updated information to a growing, global customer base and also find time for revising and writing new content for its new products—all while improving operational efficiency and decreasing costs?
The Solution: DCL Helps Cybex Implement DITA, an XML-based Publishing Model
Cybex enlisted the expertise of Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL). Combining automation and experienced project teams, DCL sets the industry standard in converting complex content, capturing text from virtually any medium and transforming it so that it can be easily searched and shared through modern publishing formats—whether print, online, or mobile.
With documentation on more than 100 machines—and the need for a scalable system for updating content—Cybex depended on DCL’s project management team. Entering at the ground floor, DCL worked with Cybex at each stage, including planning and strategizing, proof-of-concept, testing, and then the conversion itself. Laying the groundwork for the changeover was the most time-consuming aspect of the project, as DCL reviewed Cybex’s existing processes, analyzed their requirements, and helped create a business case for a move to DITA XML, along with a budget forecast.
This work resulted in an actionable project plan (‘CybeXML’) that included a realistic timeline for migration from InDesign to DITA, an XML-based open standard for structuring, developing, managing, and publishing content. During the implementation phase, DCL also configured customized production environments, managed training, and then oversaw the final move to new servers.
The project was a huge success for Cybex. The implementation to DITA helped Cybex achieve its goals of improved efficiency, increased output, and localization of manuals. Content was moved into a system that could be tagged and updated across several documents simultaneously.
Results: Doubling Output with Improved Efficiency
Ultimately, the conversion to DITA helped the Cybex technical publications team to double its output using fewer resources and taking less time. Processes that once took months or weeks to complete now take hours. Converting to DITA allowed Cybex to increase document count, improve documentation consistency, and add languages—all while using existing staff. Here is a snapshot of the results Cybex saw.
- Creating manuals takes two weeks, instead of eight weeks
- Adding a language takes one week, instead of 16 weeks
- Cybex now publishes documents in 12 languages, up from eight
- Packaging manuals takes 1.5 hours instead of two weeks
- Content is consistent: updates take place across all relevant content simultaneously
- Cybex has added documentation for 58 products (and counting)
A Final Word
While DITA projects have a reputation for taking a long time, the Cybex team’s commitment to the transition drove this project to completion in 18 months. Now that the processes are in place for efficient document production, Cybex understands that its investment in the system and the work they put in to implement is a smart investment for years to come. In fact, in 2016, Cybex joined the Life Fitness family of brands, and Life Fitness is also being introduced to DITA.
About Cybex International, Inc.
For over 35 years, Cybex International, Inc., a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), and part of the Life Fitness brand family, has been a leading manufacturer of premium exercise equipment. The Cybex product line, which includes a full range of strength, cardio and service solutions is designed to be aesthetically striking, innovative in design, durable in structure, biomechanically correct—and most importantly—truly helpful to everyone from first-time gym members to professional athletes. Led by the Cybex Research Institute, Cybex is fiercely committed to real results and meaningful innovations delivered through a devotion to excellence and a dedication to science. Cybex designs and builds its products in the USA for a wide range of facilities, from commercial health clubs to home gyms, in more than 85 countries worldwide. For more information on Cybex and its products, visit the company’s website at http://www.cybexintl.com or follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
For 35 years, DCL (www.dclab.com) has been a leader in helping organizations maximize the value of their content assets investment through digitization and organization, making reuse easier and providing greater accessibility. DCL sets the standard in converting content into all structured formats, including XML, S1000D, SGML, proprietary schemas, and others.
With DCL’s process, content quality is vastly improved, systems are future-proofed, redundancies are eliminated, and revenue opportunities are expanded. With expertise across industries including life sciences, government, manufacturing, technology and professional organizations, DCL uses its advanced technology and U.S.-based project management teams to help solve the most complex conversion challenges securely, accurately and on time. DCL is a multi-year winner of EContent’s Top 100 companies.