Can cognitive technology revolutionise the way we capture corporate knowledge?
Introducing Watson Supply Chain from IBM. Get to know Watson here.
Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in the nightmare of a supply chain groundhog day? One minute you’re gaining some solid ground in your organisation and the next… You’re back at square one, looking likely to make the same mistakes over and over again, trying in vain to get things right.
Capturing the Knowledge
Groundhog day is the reality for procurement and supply chain professionals who don’t adequately and methodically capture corporate knowledge.
- When an individual leaves your organisation that doesn’t mean that all their knowledge should leave with them.
- The tribal knowledge residing in your supply chain shouldn’t be reliant on key individuals keeping it there.
- All of your supply chain decisions should be mapped out.
- If your team makes a mistake you should be learning from it, not repeating it.
- Knowledge capture should be an ongoing, continuous process and not something that is attempted, under pressure, at the point of employee exit.
There’s no question that retaining corporate knowledge is good for business. It helps facilitate the creation of new knowledge, it saves time and effort, positively affects your relationship with suppliers and customers and encourages new innovations.
Corporate Knowledge Capture is also great for new employees who can learn quickly and resolve problems more efficiently. That’s not to mention the benefits of leveraging the accumulated experiences of employees both past and present.
Social Capture and Collaboration
Organisations have employed various techniques to retaining corporate knowledge.
One approach is to use social intranet software that acts as a social collaboration platform. These provide a space where you can capture information, share data and communicate better with colleagues, suppliers and customers. Services such as Yammer and Jive have helped to increase efficiency and enhance information flow.
Other organisations have their own internal intranet, which serves the same purpose.
The problem with either of these options is that they are both laborious and time consuming. They depend on your knowledge base being regularly updated with the newest information as it becomes available in order to offer maximum value.
Employees will also be relied upon to review information and update the content. It might sound like reasonable expectations in theory but, in practice, it’s hard to maintain. New approaches are needed which are proactive as opposed to reactive.
Along Came Cognitive Technology
Fortunately, the ways that we capture knowledge are changing and evolving with technology developments, making it easier than ever before to do so. Cognitive Technology is today’s game changer in many ways and one of them is the impact it could have on corporate knowledge capture.
It can think, learn, and generally mimic human intellect. IDC estimates that, by 2020, 50 per cent of all business software will incorporate some cognitive computing functionality.
With regards to knowledge retention, cognitive tech can modify and document specific and analytic knowledge in a manner that others can re-use and adapt it for their specific use.
It can make intelligent decisions about where inventory should go, but also how it gets there.
It will also add information to the puzzle on warehouse space capacity, trailer loads that are going LTL, and ultimately, the best route not only based on cost or labor, but all of the extraneous details that aren’t apparent at the onset of an order.
Decisions will no longer be made that leave out key stakeholders by accident. Cognitive tech will recognise recommended participants for conversations and bring them together for troubleshooting in one place.
Balancing supply chains is a never-ending puzzle. As the complexity grows, communication and knowledge retention becomes of the utmost importance. How can Watson supply chain help to enable more intelligent decisions and guide leaders to make strategic moves? Find out here.