Certification and Knowledge Management
An Approach Applied to the Space Transport Industry
In recent years, space transport entered an era of competitiveness fueled by a significant increase in providers. As in many industries, the competitive advantage is not found simply in the level of tangible success or reduced overhead costs of a launch, but rather in the overall service provided to the client. Clients expect not only quality and reliability, but also individually tailored service offered with the most attractive cost package and in the shortest time. The goal for the space transport industry is to propose the sort of customized standardization that for other industrial sectors is expressed by large-scale individual service.
Before reaching a frequency of around ten launches a year, companies spent several decades building expertise by solving diverse problems (technical, organizational, economic, etc). This requires very strong control of information and a large body of knowledge that allow a proactive approach that can better anticipate the changes required to preserve a dominant position. However, a significant number of the sector’s main players, who possess a large part of the company’s collective memory, will retire in just a few years. Even if the space sector has the reputation of being a milieu where much is written and recorded, it is ultimately difficult to reconstitute the knowledge acquired through the dayto-day management of activities.
To address this situation it is necessary to define a real strategy of knowledge management within a company that will result in a capitalization of know-how: something that is essential for the smooth running of a system which has room for only a single trial run.