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Title: Development of Knowledge Management Systems for Manufacturing
Author: Rowlance, Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 4253
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis presents the Development ofKnowledge Management Systems for Manufacturing. The thesis was created through an action research longitudinal single case study based at Getrag-Ford Transmissions (GFT) in Halewood and aims to contribute to the extant literature regarding the implementation ofKM. A Knowledge Management System design and implementation methodology was developed to support the operation at GFT. The resulting methodology also provides a process for developing a KMS within other brown field manufacturing facilities. The KMS presented balances the soft and hard side ofKM through a bottom up approach to design and implementation. The successful implementation ofa KMS within a brown field manufacturing facility requires the consideration of cultural, technological and organisational issues. The bottom up design methodology presented in this thesis demonstrates clearly how these can be addressed whilst making a direct contribution to process improvements. Demonstration ofthese attributes enabled a successful implementation of the KMS at GFT. The implementation ofthe KMS was achieved through combining existing systems within the organisation which eventually resulted in employing Microsoft office tools to support the KMS framework. This least power approach led to significant reductions in the training and investment required to successfully implement the KMS. The use of Microsoft office tools also helped to deliver a KMS that was practical, cost effective and user friendly. The main contribution to knowledge is to present a methodology for the development of a KMS in a brown field site where there are complex operations, a large amount of legacy data and a limited IT infrastructure. Cultural issues within the existing workforce are acknowledged within the design methodology presented. The bottom up approach allowed the KMS to be piloted and developed without any major disruption to the organisation. It could develop without the need for major funding or approvals from high level board members. This approach allowed the .KMS to develop solutions to organisational problems in incremental stages ____TheJhesis also _coverstheapplicationof the KMS from an operational perspective. The KMS development team were given the opportunity to manage a production area according to the Getrag Ford Structured Week process which had been incorporated into the KMS. This resulted in the verification of the bottom up approach to developing KM and quickly gained the support of blue collar workers. The application of the KMS in production area one led to productivity improvements and cost reductions valued at over €200,000 per annum.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available