To store and exchange data, many industrial companies rely on standard document management platforms like Microsoft Sharepoint. It makes sense for companies to switch directly to Sharepoint. It’s internationally known as a digital database.
As a knowledge sharing platform, Sharepoint fails to meet the demands of the modern industrial workforce. Alternative lean manufacturing tools do exist which are more effective for manufacturing companies and can fulfill specific needs and requirements.
Effective Knowledge Management Tool for the Shopfloor
Large-scale retirements, technical skill gaps, and a scarcity of experienced employees are some of the new challenges facing the industrial workforce. As a result of these issues, knowledge management has become a critical component of future operational planning.
Throughout many years, manufacturing companies have leaned on expertise and tribal knowledge when solving problems or onboarding new employees. For today’s industrial companies, this method will fail. Therefore, they must look for an efficient knowledge management tool so that hard-earned technical skills and know-how don’t perish.
Knowledge management solutions also provide real-time advantages by enhancing employee performance and improving operational efficiency. A good knowledge management strategy utilizes employee expertise and corporate data to generate new ideas, solve issues, and constantly improve. It’s a discipline that enables people to do a better job and address real-time issues.
4 Challenges of Sharepoint
#1 Enormous Paper Piles
Organizations and employers should be able to obtain crucial papers quickly and intuitively, wasting as little time as possible. There is a considerable time difference between looking through a file cabinet full of files and conducting a simple Google search on your phone.
To keep this time span as small as possible, companies often switch to Sharepoint. After a while, production companies realize that this tool isn’t the right solution. Our customers have already told several horror stories where it sometimes took 30 minutes to find a document on Sharepoint. As a result, the tall paper stacks have been shifted to an unstructured database.
In other situations, documents are so challenging to find that the employee decides it’s easier to create a new document, further complicating the situation. Without enough training, Sharepoint is too difficult for the average employee to use. The end result is typically excessive documentation that doesn’t fully leverage the system’s capabilities.
#2 Messy Revision Management Tool
Sharepoint and other document management platforms categorize revised versions of a document as different entities. This is useful for comprehensive record-keeping and auditing, but it has no influence on the sharing and use of knowledge.
If the revision is submitted as a “new” file, even correcting a grammatical issue might result in a totally different Word document. As the number of other versions expands, the original document can often be untraceable.
Why waste your time digging through extensive revision histories? Not only is this inefficient for your production, but you run the risk of an employee following outdated or incorrect information. So give your frontline workers the most current and up-to-date information.
#3 Numerous Files and File Types
Knowledge that was originally contained in Word documents might now be repurposed as standalone PDFs or Powerpoint presentations. So in addition to the messiness and redundancy caused by revision control, similar information can exist on word documents, Powerpoint slides, or Excel spreadsheets.
As a result, there is a lack of uniformity and standardization in terms of file type and format. Avoid having similar information in Word files, Powerpoint slides, or Excel spreadsheets.
#4 The Horror of Standardization
Sharepoint is a file management system, not a file formatter. Companies strive to keep some consistency and standardization, but there is no way to manage the infinite types of styles and designs.
A process engineer and a quality manager may have very different personalities. Employees who are left to their own devices can alter vital information by changing fonts, colors, sizes, highlights, markups, and so on. While some modification is desirable, your documented information will only be effective if it is presented consistently and clearly. Formatting consistency in Sharepoint is impossible to achieve.
In order to give industrial companies a helping hand, we have created effective SOP and work instruction templates
The Right Knowledge Management Tool
Digital file cabinets should not be used to store company knowledge. To get the most out of your work instructions, SOP’s and procedures, you’ll need to invest in current effective technologies designed expressly for industrial companies and the issues they encounter.
Boost productivity in your company with easy-to-find documentation that serves as a centralized knowledge base for your firm.