Deutsche Rentenversicherung, Germany’s statutory pension insurance scheme authority, is setting store by the collaborative solution from SMASHDOCs for the creation of brochures in its ‘summa summarum’ series, namely for the four brochures “Auf den Punkt gebracht” which are published annually as an e-paper and which detail relevant facts and information on the social insurance system and on audits by the fiscal authorities. Deutsche Rentenversicherung has realised significant improvements and cost savings in its editorial work with SMASHDOCs; these are also likely to be relevant for other major administrative bodies.

The division of labour is the mother of all problems

When information brochures have to be created and designed in public administrative bodies this is often a work-intensive, time-consuming and costly process with many internal and external participants. Deutsche Rentenversicherung is no exception here, and so it has decided to eliminate the inefficiencies typically associated with distributed editing and production. As a wide diversity of experts are involved in the creative and editorial processes for an information brochure as a rule, draft documents have to be passed around a large number of different addresses. This quickly leads to a barrage of revised versions, comments and e-mails – often accompanied by attachments of new document versions. So as to minimise the administrative burden placed on the editorial team and accelerate coordination processes, the management initially set store by parallel working processes rather than sequential ones. What was needed was a suitable text collaboration tool.

Not only were simultaneous work processes important, however, the simple and reliable exchange between authors regarding specific text passages, desired changes and the decision on these, and comments had to be retained in a clear manner so that these were traceable at all times. In addition, document content had to be usable in a media-neutral manner and it had to be possible to generate print-ready PDF and InDesign files, as well as website pages, directly from the tool. At the same time fewer agency services were to be procured so as to reduce the external costs for layouts, typesetting and the incorporation of corrections.

Typesetting costs lowered by 100 per cent in 2 years

Using the SMASHDOCs’ solution “Corporate Publishing” the creation of all texts for the ‘summa summarum’ brochures of Deutsche Rentenversicherung is now considerably simpler, faster and more cost-favourable. Thus the customary barrage of different versions and e-mails from all the participating authors has been eliminated completely, and all the desired changes on the part of authors and editorial team are automatically logged for each paragraph to ensure a secure audit trail. Thanks to the patented “adaptive redlining” technology all the participants are always fully up-to-date. Users who open a document and then work on it are automatically notified of changes to content and new comments; these are highlighted in colour immediately and individually in line with the current status of knowledge of the respective viewer. Manual comparisons of different versions are thus no longer necessary at all, changes can no longer be overlooked. Tracking new changes is significantly simpler, faster and more reliable.

The processing of WORD documents that has been customary to date has been replaced with a modern, web-based word processing solution which also allows for simultaneous editing and which simplifies and accelerates the coordination process. Moreover, thanks to the use of the collaborative word processing solution from SMASHDOCs, Deutsche Rentenversicherung was able to lower the typesetting costs incurred to date through an external agency by 100 per cent within 2 years, because users can now create print-ready end products in PDF and InDesign formats, as well as data for the website, themselves at any time at the push of a button. “With SMASHDOCs we now have the possibility to use the content of our purely electronic publications on various different channels without an expensive content management system,” says Ute Müller, the editor responsible for summa summarum in Deutsche Rentenversicherung’s press and public relations work department.

High-quality InDesign layout with just one mouse click

The objective of making coordination and production processes simpler, faster and more cost-favourable has thus been attained in full. The ultimate effort for the head of the editorial team has been minimised so that it is tantamount to one-click publishing. The document is automatically issued as a PDF document with a high-quality design or – if minor optical changes are desired – as an InDesign file. In addition, the improved reusage of content allows for content to be transferred to the web CMS. Once the work is finished the typesetting files are converted back into WORD files. Thus the manuscript may also be used in future issues, ensuring additional significant cost savings.

About DRV Bund

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund is the largest German institution providing national pension insurance with headquarters in Berlin and locations in Brandenburg, Gera, Stralsund and Würzburg. Almost 25,000 employees take care of approximately 23 million insured persons and almost 10 million pensioners in Germany and abroad.