The company is one of United States renowned food manufacturers boasting some of the most popular vinegars and other food brands. With new acquisitions and mergers, the company has been growing in terms of business growth and geographical spread. While more opportunities and growth brought business success, this meant more demand for accelerated operations in food production. This was in turn possible through an efficient and strong knowledge management system to boost employee productivity and achieve the required projected ROI.
The company’s manufacturing department was looking for a modern solution which would integrate with Office 365 and enable knowledge sharing to spark ideas, drive efficiencies, and subsequently attract customers. Requirement was for a strong knowledge management system which would make it easy to collect, share, and preserve both tacit and explicit knowledge. However, despite the decision to transition to Office 365, the organization was still facing the following challenges:
- Legacy content management and document management systems were not efficient to manage the vast stock of organization wide knowledge.
- Existing SharePoint infrastructure was not efficient enough to provide knowledge collection and sharing among a larger user base.
- There were no social networking tools, modern chatbot technologies nor cross training programs to boost knowledge sharing and employee motivation.
- There wasn’t a single integrated knowledge repository where employees would create, share, and manage useful information.
- With siloed content storage systems and lack of configured search features, it was difficult to find information from the files and documents.
- There was no security and permission management system to control control information accessibility. It was difficult to set permissions like editing, read-only, and create as required by different departments.
Furthermore, there were only a few skilled and experienced IT professionals who could provide a feasible solution to the above problems. Undoubtedly, the company soon approached AQL Technologies as a reliable partner.
AQL not only helped the company get a document management system to retrieve documents, but also curate a knowledge management system to help users research extensively and find information to meet their requirements.
The whole solution was delivered in 2 phases as follows:
Knowledge Discovery and Organization:
- An application was created for knowledge capturing with different capabilities like training center to provide learning material, research center to get R&D files, personal center to access personalized information, and more.
- Power Apps was used as the low-code solution to configure the application right from Teams and SharePoint.
- The app was integrated with different cloud sources like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. to fetch content from external sources.
- SharePoint Syntax was used to automate discovery, classify and tag of thousands of files within the application.
- Documents were indexed and tagged based on specific taxonomy to make information searchable through search option.
Knowledge Retrieval and Sharing:
- Microsoft Teams was the unanimous choice to foster a knowledge sharing and learning environment.
- Another automated flow was developed to create new teams for each project, create new channels and add relevant SharePoint sites as tabs to facilitate easy knowledge retrieval.
- Any request for information access in the SharePoint app would trigger an approval process in the project team concerned and would only be processed based on the decision taken.
Apart from creating a robust knowledge discovery and retrieval system, AQL also helped the company track its information accessibility across different projects or departments. This was made possible by integrating the SharePoint app with Power BI to create dynamic visualizations and dashboards providing insights into each document usage and accessibility.
A robust and efficient knowledge management system was now created allowing users to find required documents from any sources like Dropbox, SharePoint, Autodesk Files, Microsoft File Server, and more. Also, users were now able to access required information based on any search criteria like file name, metadata, folder, and more.
Users were now able to search content beyond the organization and knowledge was not just limited to a particular site on a specific server. Also, managers were now able to share critical topics and frequently available solutions to relevant users to provision easy knowledge sharing.
Statistically, the company was able to gain the following benefits:
- Expected to acheive ROI of 120% over next 2 years with a full suite of knowledge management solution.
- Easily searchable content reducing time taken by employees on information look-up by 200%.
- Savings of up to $500 per employee with remote collaboration through Teams.
- With easily available documents, easy to search information through auto-tagged documents, and more, several hours of employee productivity improved per week.
- Increased productivity in turn resulted in an approximate saving of $500K achieved in one year.
- An average of 50% improvement in process efficiency with the ability to discover and tag hundreds of documents every 10 minutes.