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Implementation of KM System in Small MEP Engineering Firms. Open Access

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Implementation of KM System in Small MEP Engineering Firms.Small Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Consulting Engineering Firms (MEP) have been conducting business in a traditionally ad hoc manner. This study identifies factors affecting the implementation of a comprehensive Knowledge Management System (KMS) to this sector of consulting engineering firms that is a knowledge intensive field. Designing and managing projects in this sector currently rely on methodologies or processes that vary from project to project. This Praxis examines three MEP firms with an objective to understanding how they conduct business and isolate critical Knowledge Management assets that affect the design process. Using these critical knowledge assets, modify an existing model and/or model a Knowledge Management System (KMS) that is validated by implementing the KMS using projects designed by these firms.Review of existing literature reveals that there are existing models designed and implemented in other architectural and engineering fields. However, these models are not apt for implementation in the MEP sector. A methodology to conduct the research is then developed linked to the organizational strategy and goals. The methodology examines the present design, Knowledge Management practices and knowledge assets with the aim of proposing a tailored KMS for this sector.The findings of the research indicate that a successful implementation of the proposed model reduces project design staff hour based on the staff-hour performance and cost performance indicators. This positively impacted the profit margins of these firms. Standardization of these design processes with a comprehensive KMS greatly enhanced the firm’s performance. The KMS developed and implemented enhanced knowledge sharing, training and improves the firm’s innovative capabilities and skills. Keywords: Knowledge Management System, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Consulting Firms (MEP), Knowledge Intensive, Staff-hour performance indicator, cost performance indicator.

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