Knowledge Management in Supply Chain Management

Managing an efficient supply chain involves both the physical materials and processes in the transformational journey of products and services, as well as knowledge of these processes in order to flow smoothly and create value for your clients and your organization. Knowledge management within the supply chain includes the expertise developed and employed by people experienced in managing each of these processes—from raw materials management, to quality assurance, to inventory management and more. The knowledge these individuals possess is key to keeping your supply chain running smoothly and identifying opportunities for new efficiencies.
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Efficient knowledge management for supply chain organizations hinges on applying the right software and strategies. Knowledge management software helps capture knowledge, analyze it to identify positive trends and shortcomings, and enables easier sharing and collaboration. These, in turn, can help drive decisions that increase efficiency and enhance communication and innovation among the knowledge-bearers who drive each aspect of the supply chain.

How does knowledge management improve supply chain management?

Knowledge management can improve communications with suppliers, increase visibility of trends and practices to ensure supplier reliability, and ultimately increase efficiency and even reduce costs for your organization. 

Sharing and developing knowledge and expertise is critical to enhancing supply chain efficiencies. Effective knowledge management allows supply chain managers to capture existing information related to inventory, demand, production plans, partner relationships and more while also encouraging collaborative sharing of experiential knowledge gained throughout the process.

Knowledge management software offers supply chain managers advantages over internal supply chain wikis because wikis can quickly become outdated and difficult to manage as more knowledge is shared and created. Beyond knowledge storage, effective knowledge management software can ensure that information is easily searchable, verified and meets the needs of the team or organization trying to access and use it. 

Benefits of knowledge management in the supply chain

Knowledge management system examples in supply chain management include:

  • Bridging Knowledge Gaps. Effective supply chain knowledge management allows those involved in various parts of the supply chain to identify where existing knowledge is located, how well it flows through critical parts of the supply chain, and where knowledge gaps exist. Once these gaps are identified, processes can be aligned through knowledge maps to ensure knowledge flows freely between the right people to encourage process improvement.
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  • Encouraging sharing of tacit information. Tacit knowledge is knowledge gained through the experience of an individual working in their role within the supply chain. This experiential knowledge is key to making supply chain improvements. Without effective knowledge management, it can be difficult to document and share for maximum business benefit.
  • Evolving the supply chain in response to external feedback and factors. Knowledge management helps supply chains evolve. It allows information related to customer needs and behaviors, quality feedback, revenue, and trends or changes in the business environment to be accessed, shared and used to drive decision making along various segments of the supply chain.
  • Improving performance and quality of products or services. Sharing all types of knowledge throughout the supply chain improves performance and quality control. That knowledge includes internal knowledge possessed by individuals or teams, as well as external knowledge from customer interactions, consumer and financial data, and assessments of market trends and performance. Accessing and leveraging this knowledge can help enhance or redesign processes within the supply chain to improve customer satisfaction, revenue, innovation and overall product or service quality. Knowledge management also encourages continued learning, sharing and collaborative progress so your supply chain can evolve to meet changing needs.

Discover how KM software can help improve your supply chain organization

The right knowledge management software can offer lasting benefits for your supply chain—helping you improve product and service quality, increase customer service and revenue, and save money and time on critical processes. Beyond that, effective knowledge management for supply chain organizations can help create a culture of knowledge sharing and innovation. This allows for the continuous transformation of insights into real business benefits. Get started with knowledge management for your supply chain today for free with Guru