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06 March 2008

A great little KM story

Found on CIO.com this great little knowledge sharing story in a context where it was least expected (among retail sales staff used to compete with one another):

"Around the holidays in 2000, a Giant Eagle deli manager hit on a way to display the seafood delicacy that proved irresistible to harried shoppers, accounting for an extra $200 in one-week sales. But uncertain of his strategy, he first posted the idea on the KnowAsis portal. Other deli managers ribbed him a bit, but one tried the idea in his store and saw a similar boost in sales. The total payoff to the company, for this one tiny chunk of information, was about $20,000 in increased sales in the two stores. The company estimates that if it had implemented the display idea across all its stores during this period, the payoff might have been $350,000. Previously, "there was no tradition of sharing ideas in the store environment," says Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of Giant Eagle business systems.

Seeing the bottom-line benefits of sharing knowledge propelled the employees over their initial misgivings, spurring them to try and out-hustle each other on having the best suggestions, rather than the usual metrics. "Now they're competing in the marketplace of ideas," says Russ Ross, senior vice president of IS and CIO at Giant Eagle.

"It became a 'Look What I Did' showcase. Everyone wanted to put something in there," says Brian Ferrier, store director of Giant Eagle's South Euclid, Ohio, supermarket. "

This is a typical example of a user-initiated quick win that made a whole KM solution become effective. It does seem so simple and common-sense, doesn't it?
But why such simple and common-sense concept be so hard at implementing? "

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