From here - some metrics from Knowledge Management pilots at BestBuy
"The advisory board selected three pilot communities to test the knowledge management strategy.
- A community of sales associates shared tips and best practices for selling Microsoft Network (MSN) contracts and complete solutions, along with products. This pilot was conducted in two districts only, in order to compare sales performance to other districts. The goal was to accelerate sales of this special offer.
- Mobile Installation associates responsible for installing car audio equipment formed a community. This was a nationwide pilot involving all mobile installation bays. The goal was to reduce costly installation errors and increase customer satisfaction by sharing experiential knowledge not contained in manuals and making the technical manuals easily accessible online.
- Members of the third pilot were personal computer (PC) technicians responsible for in-store computer service. This was also a nationwide community, with the goal of reducing repair costs.
"The results of the Microsoft Network pilot were compelling. Application use and activity soared during the pilot period. Employees were contributing and using the community knowledge, and more than 700 sales ideas were submitted by employees to the MSN and Complete Solutions community of practice.
Employee knowledge and selling behavior also changed. MSN secret shopper survey results found that in a participating district, the number of associates offering a MSN rebate to customers improved from 70 percent before the pilot to 100 percent after pilot deployment.
Sales ﬁgures reﬂected the knowledge transfer and use. From pilot launch in mid 2000 through the end of the calendar year, the growth rate in the number of MSN units sold per day per store outpaced the company average. In December 2000 one pilot store outperformed the company average by 4.2 ISP units/store/day. Each ISP contract sold contributed $55 to Best Buy’s gross margin.
"The Mobile Installation results were also impressive. Claims per unit declined, as did damage claims, which added credence to the perception that employees were using the knowledge of their peers to avoid costly mistakes. Service center repair costs also declined, but it was less clear if this was a result of the PC technician CoP activities, due to measurement problems and a restructuring of the services organization to fold it into the retail reporting structure".
In addition, this 2002 APQC article claims that BestBuy saw
- 1.5 percent increase in gross margin
- Sold 4.2 units/store/day more in pilot stores
- 3 percent drop in damage claims
- Paper reduction savings of $250K/yr
- Against a Total investment of approximately $3.5 million