Now more than ever, the manufacturing industry moves at an increasingly rapid pace. Continual advances in technology make the transfer of knowledge essential, especially when considering the speed of innovation compounded by organizational change and talent shortages. The challenge, then, is to keep your operations running smoothly while keeping your team well-educated and informed. How do you accomplish knowledge transfer without pulling your team off of the line, effectively slowing or even stopping operations? We’ve got the solution, with subject matter experts who can help your business maintain functionality while providing your employees with the kind of cutting-edge knowledge that will keep you at the top of your industry.
- What is a subject matter expert? A subject matter expert (SME) has extensive knowledge and understanding of a function, process, technology, machine, material, or equipment. The knowledge subject matter experts hold varies between individuals and fields, and their unique expertise is a highly sought-after commodity. Businesses interested in solving problems or meeting challenges will often look for an SME. SME’s exist in all disciplines and functions and are available in a variety of industries. Having a trusted resource at your site working side by side with your team can be significantly more effective than sending your team to training. In the field of manufacturing, subject matter experts could be engineers, specialized technicians, efficiency coordinators, quality auditors, supply chain managers or other specialized experts.
- Subject matter experts are not all the same. Some are cross-trained, but often, they’re most useful when a situation requires highly specialized knowledge in a specific area. An SME typically develops expertise over a long period of time, through immersion in a topic. Subject matter experts often pursue advanced degrees in their fields of specialization and maintain rigorous standards for continued study in their industries. An SME must maintain current and complete knowledge of a particular area of expertise in order to remain relevant. Subject matter experts often publish books or articles, and some serve as educators in colleges and universities. Being an SME requires time, experience, and intense study and research.
- The knowledge maintained by an SME can benefit your business. When it seems impossible to find great experience in your area and you’re considering pulling your team off the line and into a classroom, an SME can save the day. When an SME joins your team, he or she can work alongside your employees, so that your projects are completed, and knowledge is transferred to the permanent members of your team. They also have the ability to see what is actually happening in real time working without any internal assumptions or bias that you may be unaware of. Consequently, your business reaches many goals, meeting deadlines while optimizing your processes. Production never slows, but instead increases, as you’ve got another team member onsite and your team gains new knowledge while inefficiencies are corrected.
- An SME can streamline your workflow. When workflow and information is correctly organized and detailed, you’ll be better equipped to meet the critical needs of your business. Bringing in an SME provides you with an opportunity to get a fresh take on the way your processes are running. Additionally, subject matter experts know how to clearly communicate knowledge to members of your organization, in order to improve overall job performance. Many SMEs are fully versed in Change Management Processes and tools that aid organizations to change behaviors more rapidly. An SME can even function as a consultant to those in your organization who create training materials, in order to effect positive changes.
- Bringing in an SME can save you money. When you enlist the assistance of someone with in-depth knowledge of the challenges you and your organization face, you are acquiring the necessary resources to optimize your processes. Unlike an outsider to the organization, an internal SME works in concert with your team to deliver project tasks more quickly, more efficiently, and more effectively. Because an SME knows how best to serve your clientele, your projects will proceed more smoothly, meaning savings in the long run.
At Progressive Reliability, we have assembled a leadership team that provides low-friction service paired with broad industry experience. Whether you need a subject matter expert to guide your team through capital improvements or a transitional period, or you want to supplement your leadership team during an important project, we’ve got reliable experts with a passion for service. Contact us or call 888-252-3122 for more information.““