Tribal knowledge is essentially the collective wisdom of an organization. So how can businesses capture and codify this information?
In most cases, this information can be immensely useful, but it is also constantly shifting in tune with the growth and change of an industry. Tribal knowledge is not always set in stone. As new team members join or leave a company, as processes change, or markets shift, or contacts at key vendors and partners change, tribal knowledge changes as well.
In response, an entire industry of knowledge management systems has emerged to codify a company’s unwritten information. Tools like Zendesk and Tettra exist to monitor and record work processes and make them understandable to new team members; CRM solutions like Salesforce and HubSpot keep track of personnel and relationship changes with vendors and customers; and many tech companies use internal wikis to track and document changes within their products. There are, similarly, business intelligence tools that store and track changes in business intelligence data.
CPG businesses store their most valuable sales data and insights in various ways. Some use spreadsheets, others store data on individual employees computers, external hard drives or shared networks, while less organized companies simply keep the details in the minds of those doing the work.
But none of these approaches are without risk. What happens when someone leaves the company, a computer breaks, or many employees work remotely, without regular access to each other’s knowledge and experiences?
One key feature of SaaS-based data and intelligence platforms is that they help businesses capture and share vital insights by making them available across the organization.
To understand how this works, and why it’s important for CPGs, we must consider the barriers to sustaining tribal knowledge in the CPG industry. CPG sales and category managers have highly specialized professional demands that are not necessarily compatible with generalized software solutions.
Traditional knowledge sharing tools simply aren’t built for CPGs. They don’t have the built-in structure or architecture to manage the categories and subcategories, and segments and subsegments that define the foundations of CPG scan data. Nor do they come, out of the box, ready to handle specific CPG data analyses like measuring opportunity gaps, or analyzing promotional sales performance.
One common way of maintaining tribal knowledge is to ensure that everyone in the organization has access to internal data. A transparent culture is one way of accomplishing this, especially in smaller businesses. In this corporate model, leaders are open and transparent with team members about current business goals and operations. By sharing these insights, employees gain a strong personal interest and understanding of the business that includes tribal knowledge.
Like most businesses, CPGs can certainly benefit from transparency, but that doesn’t mean that every team member will necessarily understand every role throughout the organization.
For example, data analytics is a highly specialized practice that requires practitioners to have a certain level of analytical expertise. While team members can benefit from shared insights, the spreadsheet data itself can be immensely challenging to decipher.
For a small organization, this means that when an analyst leaves a company with no means of capturing tribal knowledge, they will take a great deal of that knowledge and experience with them.
So what can CPG organizations do to capture and maintain important tribal knowledge? Along with having a data-oriented culture, the most crucial factor is to have an industry-specific tool to store and track sales performance. Bedrock Analytics can help in several ways:
- CPG-specific: Our platform meets the unique data needs of CPG businesses, because it was designed specifically to serve CPGs and their unique data needs.
- No data expertise necessary: Team members with any level of data expertise can operate the Bedrock platform. It is user-friendly and generates easy-to-understand results for CPG professionals from any department.
- Saved data visualizations: Bedrock harmonizes sales data from multiple sources into unified, easy-to-understand visualizations. After preparing these visualizations, they will automatically update to match the latest data points — no further action from a team member required.
With Bedrock’s platform, your brand can focus on the latest CPG opportunities and insights instead of rebuilding valuable tribal knowledge. Click here for more information or to book a free demo, or start a free 45-day trial of our platform, backed by Nielsen data.