Few companies succeed in managing supply chain knowledge effectively

Three quarters of all organizations believe that creating and preserving knowledge will be important for their business success in the next year. Only 9% however say that they are very ready to address the trend of knowledge management, according to a recent global survey by consultancy firm Deloitte. These findings echo the results from Supply Chain Media’s own research among European manufacturing companies.

As part of its market research in preparation for the new knowledge bank called SCM WisDome, Supply Chain Media conducted a survey among European executives and employees. This revealed the receptiveness for supply chain knowledge to be a major challenge for both groups: 35% of the executives and 33% of the supply chain employees indicated that they ‘regularly’ or ‘often’ feel overwhelmed by supply chain content, and just over 40% of both groups said that they experience this ‘sometimes’.

Companies are clearly struggling to find an effective way to disseminate knowledge. According to 58% of the executives, knowledge transfer is top-down and incidental, whereas the employees provided widely varying responses ranging from structural to incidental and top-down to bottom-up.

Intelligent knowledge bank

New technology can undoubtedly help to improve knowledge management. 85% of the executives and 89% of the employees agreed that machine learning can be of benefit in filtering knowledge. The large majority of respondents (three quarters of the executives and 62% of the employees) said that their companies are not yet using an intelligent supply chain knowledge bank. In the Deloitte study ”2020 Global Human Capital Trends”, two thirds of the surveyed companies indicated that they are not currently applying artificial intelligence in their knowledge management activities.

Talent management

Knowledge management plays a particularly significant role in onboarding new employees, according to 88% of the executives and 86% of the employees surveyed by Supply Chain Media, and roughly the same number of respondents considered it to be important for talent retention. 63% of the executives and 55% of the supply chain employees indicated a strong interest in a machine learning-aided supply chain knowledge bank.

Whereas just 17% of the executives described their company as successful in knowledge management related to supply chain topics, the employees were slightly more positive (28%). This implies that the executives take a more critical view of knowledge management.

SCM WisDome

A beta version of Supply Chain Media’s SCM WisDome knowledge bank has been live since 1 July 2020. One multinational is already receiving training, based on avatars in a 3D environment, in how to use this innovative machine-learning aided online application. For more information about this knowledge bank containing ten years’ worth of supply chain-related content, go to www.supplychainmedia.eu/scmwisdome.