Reed & Associates, Ltd. (RAL) and ReediNFO Ltd. (ReedInfo.com) have successfully provided technical writing, training, and support services to companies, government agencies, and educational institutions throughout the United States and around the world.
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
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. We 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. Our field personnel analyzed the materials for readability, usefulness, and accessibility. We produced an annotated index of existing practices and procedures. From the analysis, we produced publication guidelines and a writing template/prototype for procedures, and created model work practices for selected operational areas.
During 1991-93, a manufacturer of automated production equipment and product assembly machines contracted RAL to write a wide range of operations and maintenance manuals. Machine operators, supervisory personnel, and computer specialists who monitor and control system operations use the manuals. Each manual is for a unique specialty production line application. The process manuals required both an in-depth understanding of the individual components—including their operation and service requirements—as well as an appreciation for the interaction required to produce the product.
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 the client's teams of engineers during site surveys and from questionnaire responses provided by individual refineries. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored the project. RAL specialists assessed technical data and worked with project and process engineers to develop technical summary reports. We designed the reports for use as the basis for international investment and engineering development in the process industry.
Starting in 1991 and continuing to the present, RAL has been responsible for designing and developing operators' manuals and training support materials for an international chemical processing and recycling company. We 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. The manuals conform to the OSHA Guidelines for Process Safety Management documents for hazardous chemical processes, as well as EPA and RCRA regulations. 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. We continue to revise and update the sets of documentation.
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, wide-area network with local-area network of more than 100 users each. 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, we 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. We developed classroom and tutorial materials, and produced training aides and instructor support materials for platform instruction.
In the mid-90s, RAL worked on a series of operations and service manuals for a company that designs and manufactures computer hardware, 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.
In 1994-95, RAL completed 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 used by service and maintenance technicians. The software documentation addressed the needs of end-users, field personnel, and system administrators. To develop the materials, we 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.
During 1996-97, RAL specialists joined client subject matter experts to form design, development, and instructional teams. The teams produced customized instructor-led and database-access courses. Each course had a different scope, duration, and audience. All course use the same tools to access a common 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. We 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. 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. Each product sheet offers an operational overview, benefits information, key features, 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. We 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. We developed the modules and produced the storyboard architecture and content for these browser-based 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. We 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.
From 1999 through 2003, an international medical products engineering and development company contracted RAL to develop the procedures used by technicians and system administrators to install, generate, and troubleshoot advanced medical diagnostic equipment. RAL created a document design and layout for a standard operating procedures manual and for the on-line help built into the program. RAL writers analyzed process activities and interviewed operators to establish all the required standard operating procedures. We translated the manuals and guides into as many as 12 languages.
In 2000, RAL developed an interactive, on-line reference database containing lockout-tagout procedures and support information for every major system and piece of equipment in a major pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. The database complies with OSHA requirements for servicing and/or maintaining equipment including standards for energy control, recognition of energy types and sources, and lockout/tagout requirements. The information, which is accessible by maintenance, supervisory, and other qualified personnel, includes proper shutdown procedures, zero-energy checks, proper locking/tagging methodologies, and floor plans and equipment illustrations. RAL writers worked closely with engineering, maintenance, and health/safety personnel to gather, document, and verify the technical accuracy of all information. RAL also designed and developed guides and training programs for end-users and administrators.
From 2000 through 2002, RAL provided a global manufacturer and distributor of industrial gases with technical writing and training development services. We 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 contains approximately 20,000 documents. 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 analyzed process activities and interviewed subject matter experts, process specialists, and facility operators to establish standard operating procedures, systems, and policies. The RAL team wrote operating procedures, policies, and associated reference materials and developed training and training support materials. The team converted the materials for intranet delivery using basic web browser technology. This single source management control system supported the company's ability to create one source of reference materials for use in numerous applications.
In 2003, RAL worked with a major energy production-distribution company to develop standard operating procedures, policies, and support documentation used by the construction services, sales, and operations divisions. The documentation contains information on the organization and reporting relationships of the company; describes the business development, estimating, contracts, and procurement processes; covers the scheduling, purchasing and mobilization processes; and includes standard operating work guidelines. In addition, RAL developed a safety manual for operating and construction services staff and worked with human resources managers and supervisors to document the personnel functions and services provided by the company. RAL conducted interviews and shadowed personnel to ensure the accuracy of the processes.
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.
From 2002 through 2006, RAL prepared more than 400 operations and services guides for an international company offering precision bench and stationary tools (saws, cutoff machines, lathes, sander, planers, drills, grinders, routers, etc.) and garden equipment. RAL also created the illustrations and diagrams that highlighted the operating and maintenance steps. In addition, each the manuals were translated into multiple languages for target market end-users. We translated the manuals into languages for each target market country.
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 offer, and can be prepared to operate and maintain its equipment, systems, and processes.
Beginning in 2004 and continuing to the present, Reedinfo has an on-going relation with an international corporation that designs and manufactures end-of-line packaging equipment, robotic automation, and integrated packaging systems for a variety of market segments including: beverage, container manufacturing, food, dairy, and pharmaceuticals. We have been a partner in the design and development of the company’s operations, maintenance, and service manuals; engineering support documentation; and training materials. In addition, we have provided translation services to localize the company’s equipment control systems and documentation for international markets.
In 2005, Reedinfo provided quality assurance service to a company that provides industry-validated education textbooks and materials. We reviewed, edited, and validated training documents and ensured the functionality of the online materials.
An international training company contracted RAL in 2014-2015 to edit more than 5000 standard operating procedures and job performance packages for its client, a large steel plant and direct reduction facility. Reedinfo specialists created a format for the materials so that they could be presented for online training. In addition, we prepared a series of training plans that merged the SOPs with the training company’s wide range of commercially available maintenance, repair, and operating instructional materials.
In recent years, ReedInfo has focused on operating procedures, instructions and training support, and systems analyses for the manufacturing and process industries. We make information and instructions that employees, vendors, supplies, and end-users need to understand, control, and operate sophisticated devices, equipment, systems, and processes.
From 2016 to the present, Reedinfo worked with engineering, maintenance, and operations personnel from three separate companies engaged in the chemical recycle, petroleum refining, and petrochemical industries to prepare standard operating and maintenance procedures and support documentation. We analyzed process activities and interviewed operators to establish comprehensive procedures. In addition, we worked with the company’s facility personnel to ensure the technical accuracy and field test of the procedures. Each manual provides detailed instructions for the startup, operation, and shutdown for a wide range of process equipment and systems. The documentation also provides special procedures for temporary and emergency operation, descriptions of operating limits and deviations, and process related safety information. .
In 2019, the company officially made a name change to ReediNFO, Ltd., technical and business communication services. We help companies provide the information and instructions their employees and end users need to understand, operate, and maintain equipment, systems, and processes.
The worldwide pandemic of 2020 has brought to the front the need for clear information and effective instructions. The demand is especially critical for employees working remotely and customers needing immediate direct help.
The early months of 2021 ushered in an information gap as businesses, government agencies, and organizations return to full-operating mode. There's an urgency to develop content, instructions, and training support to bridge that gap.
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