Article | October 12, 2021

In The Era Of 3D, why Are Companies Still Relying On PDFs?

By Bo Wandell, President of AnswersAnywhere

3D Graphic

The Digital Transformation has marked a radical rethinking of how field service organization use technology to do business. Simply “getting by” with outdated technology is not a viable option for any company that wants to stay competitive and profitable.

Despite this rapid digital acceleration, one holdover from the Jurassic period still remains: the PDF.

The PDF is Not Fit for Human Consumption

PDFs were created in 1993 and it shows.

In this digital era, PDFs are unfit for human consumption. PDFs are linear and limiting, outdated and clunky. This is even more true for the millennial user who has grown up viewing information on web browsers and mobile devices.

PDFs take a painfully long time to load, particularly if they’re large files (I’m looking at you, service manuals). It’s also impossible to update them after they’ve been published, and once distributed, it’s impossible to recall them. This make it near impossible for an organization to ensure their technicians are all working with the most updated information.

Additionally, PDFs are difficult to navigate because users have no quick way of getting to the information they need. Search functions are limited, there’s no way to return to previous sections and even clickable table of contents require users to scroll all the way back up to the top if they want to navigate somewhere else in the document. Consider how tedious this would be with a 200-page service manual.

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