Knowledge Management: 5 Tips for the Shop Floor

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A well-considered production manager is communicative, organisationally strong and a real team player. But real smart guys go the extra mile: with knowledge management on the production floor.

With the right tool, you can steer the production process in the right direction and form that indispensable link between management and production employees. Discover in this blog post how you can guide your team and how you can use software smartly for a smooth process on the factory floor.

You never have 100% control over the progress on a production floor. You know the chaos that sometimes prevails. Specifically customized orders, work instructions that change, knowledge or captions that are lost. You can try to keep up with that big pile of paper stacks, but the experience and knowledge of operators is simply lost. And that’s the challenge for factories: how do you ensure that knowledge is stored somewhere, so that others can learn from it and acquire that knowledge?

How do you offer your operators effective support (in sharing, using and managing knowledge and information) in the workplace? No worries, with these five tips you will almost immediately improve as a production manager.

Tip 1: Shared knowledge is effective knowledge

Everything stands or falls with an all-encompassing knowledge tool. Your product may still be technically and qualitatively on point: if you haven’t stored the communication anywhere during the production process, you will never learn from mistakes or you will never be able to work more efficiently.

The challenge here lies mainly in how you deal with the implicit knowledge that is in the minds of employees day after day. This knowledge runs the risk of disappearing when employees are not present in the factory for whatever reason. This knowledge is extremely valuable and should therefore be recorded as good as possible.

With a knowledge tool:

✅ … you increase efficiency and productivity, which can lead to cost reduction
✅ … you follow all communication at a glance
✅ … training becomes very easy

Tip 2: Knowledge management is something you do together!

You rarely produce on your own. That is why it is important that everyone is fully aware of their role and responsibility within a particular work cell. Fast and easy communication is inevitable to work in a straight line towards the finish. Because operators can work together efficiently, you will see that they can also learn from each other more easily and therefore play a shorter role.

Moreover, as a production manager, you will be able to intervene faster in case of problems. Since from now on you can follow everything closely. Only in this way, knowledge sharing will become a continuous part of your organization.

Extra tip: keep it simple

What we see: the manufacturing industry is constantly evolving, factories and their production processes are constantly changing. This is often at the expense of operators. Keep it simple and make it easy for them. So don’t use different complicated tools, this will only lead to confusion.

With a knowledge tool:

✅ … communicate via one central platform with each production employee

✅ … keep it simple, easy and clear
✅ … operators learn from each other

Tip 3: Keep learning

Offer your employees the opportunity to continue learning, and do this through internal training. This way you can closely follow the training and skills level and keep all knowledge central. To integrate an LMS (learning management system) into your company, it is important to involve every employee in this process. How you start such a process is of course the biggest challenge.

Azumuta includes an “on-the-job-training” component, and will make education and training very attractive for operators. An example of this is “gamification”. For example, operators can train themselves and determine which training modules they still have to complete. They are virtually rewarded with points or badges. A great way to stimulate personal development.

Psst … did you know that…

You can specify all work instructions in Azumuta with photos and videos? You can change the language?

Or can perform a full time study? The possibility to enter torque and other measured values? We told you, an all-in-one tool 🙌

With a knowledge tool:

✅ … you can do on-the-job training
✅ … you can easily follow-up the knowledge level of each operator
✅ … you can start stimulating personal development

Tip 4: Sharing is caring

New technologies make knowledge transfer easier than before. Although it is important to take into account a number of crucial issues. First of all, you should choose a tool where you can grant user rights in a relatively easy way. At Azumuta, for example, we distinguish between an admin and operator interface. In addition, our software is so advanced that in addition to sharing information, comments and feedback can also be given by different groups of users.

It is also the case that in Azumuta we work with tags, labels and categories. Searching for information is greatly simplified via metadata. Our software also allows info to become shareable and editable in any form. And that is exactly what makes it so accessible to operators.

With a knowledge tool:

✅ … every employee can give feedback
✅ … certain user rights are granted
✅ … it is very easy to consult information through metadata

Tip 5: Run a test

No factory is the same. Yet we see more overlapping production processes than you think. Do you want to know if Azumuta is the right tool for your factory? Whether it works in practice? Well, if you’ve already gotten here, we suspect it is!

It is good to test first. At Azumuta we always start with a Pilot. Our onboarding team will be on site and will install Azumuta together on the work cell. During the Pilot it is important to evaluate and provide updates every week. Our onboarding process is therefore very transparent.

With a knowledge tool:

✅ … you can first test what works for you
✅ … will help and guide our onboarding team
✅ … you can see weekly progress

Psst … did you know that…

Your ERP system works well with Azumuta? … AND Azumuta is compatible with the software and apps that you probably already use in your factory?

In short, you can go a long way by using the right tool. We all want to work “smarter” and “do something” with the knowledge that is available on the production floor. At Azumuta we support Knowledge Management with many other things that are needed to optimally support your operators. And the nice thing is, you have everything at hand, in one central tool.

Azumuta is an all-in-one solution for managing, controlling, improving and guiding on the factory floor. Curious about the benefits for your factory? Find out about it here.

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