In the past 15 years, GE Healthcare has gone from two products to over 50 products; from ten languages to 33 languages; from a translation cycle time of four to six months, to six to eight weeks; from a yearly cost of $1 million per manufacturing center to $60,000 per manufacturing center — or approximately $.001 a word. In 1999, they were six siloed writing departments scattered across the world, working with proprietary software (Interleaf), writing multiple unique sets of documentation. To translate, they manually marked up the documentation set, mailed it to the translation vendor, who translated it at a cost of around $1 million, and delivered to the customer four months after product launch. In 2015, GE Healthcare is a globally collaborative writing team of nine global manufacturing centers working with common tools, collaborating in a shared component content management system (CCMS), sharing content with a 95% reuse. The CCMS content is leveraged to write content once, share content across multiple products, translate once, using a translation portal workflow. They simultaneously ship anywhere in the world along with the initial product launch and share translation costs. In this case study session we will show how GE Healthcare got from there to here in a highly regulated medical device environment.
Content at the Right Time, in the Right Language: Innovation with a Healthy Dose of Cost Reduction