Take ownership of the tool . . .
"For a successful roll-out, it's paramount that your users are involved, not only with input in the customization, but in offering
input to deployment. Finally, take ownership of the tool — if you feel you own it, you will make it the best possible tool in managing your documents."
Jon E. Nicholson II
Raytheon Technical Services Co. LLC
Out in the high desert of Ft. Irwin, California, the U.S. Army hones their combative skills with mission training and
feedback in a simulated war environment. This "lesson-learned" training is essential in providing soldiers with the skills necessary to maintain and improve their military readiness, before their boots hit
Headquartered in Reston, VA, Raytheon Technical Services Company (RTSC) operates in 50 states, 32 countries, and seven
continents. RTSC, Range Technical Services, a Department of Defense (DoD) government contractor at Fort Irwin, California, is using AutoEDMS to manage the 11,000+ library of drawings that are necessary to operate
and maintain this war-fighting training simulation system, which supports over 2,000 players, 10 times a year.
As the nation's premier operator of DoD ranges and provider of technical support services to the Federal Aviation
Administration, RTSC provides technical, scientific, and professional services for defense, federal, and commercial customers worldwide.
The Business Need
What initially started as project to provide a solution for version control of Raytheon's 11,000+ library of drawings for
eight Engineering and Configuration Management users and a single database, ended up growing to support just under 30 users, and four distinct databases.
"Prior to implementing AutoEDMS, the check-out, revision control, and the manual version release procedures were
extremely inefficient by comparison," recounted Jon Nicholson, RTSC-NTC-IS Configuration Manager for Raytheon, who was directly involved in the AutoEDMS implementation.
Continuing, Nicholson explained, "Our databases are managing documentation developed in all Microsoft Office
applications, as well as Visio and AutoCAD. Each database has unique Forms and workflow processes created with specific regard to the management of the document content control. The four databases provide additional
management of library System Publications, administrative SOPs and exhibits, and business correspondence and project tracking."
"Future plans include further licensing deployment across this site, as well as further customization of
the drawing database capabilities to include an automated drawing tree reporting function —leveraging captured Next Assembly data," says Nicholson.
"Prior to the implementation of AutoEDMS," notes Nicholson, "our library documentation content
maintenance employed a labor-intensive manual directory and file management approach, coupled with a FoxPro migrated Microsoft Access database version control data capture application. We had
no direct-correlation of management data and documents."
"Version control was also a manually labor-intensive process," describes Nicholson. "While
documents could easily be retrieved through the server-based directory structure to support efficiency for our Engineering efforts, the back-end Configuration Management efforts were excessively
cumbersome in validating documentation being requested for release into our baseline. We spent many extra hours, per individual drawing sheet, validating revision data inclusion, and confirming data
content was sourced from an appropriate baseline, while continually monitoring multiple sheet revision projects."
"AutoEDMS' customizable environment allows us to marry document-specific maintenance data with
its associated document," says Nicholson. "We have a very specific contract compliance vision managing DoD technical system documentation. Our customer has confidence in library maintenance
of our documentation management approach, because of the customization allowing our operation to satisfy their requirements regarding control and reporting."
"As an estimate," explains Nicholson, "AutoEDMS has improved our configuration and library
maintenance efficiency in decreasing our labor by about 50% in just managing drawings library content through process improvements afforded through a customized AutoEDMS database. And . . .
remember, there are also dollars associated with a Customer's confidence in your document management efforts."
Words of Advice
"Ensure a clear game plan in customization requirements, implementing, and deploying a system,"
advises Nicholson. "Most importantly, get your users' buy-in! For a successful roll-out, it's paramount that your users are involved, not only with input in the customization, but in offering input to
deployment. Finally, take ownership of the tool — if you feel you own it, you will make it the best possible tool in managing your documents."