The rise of global markets and the globalization of R&D has begun to have an impact on the industry’s product development practice. In today’s tough economic markets, organizations are continuously looking for competitive advantages. Since most organizations have access to the same processes, management techniques, and commercial software systems, the only thing that differentiates them is their knowledge. The need for improving engineering knowledge management is driven by the challenges faced by manufacturers in the developing global economy. Industrial organizations are facing increasing competition, and in response, their products are improving in terms of performance, reliability, and cost of ownership.
Current pressures on manufacturing industry include:
- Improving product quality
- Need for reduced costs and shorter lead times
- Difficulty in handling a large, multidisciplinary team of designers that are not collocated properly
- Increasing complexity of both products and processes
- Rapid rate of change in technology
- Retaining knowledge and experience
- Increasing complexity of computer-based tools
Insights of management
Good engineers aren’t born— they are made. During their careers, engineers make decisions and subsequently learn from them. As a result, their decision-making improves. In contrast, an organization’s collective decision-making doesn’t always improve. Instead, it advances as engineers learn and degrade as engineers leave. To improve decision-making quality, managers should search for ways to capture explicit and tactic design knowledge for reuse in product development.
The specific application of engineering knowledge management
Decision-making traceability: This provides a decision-making audit trial for future use, even after the responsible engineer has left the organization.
Developing and distributing design: Another application of engineering knowledge management is to assess the basis for design decisions on whether they are internal or external and generalize this into guidance for engineers.
Engineering specialization: This focuses mainly on the access and exchange of information about specific designs and domains. This type of knowledge has traditionally been provided through engineering standards and technical references.
When individuals move to another part of the organization, leave, or retire, they take their knowledge with them, and in many cases, this knowledge is lost forever. Engineering knowledge management will help address these issues.
Do you want to learn more about how to improve knowledge management and knowledge sharing in your organization? Contact the team of professionals at Auros and get the knowledge management software and tools that can benefit your organization.