Jan 15, 2019

Poclain’s Expertise Path Fosters Tomorrow’s Technical Breakthroughs

The global leader in radial piston hydraulic motors and a specialist in hydrostatic transmissions, Poclain strives to continuously innovate and find new value add for the customers’ applications. To that end, the Expertise Path was created in 2016. Nicolas Weber, Group Knowledge Manager, answers our questions about the Expertise Path and its primary targets. 


How was the Expertise Path created?
Nicolas Weber: The Expertise Path is part of Poclain’s Knowledge Management (KM) plan. KM aims at capitalizing, sharing and reusing knowledge aquired through experience and projects. Four fields were identified after analyzing Poclain’s main design and manufacturing steps:
• Skills and training
• Expertise
• Tools and methods
• Documents
Expertise is a result of critical skills identification, that is to say skills that combine three criteria: competitive benefits, scope of the skill (meaning the number of people affected by it), and the level of difficulty in acquiring the knowledge. Once we identify a need for expertise, we search for the relevant person the who can take on the role as an expert.

What’s the role of a Poclain Expert?
N.W. A Poclain Expert has three principal roles: First to acquire new knowledge. Experts can do that internally, by leading advanced studies to improve our understanding of our components, or they can also study new concepts or new ways of manufacturing products. Moreover, they can expand our knowledge by participating in seminars or group studies outside of Poclain, with other companies and universities.

Second Poclain Experts need to share this new knowledge using documents, presentations, training, as well as contributing to projects.

Last Poclain Experts need to build networks: an internal network to support the expert locally, with highlighting and escalating problems, and an external network enabling them to enrich their knowledge.

Who can become an Expert at Poclain?
N.W. We have defined two levels of experts. The first one is essentially technical and accessible to anyone with over a year experience in the company. To be eligible you need to show you are motivated and that you have a plan. You hand in a document and a presentation summarizing your skills, your experience in the given field, your vision of the Expert role and the studies and developments you want to lead in your field of expertise. You then present these elements to a nomination committee, who selects the experts for a three year period. The aim is to ensure that the applicant possesses the right personal traits: an eagerness to discover new techniques, excellent communication skills, and the desire to share the knowledge with his or her colleagues. The second one, called a Senior Expert, combines technical and management skills and requires at least ten years experience at Poclain. Their role is to coach a group of experts who are working together on a given topic.

What do you gain by becoming a Poclain Expert?
N.W. Experts are supported by Poclain as they undertake their assignment: they have access to external training and seminars related to their field of expertise. They also have time set aside to focus on their expertise (for example training, support and advanced studies). Specific awards and incentives are also dedicated to experts.

In a way this is an opportunity to further your career, am I right?
N.W. Yes, Expertise is one of our progress paths, exactly like becoming a manager. However one doesn’t exclude the other: being a manager doesn’t exclude one from being an expert, and vice versa. We currently have experts who are also managers.

Where are the experts in Poclain today?
N.W. The «Expertise Path» was first introduced within the Design Team because that’s where the Knowledge Management plan was instigated. Nevertheless, Poclain’s Expertise is broad and also rooted in our manufacturing processes. In fact, we have already nominated four Experts in Manufacturing. Expertise is finally group-wide, and we have Poclain Experts in Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

How do you imagine the future for the Expertise Path?
N.W. It’s looking bright! This is a relatively new approach and as Knowledge Management is deployed, the Expertise Path will continue to run its course. It enables us to empower talents as well as foster and share knowledge.

The expertise path aligns perfectly with Poclain values that encompass people, independence, global presence and innovation.