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What it's about

In this blog post, you will learn how to use software to reduce the ramp-up time of your new location.

Knowledge management and knowledge transfer – what it means and why it’s so important

The goal of knowledge management is to preserve and store knowledge and make it available to employees. In knowledge management, a basic distinction is made between two types of knowledge: explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge. While explicit knowledge is usually found in written work instructions and manuals, implicit knowledge is based on experience – it is only anchored in the heads of employees, so to speak. 

This type of knowledge represents the real challenge in knowledge management. It is a central task to transform the valuable implicit knowledge into explicit knowledge. This is done by writing it down and making it accessible to a broad group of employees.  In this way, a company can not only maintain its productivity after the loss of experienced specialists, but also, and above all, quickly become productive at new sites. This is particularly important for production sites abroad, where employee fluctuation is often very high.  If knowledge leaves the company together with the employees, this means a high risk for the company’s productivity.

There are various software concepts to enable the smooth transfer of knowledge to a new production site. From SharePoint and MS Office to custom software – the options are many. However, Adaptive Process Execution (APE) software stands out in four dimensions.

4 reasons why Adaptive Process Execution (APE) software is the superior knowledge management tool

1. Easy introduction of process standards.

Within the software, you can easily transfer processes that have already been established and proven at other sites to the new site using drag & drop. These processes can also be quickly and easily adapted to the new circumstances, such as new machines. In this way, you benefit from the best practices of older sites and yet keep your process standards up to date at the same time without much effort.

2. Fast ramp-up of operational processes

The schedule when opening a new production site is often very tight. In most cases, the site must start production in just a few months. The new employees must therefore be trained quickly. This works best with APE software. You can enhance your digital work instructions with various interactions, such as images and videos, to provide your employees with simple and, above all, intuitive process guidance. With the help of an interactive digital work instruction, even new and inexperienced employees can understand and quickly execute complex assembly processes.  

3. High process reliability

Companies abroad often have to deal with higher employee turnover. Nevertheless, with the help of APE software at your foreign location, you can ensure a high level of process reliability among your employees. With the intuitive tool, you make your employees’ work easier, because they always know exactly what to do thanks to interactive elements, consistent multilingualism and the integration of media content. This can have a high impact on employee satisfaction, which in turn leads to lower staff turnover.

If, however, experienced professionals leave your company after a certain period of time, you have a tool at hand with which the successors can quickly find their way around.

4. Continuous development of processes 

With the help of a feedback module at the end of a work instruction, you can give your employees the opportunity to contribute to the continuous development of the processes. By means of a text feedback, your employees can point out improvement possibilities in the process or draw attention to comprehension problems in the work instruction. You can then make changes to the process steps in the digital work instructions easily and in a matter of seconds.

Use the new location for a successful pilot project 

The opening of a new site is a major challenge in terms of knowledge management, because here many new employees usually have to be provided with knowledge at the same time. For a project of this size, it is advisable to use software for APE. This can not only shorten the ramp-up time of the new production site, but also make the documentation on the shopfloor sustainable in the long term.  

A new location often means new employees. Use this framework as an opportunity for a pilot project. Because change management is not necessary if the new employees start using the new tool directly on their first day.This way you can convince yourself of the advantages of APE software and then start the company-wide rollout.   

APE software, the ramp-up time can be shortened and the knowledge transfer to the new location runs efficiently.

Are you planning a knowledge transfer? Contact us via the contact form and we will show you how Adaptive Process Execution can support you.

Work Instruction 4.0

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Moritz Stern

Head of Strategy & Marketing moritz.stern@operations1.com

About the author

Moritz Stern is head of strategy and marketing at Operations1. Before joining Operations1, Moritz worked at Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consultancy. Here he advised clients from the operations environment around the globe on strategic issues. Previously, Moritz worked for Alstom Power, Merck KGaA and Arthur D. Little. Moritz holds a degree in industrial engineering (M. Sc.).

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