Your knowledge is your business. What you and your employees know is what differentiates you from the competition and unlocks competitive advantages in the market.
Without this unique information in your organization, you potentially have very little over rival companies. So with this in mind, you need to develop the systems, tools, and infrastructures necessary to ensure your companies’ group knowledge is monitored, managed and protected. This is where knowledge management comes in.
Put simply, knowledge management is all about ensuring the knowledge of your employees is effectively organized, managed and distributed to maximize it’s value. It’s regularly used to ensure knowledge gaps are avoided and helps companies reduce their reliance on a few key individuals. By creating a single source for critical information, your business can avoid the risk of problems arising should a key individual become unavailable or leave.
Good knowledge management not only protects your business, but also creates the opportunity to enhance the capabilities of your workforce. By making key information widely available, you help them improve performance and make better decisions. This is critical to optimizing your workforce’s potential, maximising your output and ultimately, your bottom line. However, to achieve good knowledge management, you first need the tools to get the job done.
Knowledge management tools are systems designed to help with the sharing of information within an organization, both internally and externally. They are facilitators that ensure information flows are captured and managed to maximize value and application in your business. Tools like knowledge bases and customer relationship management system help to ensure all parties have access to the critical information they need to perform to their potential.
With the right knowledge management tools, you can help your employees deliver more with less, and enhance the capabilities of your business.
There are a wide variety of knowledge management tools available that all focus on different knowledge types and create efficiencies in different parts of the business. Some are designed to improve collaboration between teams, others to track prospect and customer behaviour. The reality is, if information has value, then there is a specialist tool to help manage, monitor, share and evaluate that data for optimal use.
A knowledge base is an information repository designed to store data for internal or external access. Designed to offer a single hub for information, knowledge bases help capture, manage and organize key information and improve visibility. With a knowledge base at your disposal, you have a facility that can simplify data access when it matters most and help your teams find the key information they need, when they need it.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is designed to help all teams involved in marketing, sales and customer service monitor prospects as they travel through the sales funnel. By making this information easy to access, all parties can co-ordinate and make the very best decisions to ensure the prospect has access to all the information they need. With customer data available to all involved, all teams can perform their duties to a better standard and deliver an enhanced customer experience.
This is good knowledge management in action and it’s not hard to see the internal benefits a customer relationship management system can deliver.
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With access to the right knowledge management tools and systems in your business, you can maximize the value of information and how it’s used.
With an abundance of information in one location, your teams can work collaboratively to generate new ideas to solve common problems and optimize performance. The visibility knowledge management tools provide ensures there is an appreciation internally for the challenges the business may be suffering from. Without the right tools, teams often work in silos with little understanding of the problems being faced elsewhere. Beyond problem resolution, the right knowledge management tools help generate new opportunities too, if your teams have a view on the bigger picture, they can make educated proposals that benefit the entire business.
Making mistakes is part of everyday business life. Not every decision your teams make will be the right one, and that’s fine. What’s not so good is when those wrong decisions are repeated. This is a challenge many businesses face, but with the right combination of knowledge management tools, it can be mitigated. Having visibility of what has and hasn’t worked in the past ensures mistakes are avoided the 2nd time round and encourages an iterative culture within your business.
Knowledge sharing tools are only as powerful as the people who work with them. Your employees need to be prepared to embrace a knowledge sharing culture in order to yield the greatest value for the business. This can be difficult as employee scepticism towards knowledge sharing is common, in many instances, individuals are concerned because their greatest value is being removed and so they’re perceived to be more vulnerable to replacement. The right combination of knowledge sharing tools make sharing easy and subtle, they’re not something obstructive to the user providing the information and they deliver value in return.
All in all, knowledge management tools are designed to help optimize your businesses’ performance. They’re built to help improve your team’s efficiency and enhance the value you can deliver, without increasing the resources required to deliver it.
- Knowledge management tools help develop new ideas
- Knowledge management tools help develop a knowledge sharing culture
- Knowledge management tools help optimize business performance
- Knowledge management tools help avoid repeat mistakes
With good knowledge management practices in your business, you can ensure the competitive advantages that help you win in your market are protected and utilized to their full potential. By making the right tools available in your organization, you can capture, share and maximize the power of your joint knowledge and really make the most of the people behind your success. Knowledge management offers so many business benefits so make you have the tools to take full advantage.