tribal manufacturing processes

Tribal knowledge is any unwritten information that is not commonly known by others within a company. It is not documented and exists only in the minds of certain people. It is often information that is used when producing a product and it is a concern for rapidly growing companies.

The problem with tribal knowledge is that if information only exists in the minds a few people then it may as well not exist at all. Tribal knowledge is a barrier to sustainable, long term growth but it can be converted into company property.

If a long serving production team member left the company how much production knowledge would go with him/her?

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) help companies embed the inherent knowledge of manufacturing teams into digital technology.

MES allow both humans and computers to do what they do best on a manufacturing floor. 

Humans are awesome. They can analyse data/processes (benchmark performance), manage anomalies (urgent/changing jobs) and do technical tasks (die setting and machine maintenance).  But humans are expensive, error prone, sometimes unreliable and they keep production knowledge in their heads – not on a server.

Computers are useful. They can input data, do calculations, schedule production and report on progress. Computers are accurate, efficient and they digitise production knowledge and keep it on the server.

The added visibility and traceability from installing a MES gives more control to your production team.  

This increased efficiency allows your team the time and space to critique production processes and suggest improvements.  

Transfer your teams manufacturing knowledge from tribal while transforming your business to digital.  

Annabel Huskinson is the Marketing Manager at Aspect Productivity Technology.