From data to knowledge: KM implementation in the UK Retail Motor Industry

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The production and application of knowledge has a long history within the automotive industry, from Fordism (the concept of economic and social system based on industrialized and standardized mass production), to the Toyota Production system (an integrated socio-technical system resulting in lean manufacturing and business process improvement) to more recent research, such as Balcet and Consoni (2007) who studied the product development process in four Brazilian affiliates of foreign carmakers (Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford and Fiat-Fasa) to evaluate how multi-national companies develop their innovation strategies and Mundim (2007) who underlined the importance of knowledge value assessment [within Renault] and the need for metrics capable of evaluating and controlling the knowledge creation process. The car manufacturing industry has embraced the concept of Knowledge Management (KM) embedding systematic approaches to find, understand, and use knowledge to achieve organisational objectives, reducing time and expense of trial and error, reinvention and duplication. However, when considering KM in the retail motor industry there is a dearth of research, which this paper attempts to address.The retail motor industry relies on the delivery of a consistent sales process, however the increasingly complex new car sales programmes operated by vehicle manufacturers make it extremely difficult for sales staff to interpret the data quickly. This impacts on customer experience and increases the risk of expensive errors to the business, resulting in poor, inaccurate and untimely performance information. To overcome this problem a well-known car retail franchise and a reputable UK university formed a knowledge transfer partnership to design, build and implement an enterprise information system based on KM principles. This paper outlines the initial stages of this project. Consideration is awarded to requirements analysis, data quality, system planning decisions and prototype development. Key milestones of system design and development will be highlighted and a working prototype demonstration will form part of the conference presentation.Inclusion of this paper will contribute to the mini track on ‘Applying Knowledge Management in Business: Contributions from Industry’. The paper presentation will highlight the challenges and successes associated with KM implementation in the car retail trade. Perspectives from individuals, teams, management and across the organisation supply chain will create opportunity for audience participation and discussion. Aware of the growing priority of impact and application of academic research, the paper also contributes to the theory-practice debate. The tensions around this debate for academics across the world has been recognised by the editors of leading journals. Therefore we believe the feedback from the audience will not only shape the future development of the project, but publication of the research in Knowledge Management journals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-910309-34-6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Sept 2014
EventEuropean Conference on Knowledge Management - Polytechnic Institute of Santerem, Portugal
Duration: 4 Sept 2014 → …


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Knowledge Management
Period4/09/14 → …


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