Reed & Associates, Ltd. (RAL, ReedInfo) has a successfully provided technical writing, training, and support services to companies throughout the United States and around the world.
A brief timeline history follows.
Beginning in 1988, RAL concentrated on developing software documentation for commercial point-of-sales equipment. RAL developed end-users manuals, system administrator manuals, installation/operation guides, programming guides, and on-line help for a variety of software packages including communications, polling, and data/information broadcasting systems. RAL worked with subject matter experts and software developers to ensure the technical accuracy and completeness of the manuals, handbooks, and guides for multi-site communications and inventory management systems.
In 1990, RAL worked with a major electrical utilities company to analyze work practices and develop new/revised work guidelines and safety procedures. RAL reviewed approximately 15,000 pages of reference materials used in the transmission/distribution primary service area. The materials were analyzed for readability, usefulness, and accessibility by field personnel. RAL produced an annotated index of existing practices and procedures. From the analysis, RAL produced publication guidelines and a writing template/prototype for procedures, and created model work practices for selected operational areas.
From 1991-94, RAL worked with an international process engineering company to prepare a series of comprehensive characterization and evaluation/audit reports assessing the state of the refining industry in Eastern Europe. The reports were based on information collected by teams of engineers during site surveys and from questionnaire responses provided by individual refineries. The project was sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). RAL specialists assessed technical data and worked with project and process engineers to develop technical summary reports. The reports were designed to be used as the basis for international investment and engineering development in the process industry.
In 1993, a company that specializes in computer system integration selected RAL to analyze the network requirements and system operating parameters for a law firm operating a five-city WAN (wide-area network), each with LANs of more than 100 users. RAL documented and validated operating and administrative procedures and processes and developed operator task lists. Based on the results of the analysis, an on-site assessment of the operating systems, and an operational review of network requirements, RAL designed, developed, and produced a 700-page system administrator's manual for use throughout the network. The manual covers topics that ranged from managing users and workgroups, through installing and configuring networks, hardware, and software, to system maintenance, troubleshooting, and security. In addition, RAL performed a task analysis, identified training needs, and prepared an instructional hierarchy. Based on the instructional requirements, RAL designed a training program for system administrators. RAL developed classroom and tutorial materials, and produced training aides and instructor support materials for platform instruction.
RAL worked on a series of operations and service manuals for a company that designs and manufactures hardware and computer control and monitoring systems and software for the mass transit and transportation industries. Projects ranged from designing and developing operations and maintenance manuals, through documenting software procedures and processes, to preparing training support materials.
RAL prepared a series of technical documentation projects for advanced electro-mechanical systems, computer hardware and software networks, and work procedures and operations guidelines. The hardware documentation was intended for service and maintenance technicians. The software documentation addressed the needs of end-users, field personnel, and system administrators. To develop the materials, RAL specialists interviewed the engineers, designers, builders, and software specialists who created the equipment and programmed the computerized control devices. RAL technical writers reviewed equipment and software specifications and wrote the manuals to meet all end-user requirements.
Reed & Associates, Ltd. has been responsible for designing and developing operators' manuals and training support materials for an international chemical processing and recycling company. RAL worked with client engineering, maintenance, and operations personnel at processing facilities located at nine sites in the United States and Puerto Rico to develop more than 100 operating manuals. RAL technical writers analyzed process activities and interviewed operators, technicians, and supervisory personnel to establish standard operating procedures. RAL worked with facility personnel to ensure the technical accuracy and field testing of the procedures. Each manual provides detailed instructions for the startup, operation, and shutdown of process equipment and systems. It also provides special procedures for temporary and emergency operation, descriptions of operating limits and deviations, and process related safety information.
During 1996-97, RAL specialists joined client subject matter experts to form design, development, and instructional teams. The teams produced customized instructor-led database access courses. Each course had a different scope, duration, and audience, although all access tools were used to access the same data warehouse. The teams were located in five US regions. The goal of the assessment was to determine the existing baseline of computing skills and identify training deficiencies. An analysis of the skills assessment resulted in the development of a training plan that would address computer skill deficiencies. As a result of this effort, RAL designed and developed a series of computer skill modules focused on specific user requirements. The modules were made available on-line to more than 1000 staff personnel through the company's intranet for distance learning.
In 1997, RAL completed a web-based delivery project. The project started with product communications support services for the implementation of a web toolkit package. RAL worked with technical product specialists to develop the required support materials. The technical data sheets provided detailed information about the new software application and associated utility toolkit. The data sheets contained technical specifications, advanced features, and benefits information. RAL developed information packages for client sales and marketing engineers as well as client-customer personnel. The packages provide details of the technology used, the target domains served, and the scope and application of the product. The product sheet offers an operational overview, key feature information, and technical performance specifications for the product. Follow-on documentation included software documentation and an on-line reference and help systems.
In 1998-99, RAL worked with an international provider of market research data to design and develop a company-wide intranet training resource for all employees and new hires. RAL designed a series of 30 orientation and training modules covering the company's strategic operations and services. Working with internal business and human resources groups, RAL interviewed employees, assessed current operations, and produced training objectives that addressed the primary organization, operations, and services provided by each group. RAL developed the modules and produced the storyboard architecture and content for these browser-bawed modules.
Also during 1998-99, RAL provided instructional design assessment, quality testing, content editing and writing services for a series of multimedia reference and training modules. The training programs are computer-based and interactive and focus on training for the service and maintenance market. RAL worked closely with course developers and multimedia programmers to prepare the instructional design, ensure the program quality, and proof and edit the text, audio, graphics, video, and animated sequences of each lesson. In addition, RAL field tested the interactive elements to make sure that they were appropriate and worked as expected in a variety of computer systems and playback conditions.
RAL provided a global manufacturer and distributor with technical writing and training development services. RAL integrated technical and learning documentation and reference materials into an interactive, on-line resource available to all company personnel worldwide. The materials are part of an integrated management systems and standards program that will contain approximately 20,000 documents when complete. The program covers the management systems associated with safety, health, environment, and quality, as well as the business processes associated with the operation of facilities.
RAL worked with client personnel including engineering, maintenance, health/safety, training, and operations specialists at administrative offices, management centers, and processing, manufacturing, and distribution facilities throughout North America. RAL technical writers analyzed process activities and interviewed subject matter experts, process specialists, and facility operators to establish standard operating procedures, systems, and policies. RAL developed the documentation and associated reference materials, developed training and training support materials, and prepared the materials for intranet delivery that uses basic web browser technology. This approach to document management control gives the company the ability to create one source of reference materials for use in numerous applications.
Reed & Associates, Ltd. changed its branding from RAL to ReedInfo.com to better reflect the content development and management direction focus of the company. ReedInfo provides the information and instructions companies need so their customers, employees, and vendors can learn more about the products and services the companies offered, and can be prepared to operate and maintain its equipment, systems, and processes.
We helped engineering, manufacturing, and process industry companies design and develop thousands of operating manuals, service/maintenance guides, SOPs, system descriptions, process descriptions, safety programs, and customized training.
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