Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to The Bishop Company?

At our start up in 1980, we were The Bishop Company. We selected that nice name because it was simple and nobody ever asked how to spell or pronounce it. When the new-fangled Internet came along, we took out the domain name “Explainers” because that’s what we did. As the Internet came to dominate commerce, our two different names were confusing. We decided to drop “The Bishop Company” in favor of “Explainers,” the name that really says who we are and what we do.

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What is a Work Instruction?

Some workplaces call them:

  • procedures
  • work orders
  • job aids
  • training materials
  • policies
  • critical task tools
  • SOPs
  • safety
  • service

That are used for:

  • maintenance
  • installation
  • assembly
  • testing
  • repair
  • packaging
  • operation

Work instruction: the tool that explains a job to a worker

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Are work instructions available only as paper hard copies?

No, we can deliver in whatever format best suits the user and your facility. We can deliver work instructions as hard copy (PDFs, manuals, posters, flip charts, etc.) or electronic (Intranet/terminal based, web-based, multimedia, etc.).

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What provisions do you have in place to protect sensitive information?

  • We have systems installed that segregate and protect information, giving access to employees only on a “need-to-know” basis.
  • Separate, encrypted server hard drives are dedicated to single projects or clients.
  • The terminal password system on our workstations requires new sign-ins after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Our locked, tamper-proof server is enclosed with access limited to approved IT employees.
  • We handle document shredding through a certified national document destruction company.
  • Our offices and file cabinets are locked.
  • The office entrance has a lock box that requires a pass code to access, preventing casual entry.
  • Office visitors are accompanied at all times.
  • Our e-mail and FTP data exchange are encrypted.
  • We have offsite daily system backups.
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What’s your experience with multiple languages?

We routinely deliver our work in English as well as other languages, including a series of technical profiles produced in 13 languages. We are particularly experienced in Spanish, and though we have multi-lingual employees, we outsource most of our translation work to translation specialists.

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Do you work with confidentiality agreements?

We perform significant work under strict non-disclosure and security agreements. For the unrestricted case histories and work samples that appear on our web site, we obtained client approval.

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Who owns the material you produce?

When we create custom documents like technical manuals, illustrations, and work instructions, it is considered work for hire and you own the product. Nursing procedures, PAT™ (Procedure Access Tool) and our 5S documents are examples of copyrighted products that we own and license to customers.

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Can we use photos instead of illustrations?

For some applications, photos work. In general, we find that illustrations do a better job of showing assembly sequence, cutaways, controls, adjustments and other processes where we want to focus user attention. The benefits to using illustrations also include smaller file sizes, easier revision processes, and better black and white presentations.

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What tools do you use?

We are experienced with a wide range of design and publishing software. The particular programs we use depend on both your needs and the job’s requirements. For work instructions, our preferred software is Adobe Creative Suite, which includes InDesignIllustratorPhotoshop and Acrobat. For technical manuals, we often choose Adobe FrameMaker. For multimedia projects, we employ FlashDreamweaver and other web publishing software.

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How do we justify the cost to produce graphic work instructions?

You can measure it. In Lean and Six Sigma environments, identifying and quantifying waste gives you a measurement you can use to determine the effectiveness of visual work instructions, and we encourage you to measure your return on investment

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What are your payment and billing terms?

Our normal project payments are one third at start, one third at first-draft deliverable, and one third upon final deliverable. Terms are net 30 days.

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How do you price your work?

We do most of our work on fixed-price orders. Even with established clients and on large-scope projects, we prefer to split the work into smaller jobs with specified deliverables and agreed-upon budgets

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What sort of commitment is required?

In general, we have no contracts outside of current purchase orders

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How would we get started?

For work instructions and technical manuals, we suggest you identify a trial project that can serve as a proof of concept. The trial project should be an actual process or product with representative workers and typical obstacles. We will produce an instructional document for that product, with the expectation that you will be able to measure improvements in identified quality metrics. The trial project will give both of us a chance to learn each other’s working styles and help us determine the appropriate next steps.

In addition, we’re available to discuss alternative arrangements that better fit your time constraints or service needs

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