Mitchell1 is the leading provider of software that helps automotive technicians perform vehicle diagnostics, estimate labor costs, track maintenance, and perform a range of other tasks related to automotive repair. Mitchell1’s repair manuals are the most sought-after guidebooks by independent repair shops, service stations, automobile dealerships, educational institutions, and libraries.
Delivering up-to-date information to technicians on the shop floor and via mobile devices became a competitive necessity. Mitchell1 needed help digitizing a five-million-page archive from over 90 years in business to make the information accessible to its customers.
The content was locked inside a disorganized repository of PDFs and printed manuals; meanwhile, page count increased monthly and the cost of transforming content developed by its subject matter experts (SMEs) became prohibitive.
Lacking the resources for such a massive content transformation project, and the knowledge to create effective digital workflows, Mitchell1 approached Aptara for a cost-effective way to transform its content while maintaining its quality.
Working with the Mitchell1 executives, Aptara’s team of automotive industry SMEs, together with its XML and SGML experts, developed an operation tailored to meet Mitchell 1’s specific business needs.
After a knowledge transfer session with Mitchell1 that included on-site process reviews, the Aptara team began building the infrastructure to support the project. Aptara established a Citrix point-to-point network between it and Mitchell1’s offices and organized QA and error analysis teams to ensure data accuracy.
Aptara SMEs with automotive industry backgrounds then created metadata by mining full-text transcription data from leading automobile manufacturer sites. They wrote captions for images converted from print, marked-up diagnostic information from the repair manuals, and produced customized, digital diagnostic manuals. When necessary, the SMEs also rewrote text from the automotive manufacturers.
Aptara converted more than 4.5 million pages for Mitchell1, enabling the company to digitize its entire library. The widespread distribution and repurposing of the digitized content has helped Mitchell1 retain its position as the premier provider of information solutions for automotive repair professionals. Moreover, the company has taken advantage of Aptara’s capability to author original content for its website and expanded its service offerings. Offering these new revenue streams, at a significantly lower labor cost, has enabled Mitchell1 to significantly improve its profit margins. For Aptara—which continues to handle 100% of Mitchell1’s conversion needs—this project serves as another example of its ability to help content-intensive companies efficiently and affordably meet the demands of their marketplace.