Find Out Why Paper Instruction Manuals are Going the Way of the Dinosaur

May 27, 2016

Remember that blender you got last holiday season that you let collect dust in the closet for a month? Maybe you decided to open it to view the instruction manual, then put it away since you would never, ever, actually use it. The only thing is, now that you actually want to use the manual, you can’t find it. Thankfully, the Internet, once again, is here to save the day, in the form of the online electronic manual.

Electronic manuals are extraordinarily helpful for both consumers and manufacturers. In fact, they’re so great that some companies and industries have completely forsaken physical instruction manuals, forcing users to go online to check them out. For example, many video games for modern consoles won’t provide a physical instruction manual, and instead will direct users to an online manual. The idea is to use the Internet and its connectivity to make sharing documents with consumers easier. Plus, who wants to waste capital on documents that users will probably never read, anyway?

Here are a few ways that electronic manuals are helpful for both users and manufacturers.

  • Easy to search: If you’re viewing your electronic manuals in a PDF viewer, you can search for specific topics within the document. This can cut down on time wasted searching for your specific issue by flipping pages.
  • Easy to store: Since you can download your electronic manuals as PDF files, you can store them all in one location for later use. This makes it much easier to keep track of where your manuals are, and it sure beats storing them in a bulky manilla folder that’s seen its fair share of abuse.
  • Lowered costs: This is more of a benefit for manufacturers than for the users. Since technology is so prevalent throughout society, manufacturers are confident that most people who would want to access a manual for an appliance or a product can probably access a digital copy of it.

Electronic manuals are just a small step toward an increasingly digital lifestyle, but it’s important to consider what this trend means to society. In particular, it makes users heavily reliant on the storage device that contains their manuals. If you lost your thumb drive or other similar device that contains your files, you’d be stuck in a rutt. Even though a quick Google search can yield results, you don’t want to go through this frustration again if you can help it.

Aside from electronic manuals, organizations like manufacturers and entertainment outlets are finding other ways to benefit from the digitization of their products. For example, in the entertainment industry, consumers can purchase digital copies of movies, video games, TV series, music albums, and so much more. This trend often makes these products more accessible for consumers, but it also opens up incredible opportunity for illegal behavior.

By now, we’re sure that you know what can happen to a digital product that’s stored online. Hackers will take the opportunity to steal products that are stored digitally and illegally distribute them for a profit. Just because a manufacturer has the consumer’s best interests in mind, doesn’t mean that the consumer has the manufacturer’s best interest in mind. This, in turn, cuts into the profits that a business can get from a product, and will cause problems when it comes time to create new products.

If you take anything away from this article, we hope it’s the fact that digital media is great for reducing physical storage and clutter, but only if your organization implements proper security protocol to protect it. Have you considered eliminating paper clutter from your own business? Call us today at (610) 828- 5500 and ask about our innovative electronic record storage services.

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