The invisible power of silent knowledge

Discover your company's hidden asset in tacit knowledge - The key to future success

More than a competence map, a Data structure that changes the rules of the game for renewability and profitability

Many pioneer companies in the industrial field have woken up to notice how important it is to preserve the tacit knowledge of aging top professionals, which is the core of the company's competitiveness. The enrichment of tacit information with other information related to the operating environment turns it from productivity to a factor in the company's future.

Tacit information is transferred when a systematic way of handling it has been created. The competence map we developed provides a structure and a tool for utilizing tacit knowledge. In Lea's production, this philosophy is built in the form of KaiZen, Kai is the hard work of productivity and Zen's growth as a person. If Lean is understood as a mechanical productivity tool, there is no growth channel for tacit knowledge. Especially in Finland, people believe in technology, and the culture rarely includes managed and systematic development of operations through the genuine participation of personnel.

Figure 1. Two effects of competence

Top machine shops, such as Sandvik's Gimo factory in Sweden, are a good forerunner and model for many machine shops of the future that are still in the starting pits: ( ). What the outsider doesn't see is a new job in the machine shop. When you come to the reception of the Gimo factory, you will see the pictures of all the employees on the wall with signed commitments to development. From management to floor level employees, along with operational production, systematic development is organized. In full automation, the machine shop's floor level personnel graduate from their own Machine Shop School - with high professional skills for fully automatic production. All signs indicate that the Gimo factory has adopted the KaiZen philosophy in its management in a balanced way without forgetting the Zen part, i.e. growth as a person. At Sandvik, the management method is known as Pulse, but it is about the same philosophy and work culture.

In how many machine shops is growth as a person and skill organised? We may talk about elements of Lean production, but it is more tool-oriented. The understanding and application of the philosophy itself is incomplete. Despite the possibilities of technology, multi-layered machines and their information systems with sensors are even more sensitive to deviations. The requirements of the future with the green transition set new competence requirements.

The first phase of MexLink's development work is almost ready, where the measurement of competence is connected to productivity and tacit information can be collected. We started with the most difficult, i.e. figuring out the skills of a machinist, because the age structure is the most unfavorable and the technical skills needed in the profession are the most demanding. The same map structure in its different forms provides the basis for other professions as well. Attached are various drills into the data, which we will tell you about in the next information attack.

Figure 2. Competence analytics with example drills

The second phase, which is about to start, is looking for a big leap through artificial intelligence. The competence map gives artificial intelligence a structure based on substantive competence. Each competence element has an address, which enables the systematic linking and enrichment of information to that element.

Many competence assessment methods focus on the assessment of psychological factors, because software engineers do not know what happens on the machine shop floors. MexLink's concept, on the other hand, is based on the experience of the products' life cycle, the vision and experience of the connection of manufacturing to it.

Our services cover companies that make products, recruitment companies, suppliers of investment goods and trainers. Competence mapping is also loosely linked to cost management and at the same time it opens the gates to the secrets of the green transition.

Many companies struggle with small, visible CO2 emissions, while big fish swim invisibly and need the ability to see into the depths. It requires growth as a person, i.e. wide-ranging know-how, as well as tools to eliminate waste and a new culture of management, where the results are measured both in terms of profitability and carbon footprint. Even these results require real work and persistence, and it is quite certain that many companies freeze in pursuit of easy things. Successful people, on the other hand, are not afraid of work when the goal is achievable.

Figure 3. Connections competence map - artificial intelligence support - KaiZen - QFD - VA/VE

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