Know-how management boosts competitiveness

By Constant Ondo

You may have noticed that the title of this article refers to “know-how management” rather than “knowledge management”. This is a deliberate choice as we are willing to discuss here the use of collective intelligence platforms in industrial production workshops, with the aim of improving productivity and quality. In this context, as we will see, knowledge must above all be quickly actionable. It must therefore be treated as directly transferable know-how.

A measurable impact on productivity and quality

All industrial processes are subject to unplanned downtime and deviations out of quality specifications. Thinking that these incidents may one day disappear completely is probably an illusion. Nevertheless, some companies manage to have a much lower rate of occurrence of these events than their competitors and to return to a normal situation much more quickly. How?

They probably make sure that their employees are able to :

  • identify machine deviations at an early stage,
  • solve a maximum number of incidents without delay and in an autonomous way.

Not all of these companies however have a highly experienced technician behind every machine. They compensate for this lack of resources by relying on digital tools to effectively alert and assist operators.

The impact of these tools on productivity and quality indicators is real. This is why Berry Global, for example, is progressively deploying PICC on all its production sites. A higher availability of the production tool and less quality rejects improve both customer satisfaction and EBIT. Considering the results obtained by our different customers, we estimate that PICC can generate more than 100 K€ of gains per year in a factory of 50 people.

Through a pragmatic approach, focused on user experience

In order for an operator to be able to react quickly and efficiently to an incident he has never been confronted with before, it is necessary to lead him straight to the right solution. It is also necessary to ensure that this solution will be correctly understood and implemented, even under the stressful pressure of emergency. Finally, if the incident is not documented, the operator must be informed as soon as possible and told which expert to contact.

Approaching the performance of know-how management solutions through the time elapsed between the appearance of a problem and its resolution, quickly reveals that knowledge must be treated in a special way.

First of all, it is essential to document enough good practices, with active know-how, explained using words from the field. We find that the know-how of good practices is still insufficiently capitalized. We also find that documented know-how is often too opaque to be usable.

All the know-how must also be stored in one place and be available for consultation in front of the machine. Query tools must understand what problem the user is facing, beyond the words he uses. And the solution must be explained step by step so that it can be implemented at once. These different points will make the time-saving benefits clearly tangible for the user.

Users particularly appreciate dynamic, question-and-answer procedures illustrated with photos and videos. Such procedures can now be created automatically from documented know-how thanks to artificial intelligence.

And many possibilities of interaction and connection

When choosing to capitalize on the sharing of know-how to boost competitiveness, it seems essential to constantly update and enrich knowledge.
A good way to do this is to allow users to interact with the system. By evaluating the solutions that have been suggested to them or by proposing their own solution, they will contribute to the collective improvement of good practices.
Real-time collection and processing of sensor data in the system is also a major asset. It allows to refine the diagnosis by going beyond what the user can see. This will reinforce the relevance of the proposed solutions.
The possibilities of interaction and connection now appear to be a decisive criterion in the choice of a good practices management tool. They offer a guarantee of being anchored in the reality experienced daily by the teams. This link with the reality on the field is indeed what makes gains in productivity and quality sustainable.

PICC’s aim is to help you turn your knowledge into a competitive advantage. It is also to save you time by avoiding your employees having to “reinvent the wheel”. Our augmented intelligence platform can free up 1 to 2 hours per employee per day.
Willing to check by yourself ?

Don’t hesitate to contact us in order to plan a demo.

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