Engine Repair Shop Knowledge Repository
Columbia Southern University
Having a central location for employees to reference how-to repairs for a small engine repair shop will speed up their work, gain more knowledge, provide faster training opportunities, and be able to reference issues instead of looking to one or two people who know what they are doing. Stopping what one is doing to help out another co-worker will make that person extend their work timelines and make the customer wait even longer for their repairs to be finished. Having a system in place with small engine repairs will benefit everyone and all employees would be on the same sheet of music and build a more cohesive work environment. In order for the system to become effective however, it needs to be done correctly and proper training of how to use the site will also be required. Also, this will require one computer per booth in the garage so no one will have to share and wait for someone to complete a project before the next person can utilize the computer for their reference of the how-to guide.
The Role of Knowledge Management Systems
Knowledge management (KM) is the process of creating value from intellectual capital and sharing that knowledge with employees, managers, suppliers, customers, and others who need that capital (Kroenke, 2018). This means creating a system that allows customers purchasing products to simply look on a system and is given troubleshooting tips, set-up assistance, etc. This is so they can figure out how to operate something easily with no knowledge of what to do before the knowledge management system. Like the small engine repair shop, using a knowledge management system to solve issues one person may not know will assist in making the business flow better and have more organized and efficient employees. No one can now say they cannot do something due to lack of knowledge. A knowledge management system will assist with the lack of knowledge in their employees and provide great training opportunities.
What are Expert Systems?
Expert systems are rule-based systems that encode human knowledge in the form of If/Then rules. Such rules are statements that specify if a particular condition exists, then to take some action (Kroenke, 2018). Expert systems would help with the small engine repair shop because an engine is a machine, and with all machines, there could be so many different issues with many varieties of solutions. With expert systems, the company can help diagnose the issues by what they see or hear, rather than looking in the management system providing one way of doing things.
What are Content Management Systems?
Content management systems (CMS) are information systems that support the management and delivery of documents including reports, Web pages, and other expressions of employee knowledge (Kroenke, 2018). This information is more for the customers that are purchasing from businesses. This is the form of an employee having the knowledge and having an online platform that gives assistance on the issues from their first hand on the job knowledge. This allows the customers the ability to self-correct their issues with a product based off an employee’s knowledge that was given to them via web pages or word to mouth.
Benefits of the Expert Systems and Content Management Systems
With a local small engine repair shop, engine diagnostics can be extremely hard to figure out, depending on the person and the amount of knowledge they hold at that time. Something so small, like a loose bolt, or a small crack in the engine block, or a pin sized hole in a vacuums hose line, can cause an engine to stop working. So, having an expert system will be very beneficial in limiting down the possibilities via question and answers via a mobile diagnostic system. In an article written by Al-Taani, he stated, “Jeff Pepper has described a proposed expert system for car fault diagnosis called SBDS, the Service Bay Diagnostic System. SBDS is being developed by a joint project team at Ford Motor Company, the Carnegie Group, and Hewlett Packard. SBDS knowledge base will contain the expertise of Ford’s top diagnosticians, and it will make their diagnostic skills available to mechanics in every Ford dealership in North America. This system will guide a human technician through the entire service process, from the initial customer interview at the service desk to the diagnosis and repair of the car in the garage.” (Al-Taani, 2005). Using the system of SBDS will allow the small local business the opportunity to have the knowledge of one of the largest motor company experts in the palm of their hands. It will list the issues with the car as well as what can be done to resolve these issues. This will help build the knowledge of the employees and not have to rely on one individual for all the issues that come by the shop. According to another article, it stated, “With rapid advances and proliferations in mobile devices such as Personal Digital Assistants, Smartphones and Mobile phones , an expert system, which is a computer software program used to solve problems, coupled with mobility and mobile devices will help vehicle owners detect faults and pre- diagnosis of vehicle faults.” (Asabere, N.Y., Kusi-Sarpong, S., 2012). Mobile phones are great expert systems. With the advancing technology, you can download an app and have the maintenance questions answered right away. Sometime you can plug in the phone to your cars fuse box and the issues associated with your vehicle can appear in your phone via a code. You look into the owner’s manual and then correct the code that is being displayed. Having this type of tech will speed up the time of fixing a motor in the shop, and saving the customer money by not having to charge them extra costs associated with trial and errors for the fix. Every hour spends on a car by a mechanic can raise hundreds of dollars in labor costs. Minimizing this with databases and mobile apps will help the mechanics find the problem faster and correct it with little to no time at all.
Content management systems can help assist customers get the information they need from the experts themselves. One example could be a company website. If the local business had a tab specifically for common engine issues, they can alleviate small tasks that can be done at home within minutes instead of using the company time, where they could be used for more in depth jobs. A tab labeled “Common Engine Failures” on the web page can give step by step guides on how to self-correct at home from the mechanics at the shop. Saving time saves money for both the company and the customer. Now, with this information, the company does not need to spend money using their tow truck, mileage, gas, and the customer doesn’t have to pay a “haul” fee as well as part fees and labor fees. Another system that can be used is SharePoint. By adding guides and photos onto SharePoint, this will give the customers another source to find information on their engine problems. They can select specific makes, years and see pictures uploaded from the company themselves. Doing this will also help the company keep up to date. They can easily update current information or upload a new procedure that they have just learned and experienced. This may help the business, but if they do this for every issue, then will customers have the need to come into the shop at all? Having the small repair shop only add information on the common easy fixes will help them by keeping customers for other jobs and assist in not needing the simple fixes that the customer can do at home.
What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence is the processing of operational data, social data, purchased data, and employee knowledge to expose solutions, patterns, relationships, and trends of importance to the organization (Kroenke, 2018). One business intelligence tool that can be used for the small engine repair shop would be a mobile app called Auto Repair Invoicing (API). API is a program where clients can make online appointments with the repair shop without having to call in. In return, the business can see these appointments and will auto fill a calendar with the date and times of the appointment. This will alleviate the issue of overbookings, or loss of scheduled bookings with the shop. This app will also help keep track of current part inventories, create inspection checklists that all mechanics can use, and run your business all from a mobile app. This would definitely benefit a small business. Managing stock of parts, calendars with alerts and reminders, as well as accounting tracking will do only but good. Another system that can be used is Marketing 360. This program allow adds to be sent over social media, publicizing the business on multiple platforms. A lot of issues small businesses have is word of mouth and advertising. Using this business tool will allow this business to have an add over social media where millions of users use daily. The more visualizing the company can do, the more customers they will accrue over time.
Social Media and It’s Benefits
With social media growing its overall users daily, this is the best source for information and some business need to join the social media movement. There is so much you can do with social media now than ever before. One thing a small business can do is create a business page in Facebook. This will allow users to visit their page and explore that they have to offer instantly. Also, they can post visual aids and photos of the business and garage and some employees to help make the business seem friendlier. This draws people in to a business. Also, when someone searched for garages near them, their location will pop up, allowing more people seeing them and using them as a business in the future. Another benefit of Social media is that they can post how-to videos for their clients instantly online. They can organize albums and titles of the videos and edit their content. This will help them with customers problem solving and self-correcting when they need to. With Social Media, the possibilities are endless.
Al-Taani, A. (2005). An Expert System for Car Failure Diagnosis. Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.99.3377&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Asabere, N.Y., Kusi-Sarpong, S. (2012). Mves: A Mobile Vehicle Expert System for the Automobile Industry. International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications (IJERA). Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6cfb/e9dfadd600c5003a925ccfcc2b1d2e927387.pdf
Kroenke, D. (2018). Using MIS (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
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BBA 3551 Unit 5 Scholarly Activity - Engine Repair Shop Knowledge Repository.docx