How to speed up the digital transformation in manufacturing – with the help of Knowledge

Manufacturing companies understands that their collective knowledge and wisdom is the largest untapped asset in the organization. With help of Knowledge Management can organizations speed up digital transformation in manufacturing.

Digital transformation in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is transforming at a rapid pace. Advances in AI, analytics, IoT and 3D printing are transforming the business of manufacturing industries and they are accelerating transformation by the use of digital technologies, platforms and ecosystems to modernize traditional manufacturing value chains. It is becoming more digital, forcing IT-organizations to drive initiatives together with manufacturing process owners in a way we haven’t seen before.

According to Gartner, through 2020, 99% of artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives in IT service management (ITSM) will fail due to the lack of an established knowledge management foundation. (“When Will AI Virtual Support Agents Replace Your IT Service Desk”, 14 April 2017)

CIOs are increasingly driving data-rich architectures that can capture, store and analyze advanced manufacturing workflows in secure and interactive patterns across various locations. These considerations also formed the basis of the Industry 4.0 strategy.

In all digital transformation knowledge is a central factor. Without access to the right information and collective knowledge the organization´s shift to digital will be unsuccessful and also painful. More and more organizations understand that their collective knowledge and wisdom is the largest untapped asset in the organization.

The solution

The recommended way to prepare for a smooth digital transformation and to build a solid foundation for this is to gather the organizations knowledge (preferable) in one or in some cases several knowledge bases. In this process a key for long term success is to not only focus on tools and digitization but also the process for capturing knowledge in the daily work and ensure that people have the right understanding and education in how to keep the knowledge base healthy and updated. So, in short work with:

1) the right tool

2) the right process

3) the right people


It might sound easy to get this knowledge base and knowledge process in place, but it isn’t. There are many ditches to be aware of and that you can avoid by addressing them early and create understanding for. Here are three common ditches:

1) seeing the knowledge work as a project (you might get started but the project will end as the knowledge initiative. Think of it as a journey and not a destination)

2) insufficient buy in from management

3) building a knowledge process from inside out and not from a customer perspective

Find out how ComAround has helped organizations in manufacturing like Volvo Cars and Sandvik to make the digital transformation a reality.


Per Strand is co-founder and partner of the international knowledge company ComAround, with over 20 years’ experience of implementing self-service he is one of the most experienced people in the field of self-service and knowledge. He has Knowledge-Centered Service and HDI Professional certification.

He is an experienced speaker at numerous international event. “Impressive as usual. Per delivers” and “Laid back, humble and focused”.

He is Co-author of the internationally recognized book SELF-SERVICE & KNOWLEDGE SUCCESS (ISBN 9781366821157) Find the book on Amazon.

Related links:

Speed up your digitization in manufacturing with the right knowledge strategy

On-demand webinar: Building a Business Case for Implementing an Advanced KM Solution

Case study: A high-technology engineering company – Self-service is used more than traditional manned support

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