BASF is the world’s largest chemical company and has been leading the industry in innovative solutions for over 150 years. BASF’s Automotive Refinish business develops and markets the highest-quality coatings available for the collision repair, commercial fleet, and automotive specialty markets. Such production takes a high level of skill, knowledge, and expertise to meet the needs of end-users.
Foreseeable Subject Matter Expert Retirements
With a large percentage of employees preparing for retirement, BASF knew they would have to strategize a plan to transfer the knowledge of those experts. With decades of experience and lessons learned, it was almost impossible to know where to begin with a process for this.
Despite all research predictions declaring 2022 to be a year of growth, because of the great resignation and a tight labor market, there are doubts of businesses being able to rehire to the same numbers they once had 2 years ago. So in addition to retiring experts, there is a lack of incoming expertise and an urgent need for training and upskilling the existing workforce.
Lack of Organized Knowledge
The ever-evolving nature of chemistry, with rapid innovations and sustainable methods being implemented so frequently, creates a wealth of knowledge documentation that is scattered across the teams. Newer team members can’t locate answers to their questions, time is wasted on searching for those answers, and managers suffer from spikes in distracting questions from direct reports who felt lost to begin with. Ultimately, the lack of organized knowledge led to operational slowdowns.
The Nesh Solution
Throughout our conversations with the BASF Team, we knew there were multiple areas where our Subject Matter Avatars would be able to solve the core issues they faced. A Subject Matter Avatar (SMA) is a digital twin of a Subject Matter Expert. Our Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deeply understand the expert knowledge that was available inside the company and the questions users are asking, continuously learning the complex domains that are specific to the chemical industry.
Nesh Subject Matter Avatars augment the expertise of the current Subject Matter Experts and can eventually fill in for them, learning the best practices, frequently asked questions, operating procedures, specific product formulas, troubleshooting steps, laboratory instructions, and so on, capturing the knowledge for those who come after them. SMA’s quickly generate answers for questions like, “What quantity of [chemical] did we use in the recipe for [product]?” Nesh summarizes the results in a digestible format, saving BASF Product Managers valuable time. So despite not having the same team size as pre-COVID, the introduction of Subject Matter Avatars kept productivity high while organizing content and preserving crucial product knowledge.
“Outstanding and committed to its customer, Nesh takes care of the complexity of understanding unstructured data when searching for content and specific domain information”
– Pradeep Srinivasan, Head of Data & Digital Transformation, BASF
Nesh’s approach to creating Subject Matter Avatars is simple. We connected to BASF’s knowledge repositories where critical formulas, learnings, and expert knowledge were stored, adding them to our platform. Some examples include –
- FAQ’s and SOP’s
- Technical Handbooks
- Coating and Paint Recipes
- Historical Best Practices
- SME Analysis and Training
From here, Nesh read and understood all the content to learn the chemical domain language and figure out things like definitions, defect causes, diagnosis, troubleshooting steps, and more. When asked about a specific recipe or how to fix a certain defect, Nesh was able to deliver results in seconds with an accuracy rating of nearly 98%.
Nesh delivered on the promise of turning subject matter expertise into Subject Matter Avatars to help BASF preserve, recall and deliver knowledge with ease.
With Nesh, BASF can continue building an industry-leading innovation platform across all its business lines starting with Automotive Coatings and delivering valuable knowledge at a rapid speed to its own employees, partners, and customers.
Are your teams staying ahead of the curve like BASF? Take the next step and download our Solution Brief designed to meet the needs of the Chemical Industry in 2022 and beyond.