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Modernizing retail grocery business via knowledge management‐based systems

Alan D. Smith (Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide practitioners of management a sense of how a major grocery retail business may flourish on the internet, but by employing a more brick‐and‐mortar approach, through the extensive use of a knowledge‐management system, namely KnowAsis™.


The paper is a review of the applied literature on practices and actual examples of companies' practices through personal interviews and basic empirical analysis of managers located in Pittsburgh, PA.


Giant Eagle's new knowledge‐based system utilizes interactive capabilities and attempts to standardize valuable knowledge in a properly stored format in order to made available to those employees that ot would benefit the most. Among other benefits of its knowledge‐management system, data mining and support for the front‐end personnel could be especially enumerated. It is recommended that the company should pay closer attention to the scalability of the system and the technologies involved, since it would be the key of successful future development. The primary feature is that the posted content is essentially owned and managed by the particular business area and reviewed on a periodic basis; thus the shared information through the various departments and knowledge shared is not permanent.

Practical implications

By investing heavily in its knowledge‐management portal, Giant Eagle, a major grocery retailer in the US marketplace, is looking at improved financial competitiveness, efficiency of operation, and increased market share. The management at GE is hoping that by leveraging its digital‐sharing system to promote the sharing of important ideas, best business practices, and lessons learned; the entire organization will become transformed by a new culture of knowledge sharing.


The paper highlights the retail grocery industry is under immense pressure by external and internal stakeholders to remain competitive in a high volume transactional environment by sharing best business practices, policies, and procedures. Today, many of the most dramatic and potentially powerful uses of Internet‐based technology involve networks that connect the people in a company, allowing them to share, manage and create data readily accessible by everyone in the company.



Smith, A.D. (2008), "Modernizing retail grocery business via knowledge management‐based systems", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 114-126.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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