Farm Credit Services of Mid-America
Farm Credit Services of Mid-America uses Information Mapping™
services from Precisely Write, Inc. for content management.
Farm Credit Services of Mid-America is the leader in farm financing. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Farm Credit is an agricultural cooperative lender serving more than 65,000 customers throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. And when they needed help organizing their procedure manuals, they contacted Precisely Write, Inc.
The company had information in three business area manuals, legal, loan accounting, and credit, and wanted to make finding information easier and faster for its employees.
“Having the information spread out through three manuals required employees to check through all three to make sure everything on a loan request was properly completed,” said Jim Kenney, Senior Vice President of Corporate Services.
“Precisely Write took the current source information from our three manuals and produced new sections that blended in the three disciplines. They worked with our subject matter experts to make sure the information remained accurate,” he said.
Farm Credit had been using Information Mapping to write some of its business documents, but had a fairly informal set of writing standards that allowed writers to use individual styles. For this project the company wanted to develop a style consistency that enabled employees to skim the document to find exactly the information they needed. Information mapping is designed to do exactly that. Janet Smith, certified Information Mapping instructor at Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis, Indiana, describes how it works: Information Mapping makes information more accessible by enabling the reader to find the information they need quickly and easily. It enables multiple writers on a documentation (project) to produce a consistent document because of the structure of the methodology.”
Information Mapping has several advantages in the way it structures documents. It is a simple add on to Microsoft Word and can be used for all types of documentation, including Web sites and Intranets. Information Mapping creates reusable content and allows optimization of
- content management systems
- e-learning programs
- single source publishing systems
- training materials
- user guides
- work flow analyses
- regulatory information
- compliance documentation, including FDA, SEC, DOT, OSHA, EPA
- ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 documentation
- policies and procedures, and
- business communications.
Research and client studies have shown proven benefits for organizations that use it, including
- 10%-50% decrease in training time
- 20%-50% decrease in documentation costs
- 38% increase in documentation use
- 54% decrease in performance error rates
- 70% decrease in questions to supervisors
- 80% decrease in call volume, and
- 25% increase in compliance rates.
For Farm Credit Services, the changes are already getting results. “Feedback from our pilot group has been positive,” says Mr. Kenney. “We plan on having some face-to-face meetings after a couple of months using the new system to learn a whole lot more. I think new employees will especially benefit.”
And he added this: “Without Precisely Write we would not have had enough internal resources to pull off this project in the time frame we desired. We had a project schedule and were able to stick to it.
i Source: Information Mapping web site: https://www.infomap.com/im_aboutus/method/aboutus_method.htm
ii Source: Information Mapping web site: https://www.infomap.com/im_aboutus/method/aboutus_results.htm