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Dangers of Relying on Tribal Knowledge

Author Jen Moore 2 min read
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Tribal knowledge, or the unwritten knowledge passed down from experienced employees to new hires, has long been a cornerstone of manufacturing quality control. However, the reliance on tribal knowledge poses several dangers to a manufacturing facility's efficiency and quality control.

The Dangers of Tribal Knowledge

Relying on tribal knowledge for quality control in manufacturing can lead to several issues. For one, it can lead to inconsistency in processes as each experienced employee may have a slightly different approach to a task. This can cause confusion and mistakes for new hires who are trying to learn the ropes.

Additionally, tribal knowledge is not always reliable. Over time, memories fade, and employees may forget important steps or details that are crucial to quality control. This can lead to errors in production and a decline in product quality.

Finally, relying on tribal knowledge can limit a manufacturing facility's ability to scale. As a facility grows, it becomes more difficult to maintain consistency in processes across multiple locations or shifts, making it challenging to ensure quality control across the board.

The Solution: Digital Work Instructions

The solution to the dangers of tribal knowledge is to implement digital work instructions. Digital work instructions provide a standardized approach to quality control and ensure consistency in processes across all locations and shifts. This makes it easier for new hires to learn the ropes and reduces the likelihood of mistakes.

Digital work instructions also provide a reliable source of information that can be updated as needed. This ensures that all employees have access to the latest procedures and details necessary for quality control, reducing the risk of errors in production.

Finally, digital work instructions enable a manufacturing facility to scale more easily. By providing a consistent approach to quality control, digital work instructions can be implemented across multiple locations or shifts, ensuring consistency and efficiency in processes.

Adapt and Thrive

While tribal knowledge has long been a cornerstone of manufacturing quality control, it poses several dangers to a facility's efficiency and quality control. The solution to these dangers is to implement digital work instructions, which provide a standardized approach to quality control, ensure consistency in processes, and enable a facility to scale more easily. By embracing digital work instructions, manufacturing facilities can improve their efficiency, reduce errors, and enhance product quality.

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Curious what a digital factory can look like? See the animation on our Tech Overview page found here: https://www.scout.systems/tech-overview/
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Jen Moore

I absolutely LOVE being outside. Being a soccer enthusiast and a dog mom, I spend much of my free time running with my pups or kicking a ball with my team.

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