Tuesday 2 February 2016

The 100th Quantified value story for KM - $100 million for Xerox - 20 years of value from Eureka

To mark our 100th quantified KM benefits story, here's a $100 million success. 

The Xerox Eureka story has already made our Hot 100, coming in at number 29, where we gave three examples of it's benefits - a $40k cost reduction in Brazil, a 10% reduction in labour costs and 10% productivity improvement in France, and savings of $15 million in one year.

Now we have another value figure from this interesting blog post entitled "Xerox’s Eureka: A 20-Year-Old Knowledge Management Platform That Still Performs."

Eureka is a simple KM model, built from the bottom-up by Xerox field agents over 20 years ago, based around an established and informal knowledge sharing culture (see the seminal 1996 study by Julian Orr called "Talking about Machines"). The initial conversations that drive knowledge sharing were supported at first by the use of annotated manuals, but then by a shared online system of field problems and their resolution, known as Eureka.

Nowadays the customer service engineers use mobile handsets and tablets to access the Eureka web platform, meaning the knowledge travels to the job with them.

According to the reference:

 Used in tandem with mobile devices, the Eureka tool provides a searchable database for quick problem-specific results at the point of need.  Though mobility may be constantly evolving, one of Eureka’s biggest benefits remains unchanged: It offers help with issues for which no standard solution seems to apply. One crucial factor in establishing trust for Eureka information was having expert technicians vet all tips submitted to the community knowledge base. Updates and details regarding product fixes have since been included from all over the globe, translated into English, and made accessible to every technician’s device.Used in combination with the mobile platform and the overall Xerox KM system, Eureka enables technicians to know immediately how to resolve issues on 80 percent of calls.
Xerox estimates that since its implementation, Eureka has saved the company more than $100 million in service costs. 

Eureka, and the roles, processes and governance that work with it, provides an excellent example of the knowledge supply chain, providing the knowledge workers with the knowledge they need, at the point and time of need, thus enhancing their productivity  and saving big bucks. The great thing about xerox is that the knowledge supply chain is short, simple and constrained, which results in its long term success.  As the article concludes - "Eureka’s longevity proves that effective knowledge management never grows old".

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