Omri of Howtool

Do traditional manuals increase system downtime?

This is the story of how I got the chance to work for a game changing company.

When I first heard of Howtool™, I was in the second year of my MBA. I instantly knew I had to figure out a way to become part of the team. I felt inspired by the product, by the innovative solution they offered to a pressing issue that exists among companies today, and one I had encountered in my past.

Oran Bar-Tal, COO of Ginger Gene LTD., was a fellow student. He told me the age of the traditional manual was in the past. “No one reads manuals anymore,” he told me, but I was always under the naïve impression that when the times comes, they could be a useful source of information.

I was wrong.

I remembered my own experience with manuals, long before coming across Howtool™. During this period of my life, I oversaw sophisticated, intelligent systems. It was imperative that these systems function seamlessly without any setbacks or downtime. Unfortunately, at the worst possible moment, a system malfunctioned and ceased operations. With the plethora of workflows and sequences I had been taught, I tried tackling the problem head on using only my training, but to no avail.

Eventually, I realized there would be no escape – I had to pull out the official systems manual; a 7-volume technical collection of hard-copy books. With my team we tried to find the solution to our problem, leafing through indexes and sub-indexes until we finally located the relevant procedure. It took us a quarter of an hour just to find it.

We began to follow the outlined procedure in the manual. Between steps 7 and 8, we encountered a note that read: “Continue on only if completed procedure 11.6 on page 237”. Forty-five minutes later we completed procedure number 11.6 and returned to our original procedure only to run into the following sentence: “Verify the green light is on”. We looked up to verify, and the green light was not on. We continued reading, but the manual did not offer a fix to this problem. What were we supposed to do if the green light wasn’t on? This problem simply did not exist in this procedure’s flow. Frustrated, we returned to the index to start a new search.

It took us five hours to fix the problem. The procedure was supposed to take, at most, an hour. My team and I didn’t know what to look for, how to find it, and when we did finally find the answer, only then could we start figuring out how to carry it through.

The years have passed since then, but the manuals have stayed pretty much the same. All that has changed is the possibility to have manuals in PDF format, along with a very limited, if any, search capability.

And so, when Oran introduced me to Howtool™, I was blown away.

Using this product, whether as an end user, a field service engineer (FSE) or an operator, anyone could solve their problem without needing to go searching in dusty manuals. The answer to any problem they could encounter is in the palm of their hand, a concise, clear, step by step visual guide. No need to go through several different sub-procedures located in different chapters; the complete process is linked in one beautiful workflow. It is time efficient, it provides the answers for all the questions, it has a feedback loop which allows users to suggest alternative workflows. It allows managers to edit, update and publish content quickly and easily. Managers are also able to extract valuable, unique information from usage data generated by their users’ activity and product behavior. How much time does it take to go through each step of the process? Who is the most effective FSE? What is the most common query asked by the users? All questions that Howtool™ can answer.

Since joining the team, I go to work every day knowing I’m a part of a creative, efficient, game changing company, where we propel manuals into the future.




Omri Feferkorn
Marketing Manager

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