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Case studies

Sainsbury's http://www.kmbestpractices.com/sainsburys.html Business: Retail (Grocery, home and other products) Headquarters: London, UK Employees: 173,800 Annual Sales: 17,430 (US$ million) Annual Assets: 12,031 (US$ million) Market Value: 5,488 (US$ million) Sainsbury's is part of the J. Sainsbury plc group, a UK and US food retailer with interests in financial services and property. The Group comprises Sainsbury's Supermarkets and Sainsbury's Bank in the UK, and Shaw's Supermarkets and Star Market in the US.

Strategy Their mission is to be the consumers first choice for food, delivering products of outstanding quality and great service at a competitive cost through working 'faster, simpler and together'. In 2000, Sainsbury's launched a business transformation program to move the supermarket chain toward this 'faster, simpler and together' approach to customer service. It is using knowledge management to accelerate the move toward increasing customer focus.

Initiatives Connect - Sainsbury's enterprise portal: A consistent single source portal for corporate information allowing accurate and easy access to common content. The portal is split into three layers:

corporate layer department or functional layer individual layer

Sainsburys has now implemented the framework of knowledge management tools which are specific to the business needs of a variety of areas. Sainsburys are now working to impose the same rigor and structure by integrating knowledge processes into their business processes in all the relevant areas

Leadership Chief Knowledge Officer:

Knowledge management programme is led by the CKO who is supported directly by the CIO and the leadership board CKO drives the use of content across the business

Culture Common language: A thesaurus is being launched through the portal to help develop a common language and understanding around knowledge management and knowledge sharing Engage knowledge workers from the start: Sainsburys sought to engage their end users from the outset:

Knowledge management workshops were run to establish what works well and what doesnt well; employees from across the enterprise were included in discussions of how to best roll out the transformation program Feedback highlighted a particular need for better collaboration within and between divisions; new processes are put in place specifically designed to address concerns and reduce frustrations

Understand that were all knowledge workers:

Sainsburys recognize that their employee struggle to see themselves as knowledge management workers when they are a Butcher or a Baker Sainsburys try to demonstrate to employees how the company is very much built on their knowledge, input and experience

Creating new roles: New roles have been created to help promote the best use of information in teams and manage content that is posted to connect:

Knowledge managers 4 full time Knowledge Specialists 150 part time and full time

Process Focus on supporting business processes

A number of business process focus areas were highlighted in employee workshops to better support the user experience:

Document management Workflow management Processes for effective knowledge sharing between teams Information management tools (e.g. a taxonomy)

A decentralized content model:

Connect provides a consistent framework yet simultaneously recognizes that content should be managed at the local level Centralized content management does not work Ruth Mallors, Chief Knowledge Officer

Note: Sainsburys Km revolves around highly specialized functional areas (e.g. store managers, distribution, Finance, HR)

Content must be relevant: A content audit was conducted in the transition to Connect which found:

50% of content not being used as it was duplicated or out of date Individual stores every week received a large amount 780 pages - un-actionable content

Sainsburys have identified the problem and addressed it by designing in more hyperlinks instead of document attachments

Technology Initial poor system stability (84% fall out rate) resulted in decreased employee interest and confidence. The original system, JS Net, was based on MS FrontPage technology but proved hard to scale and lacked governance The Connect portal (Vignette) has associated personalization and security, an enterprise document management system (Filenet) and a robust search engine (verity) The company will soon transition away from Filenet to a single Vignette platform to consolidate on hardware and increase the stability of the platform


Process efficiencies will save 600k per store there are 501 stores approx 301m saving Reduced product recall cycle times from 12 to 4 hours Faster time-to-market Increased product success rates Increased number of 'first-to-markets' Laying foundation for innovation and collaboration can make links between divisions and learn from the Improved customer perception of innovation at Sainsbury's

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Buckman Laboratories http://www.kmbestpractices.com/buckman-laboratories.html Business: Specialist chemicals and services / solutions Headquarters: Memphis, TN, USA Employees: 1,400 in 23 countries, operates in 80 countries Annual Sales: 315 (US$ million)

Buckman Laboratories International, founded in 1945, is a privately-held company offering over 500 specialist chemical products and services/solutions in paper-making technologies, industrial water treatment, leather chemicals, agriculture, and coatings and plastics. They do not just ship products, they ship customers knowledge of how to use them Since the 1980s knowledge has been the foundation of the companies competitive edge: we should use our systems for communication to share our tacit and explicit knowledge as widely as possible so that no individual will stand alone in the face of competition, but will always have the full global force of the company behind them. - Bob Buckman ex CEO Chairman of the Executive Committee

Strategy Buckman Laboratories knowledge strategy has been developed with five objectives:

Accelerate the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge by Buckman Laboratories associates worldwide Provide easy and rapid access to Buckman Labs global database of knowledge Eliminate time and space constraints in communications Stimulate associates to experience the value of sharing knowledge in providing custom-tailored service to customers

Respect the dignity of each individual by cultivating an environment that enhances his or her professional development and recognises each person as a valued member of a service-oriented team

The company explicitly takes a customer-centric knowledge driven approach: we will excel in providing measurable, cost effective improvements in output and quality for our customers by delivering customer specific services and products, and the creative application of knowledge Buckman Laboratories enterprise mission statement.

Initiatives Knowledge Portal, K'netix, featuring:

Asset library encompassing all organizational knowledge and experience Discussion forum allows employees to share tacit knowledge; threads are captured and stored as assets Communities meetings are held within the forum focusing on different areas of interest Also have a message bulletin board, a knowledge library and virtual conference rooms A key advantage is simplicity and adaptability: it is easy to contribute and easy to access knowledge

Total estimated cost of the knowledge management and learning initiative within Buckman is US$7500 per employee per year; or $10.5m annual enterprise total (includes all hardware, software and network costs associated with knowledge sharing and collaboration) Leadership

Knowledge mentors leading by example In common with other world-class knowledge management enterprises, the senior leadership were clearly seen to be acting as knowledge mentors:

Ex CEO, Bob Buckman, routinely sent personal communications to employees demonstrating a low level of knowledge-sharing: he would ask if they were experiencing problems or required training and asked what help the leadership could offer Middle managers were seen to have a critical role as mentors and coaches encouraging knowledge sharing and enterprise-wide customer problem-solving

Knowledge sharing and collaboration has now evolved from a few at the top pushing knowledge sharing to an organizational imperative on everybodys agenda. The company

highlights that they have not one Chief Knowledge Office, but rather every leadership role is part knowledge leader


Key effort is focused on changing organizational culture: [Our focus has been ] 90% culture change and 10% technology change. Technology is the easy part the focus needs to be on culture change and how to shift to a networked communication model Bob Buckman, ex CEO, Chairman of the Executive Committee

Develop a common value system, built into recruitment and reward system: In driving forward its cultural change programme, Buckman built on earlier work in which it carefully identified a global code of ethics: Each of the 23 country organizations were invited to submit key behaviors into a draft code of ethics Common themes that transcended local cultures were identified and later validated at the individual country level. The entire process took 18 months in total The company strives to integrate its code of ethics into its standard operating model with an emphasis on recruitment and selection. This is seen as imperative in fostering and maintaining a knowledge-sharing culture The higher one can carry that value system and get people to trust each other, the higher and deeper you can carry knowledge sharing. Bob Buckman, ex CEO, Chairman of the Executive Committee

Quality not quantity Employees do not get praise for responding to numerous emails, adding value is the key and paving the way for best practices. Knowledge sharing is pro active as an associate is not considered for promotion unless there are active in their knowledge sharing What other incentive do they need? Bob Buckman, ex CEO, Chairman of the Executive Committee Process Information at speed No taxonomy

Buckman Laboratories do not believe in having taxonomies because they need information at speed and believe tagging data is time consuming and lacks consistency (although the requirement in Buckman is more around collaboration than the dissemination of structured content as might be in the case of a call centre for example) [we] do not want to wait for a good piece of information to become available just because we are waiting for someone to code it, we cant afford to wait that long Bob Buckman, ex CEO, Chairman of the Executive Committee What they do have are knowledge areas based upon business functions across all the different systems and repositories with a common interface. They access all this information through a search engine A human touch KNetic has highly trained librarians, with access to the entire global network, who manage and monitor content threads if they see employees searching for information they can guide them effectively and rapidly to the correct content


Technology as a facilitator Technology needs to meet the requirements of its users, for Buckman this was a global network, allowing quick response time and collaboration if there is no need for what you are doing in the organization (technology), then it will not be successful Bob Buckman, ex CEO, Chairman of the Executive Committee

In house document repository Microsoft Outlook based collaboration tool Verity search engine eLearning tool

Use simple tools in imaginative ways with a higher purpose in mind Bob Buckman, ex CEO, Chairman of the Executive Committee Benefits

50% rise in sales from new products indicating a sharp rise in profitability from innovation 51% rise in sales per associate 93% increase in operating costs per associate Cost of training with the learning center decreased from $1,000 per hour to $25- $40

Global speed of response to the customer has improved from days and weeks to hours


Siemens http://www.kmbestpractices.com/siemens.html Business: Electronics and Engineering Headquarters: Munich, Germany Employees: 417,000 Annual Sales: 77,051 (US$ million) Annual Assets: 77,027 (US$ million) Market Value: 66,236 (US$ million)

Siemens AG is an electronics and electrical engineering company that conducts business in seven groups: Information and Communications, Automation and Control, Power, Transportation, Medical, Lighting and Financing and Real Estate.

Situation Greater competitive pressure emphasized need to become more agile and specialized. Knowledge initiatives were fragmented and driven by individual business units.

Strategy The companys strategy to increase shareholder value included the following objectives:

Drive to become a knowledge enterprise Expand knowledge creation and knowledge sharing processes Create visibility and structures for knowledge and sources of knowledge Avoid isolated knowledge management solutions Master knowledge security and risks Plan and acquire support for knowledge businesses

The strategy focused on 3 areas:

Creation of a knowledge management framework Mobilization of team members Changing the way of working

Technology was recognized as an enabler of knowledge management, not the focus of the knowledge management strategy Actions

TOP+, a large scale change program was implemented to increase productivity, foster innovation and growth through internal benchmarking, sharing of best practices and competence building A virtual best practices team was established consisting of practice leaders, SMEs, knowledge brokers/managers and facilitators responsible for defining best practices within their business unit or function New roles and functions were created to foster knowledge management:

Knowledge management Office: Corporate Knowledge Officer and Corporate knowledge management Program Manager Knowledge management Board: executive managers responsible for setting knowledge management direction, developing knowledge management methodology and processes and coordinating the knowledge management network Knowledge management Council: knowledge management representatives, including chief knowledge officers, for groups and regions

Communities of Practice (CoPs) were created as virtual learning organizations that enabled knowledge sharing and collaboration across groups or regions, essentially helping employees to connect people to people Siemens NewsBoard was launched in 1997 to allow employees access to a fully integrated set of internal and external knowledge bases, collections in the corporate library, websites, newswires, discussion forums, email, and groupware Siemens invested $7.8 million to launch ShareNet, an internal website combining chat rooms, a database and search engine, to enable employees to share information and expertise with colleagues around the world In 1999, nearly 12,000 salespeople were using ShareNet, and it had a support organization responsible for monitoring the system and its content Technology

Corporate intranet (ShareNet) Collaboration tools Knowledge bases Discussion forums


More customer focused, especially in value-added services and products with high knowledge content Annual spending on the knowledge management practice CoP averages about $250,000 with a return on investment of $10-$20 for every dollar spent Increased shareholder value Increased sales using ShareNet by $122 million More lucrative contracts won using ShareNet

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Additional resources: http://www.knowledge-management-tools.net/knowledge-management-systems.html http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/conferences/etfp/papers/estacio.pdf http://www.systems-thinking.org/kmgmt/km7steps.pdf http://www.webruss.net/scholarly-papers/72-how-to-implement-a-knowledge-managementsystem.html http://dessy0105.wordpress.com/2007/01/26/data-mining/ http://www.knowledge-management-tools.net/knowledge-management-strategy.html http://www.webruss.net/scholarly-papers/70-capturing-organizational-knowledge.html http://www.webruss.net/scholarly-papers/72-how-to-implement-a-knowledge-managementsystem.html Selecting a Knowledge Management Tool for Your Contact/Support Center Experts Angle: Knowledge Management, Made to Measure for the Contact Center Alavi, M.Leidner, D.E. (2001). Review: knowledge management and knowledge management systems: conceptual foundations and research issues. Gupta, J.D. , & Sharma , S.K. (2004). Creating knowledge based organizations. http://home.earthlink.net/~ddstuhlman/defin1.htm http://www.knowledge-management-online.com/KM-Roles-and-Responsibilities.html http://www.visionomics.com/what-is-workplace-culture-and-why-does-it-matter-2/ More case studies - http://www.cioinsight.com/c/a/Case-Studies/5-Big-Companies-That-GotKnowledge-Management-Right/1/