Knowledge is assuming an increasingly important role in daily life and even more in business. Know how, in work environments and in particular in production settings, is the leading productivity engine of the company: it’s about creating a real knowledge base which makes it possible to carry out the work more efficiently.

However, sometimes companies don’t worry about gathering and organizing all the knowledge available within the company. As a result, the information needed to continue the production process efficiently remains unstructured and often not easily accessible.

To indicate a structured knowledge base we use the term Knowledge Base. Let's see how we can learn to best manage it, with the support of increasingly technological tools such as collaboration platforms accessible from mobile devices.

The knowledge base: what is it and what is it for

Every company has a wealth of technical and specific knowledge on their production processes which is collected in documents of various formats. The accumulation (still very widespread) is often a problem: it is not easily accessible, often not very effective and is hard to keep updated. Furthermore, it also represents a cost in terms of filing space.

On the other hand, information is useful if it can be consulted quickly and intuitively. It is for this reason that it is fundamental to create a digital knowledge base, by which we mean a structured knowledge base in data bank form to manage the information.

Why and when can this make a difference? There are various examples that come to mind. Imagine, in an industrial context, you receive a Malfunction Alert. In order to quickly resolve the problem you need prompt information. In particular, thanks to suggestions relative to similar problems already resolved and to “binders” of previous experiences, the troubleshooting time of the problems will be considerably reduced. In daily operations as well, the support of the knowledge base is crucial: the information that it contains, in fact, can be used to simplify and speed up the implementation of every day activities.

 

Download our free OEE calculation template: a useful spreadsheet to get the  Overall Equipment Effectiveness value.

 

Updated and orderly knowledge base

Technology is essential for creating a “library” of contents and knowledge which is updated and can be accessed quickly. Software exists that feed the database and simplify the addition and sharing of the information, improving User Experience and accessibility for everyone involved. All this is possible thanks to the most evolved Collaboration platforms. Let’s see what contribution they can provide.

The Collaboration platforms

By Collaboration platforms, we mean software that make it possible to collaborate in a work group on a particular task or on specific daily activities. Integrating this software with the company knowledge base can have really consistent positive effects on productivity.

Thanks to these platforms, it is possible to consult the knowledge base quickly and simply: the information can be accessed directly for the phase of the process that is being managed or used to examine all the material concerning a specific problem that has occurred, making it possible to work in real time. An added value, included in some of this software, is the possibility of using the knowledge base collaboratively: by this, we mean that every operator can evaluate the usefulness of the materials consulted and these, in later searches, will be put in order based on these evaluations, with a mechanism similar to review sites.

In addition to the possibility of accessing and consulting the institutional contents, in the most evolved systems we also find another feature: the possibility of filing information included in specific chats, relative to specific processes, directly in the knowledge base so that it can be used later as a valuable source of information.

Knowledge base on mobile devices

It is clear that all of this is more effective if combined with the introduction and pervasive use of mobile devices in the company and in the production process. It would, in fact, not be very convenient to have to use a PC to consult the information, to then have to move again to perform the intervention on a piece of machinery, for example.

On the contrary, thanks to smartphones and dedicated apps of the Collaboration platforms, it will be possible to use text, audio or visual content directly at the work station and carry it out immediately.

Download the OEE calculation template