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What is knowledge management and why is it important in a company?

11 November 2022

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SUMMARY

Knowledge management is a process concerned with the management and sharing of knowledge in a company, wich comrehend acquisition, use, transfer, development and archiving of it. The main objective is to make it transparent and accessible for companies and employees. Access to and transfer of knowledge are key prerequisites for a company’s ability to innovate.

What does knowledge management mean? Sharing of knowledge in a company

Knowledge management is concerned with the acquisition, use, transfer, development and archiving of the knowledge. The main objective is to make it transparent and accessible for companies and employees. Access to and transfer of knowledge are key prerequisites for a company’s ability to innovate.

Gartner has defined knowledge management as a business process that formalizes the management and use of a company’s intellectual resources. Knowledge management promotes a collaborative and integrative approach to the creation, collection, organization, access, and use of information resources, including people’s tacit and undisclosed knowledge.

Knowledge management is therefore that conscious process of organizing, maintaining, and sharing knowledge, skills, and experience within an organization , with the intent of ensuring access to the right information, to the right person, at the right time.

Knowledge management: how to make a company more competitive

When it comes to knowledge management, the focus is not only on explicit knowledge, but mainly on the human expertise and individual employees’ wealth of experience. Turning it into explicit knowledge by expressing it in oral or written form is a stage of knowledge management, which must be integrated into organizational processes so that existing corporate knowledge is available online.

Knowledge management makes companies more competitive in the modern knowledge economy, increases enterprise productivity, creates higher quality products and services, and improves customer satisfaction. Employees can much more easily find the information they need, and in this way productivity is sustainably increased, making various business processes more efficient across the board.

The goals of knowledge management

Knowledge is one of the main resources a company has at its disposal. What differentiates it from goods and information is that it cannot be purchased or augmented through trade. The knowledge transfer plays a decisive role, and the purpose is to create a kind of collective knowledge within a company.

Knowledge management basically has three different objectives: normative ones (the guidelines), strategic ones (this is where long-term measures are formulated), and operational objectives (i.e., concrete implementation measures). By implementing them together, a holistic concept emerges that combines technical, human and organizational aspects.

Knowledge is thus available and familiarization with new areas of interest found to be faster. Companies that establish a knowledge management process increase their competitiveness in less time.

The most effective methods of knowledge management

  • Targeted collection of knowledge within the company and keep track of it in a logical way, such as in a lecture or interview in which the most important information is presented briefly.
  • During the meetings, information exchanges take place and employees update each other. To make sure that no valuable knowledge is lost, it is advisable to write short summary minutes.
  • Import knowledge from the outside into the company and then optimize it. Videos, specialized literature, webinars and so on enable employees to hone their skills over the long term.
  • Networking through social networks.

Next, a knowledge database should be created, in which written knowledge is structured and made accessible. It will be necessary to find a flexible tool that can be easily used by all workers, ensuring a practical internal transfer of the knowledge itself.

The benefits of knowledge management

  • Reuse ideas, information and knowledge. Once an effective process is developed, it should be used whenever a similar situation arises.
  • Facilitate standard and repeatable procedures. Workers know how certain activities are to be carried out, and thus a certain consistency is maintained, which is important within large enterprises that intend to provide end customers with the same service.
  • Fostering a rapid and effective decision making process. A proper knowledge management strategy enables a company to make the best decisions. The reuse of knowledge contained in archives enables employees to make decisions based on concrete data and experiences.
  • Facilitate access to relevant resources and information. Having the materials you need available and quickly is important for responding to a client, solving a problem, evaluating a decision, and comparing notes with colleagues.
  • Avoid making the same mistakes. Knowledge management allows you to share what you have learned from mistakes, preventing you from making the same mistakes again.
  • Professional growth and innovation.

Knowledge management software

Knowledge management software allows companies to store and share knowledge gained by employees based on their experiences over the years. Data can be collected and stored in a structured way, and information can be evaluated through these programs in a way that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to make important decisions.

These software also allow internal business processes to be standardized and contribute to the improvement of information control and speed, eliminating the loss of time derived from the time-consuming search for information. Knowledge management software enables increased business innovation capacity, ideal for those companies wishing to respond more dynamically to future market changes.

CRM (customer relationship management) is designed to help employees engaged in customer contact: if you have all the data available, the work is done with a higher standard of efficiency and ensuring better consumer support. Document management software allows for a centralized digital archive, sharing various documents and improving workflows.

At the same time, it is important for companies to have an internal employee portal, which is a private network where all company-related information can be posted, accessed and shared. Great importance is covered by knowledge bases, or so-called corporate wikis: collaborative tools that allow information to be published and saved, making it accessible to all.

Acuto, the KMS of INGO

With INGO’s Knowledge Management platform, it will be easier to optimize processes for omnichannel management of your business, maintaining relationships with prospects over time and improving customer satisfaction.

Acuto will allow you to get all the information you need, from all channels on one tool, to monitor it as best you can, create a seamless workflow between online and offline, and create an increasingly effective KMS.

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