How to Use a Knowledge Management System to Improve Your Company’s Performance

knowledge management

Organizations that understand the distinction between performance and productivity are best equipped to improve knowledge management and drive sustainable growth and success.

What is “Company Performance?”

In simplest terms, company performance is a holistic evaluation of an organization’s overall performance. An overview of how well a company is meeting predefined targets, it typically includes:

  • Financial health. Financial performance relies on revenue growth, profit margins, cash flow, and return on investment (ROI). It assesses factors like total sales, costs, expenses, and financial ratios to evaluate a company’s financial stability and strength.
  • Operational efficiency. Businesses use key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine their core operations and processes’ efficiency and effectiveness. Common KPIs include those related to production, quality control, delivery, resource utilization, and customer service.
  • Innovation. When companies foster creativity, embrace new ideas, and implement innovative solutions, they differentiate themselves and more easily adapt to changing market dynamics.
  • Market competitiveness. Market performance evaluates how well a company meets its customers’ needs, adapts to market dynamics, and retains a competitive edge. It usually involves analyzing market share, brand perception, and customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Social and environmental responsibility. Companies that commit to social and environmental initiatives enhance their reputations, attract and retain top talent, and foster long-term sustainability. By aligning business practices with evolving societal expectations, a company can improve its financial performance and overall success.
  • Customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to repurchase, make referrals, and contribute to revenue growth. This increased loyalty and spending ultimately drives long-term profitability and sustainable business success.

How a Knowledge Management System Boosts Company Performance

Whether you’re talking about employee knowledge management or corporate knowledge management, implementing effective strategies in these areas is crucial for enhancing company performance.

Despite the enormous strides organizations have made toward embracing collaboration and knowledge sharing, many still rely on a hierarchical structure that impedes effective knowledge management, hinders information flow, and limits the potential for innovation and growth. If you truly want to optimize your company’s performance, it’s crucial to actively challenge and reshape these hierarchical tendencies and create a more inclusive culture that encourages knowledge-sharing and decentralized decision-making.

Experts have long known that knowledge management is a significant indicator of improving company performance. Organizations that use knowledge management technologies see a considerable boost in sales, employee and customer satisfaction, and product and service quality.

While a knowledge management system alone is not enough to improve company performance, it is a powerful resource for enabling organizations to solve problems and create value through enhanced performance. Here’s how.

  1. Efficient knowledge sharing. A centralized platform for capturing, organizing, and sharing knowledge across the organization facilitates the near-instantaneous delivery of best practices, insights, and lessons learned that help users access relevant information quickly.
  2. Enhanced collaboration and innovation. KM software promotes team member collaboration and knowledge exchange regardless of location or department. It enables cross-functional sharing of expertise and fosters an innovation-focused culture that leads to improved products, services, and processes.
  3. Critical knowledge retention. Centralizing knowledge gathering and storage helps mitigate the risk of lost knowledge due to employee retirement, turnover, retirement, or job transitions. This reduces dependence on individual knowledge and expertise and safeguards intellectual capital.
  4. Learning and development. Supporting learning and development through training materials, eLearning resources, and access to subject matter experts improves employee skills, competence, and adaptability, which enhances company performance.
  5. Quicker problem resolution. Easily accessible shared knowledge and expertise reduce downtime by helping team members troubleshoot issues and resolve problems faster.
  6. Competitive advantage. Companies with an efficient way to harness collective knowledge gain a competitive advantage via the ability to capitalize on internal expertise and up-to-date market insights that allow them to make informed decisions and adapt to changing conditions.
  7. Continuous improvement. Knowledge management systems facilitate knowledge capture and feedback loops, enabling companies to continuously improve their products, services, and processes, improving overall company performance.

Building a Knowledge Management Matrix

A knowledge management matrix is a simple tool for organizing knowledge within an organization. From identifying different types of knowledge to determining appropriate knowledge management strategies, it helps guide decisions on how to capture, store, share, and disseminate knowledge effectively.

Steps to creating a knowledge management matrix or framework to improve company performance include:

Step 1: Identifying Key Knowledge Areas

Determine knowledge areas crucial to your company’s performance, including technical expertise, best practices, industry trends, internal processes, and customer insights. You also want to identify your organization’s experts and conduct periodic surveys or interviews to stay current on industry trends and insights.

Step 2: Assessing Existing Knowledge

Conduct an assessment of your existing organizational knowledge to identify areas of expertise, knowledge gaps, and potential risks associated with siloed information or knowledge loss due to employees who leave their positions or the company.

Step 3: Defining Knowledge Management Objectives

Establish clear knowledge management matrix objectives. For instance, you might aim to improve knowledge sharing, collaboration, decision-making, innovation, or customer experience.

Step 4: Determining Knowledge Management Strategies

Develop strategies to capture, organize, and share knowledge effectively. This can include creating knowledge repositories, conducting training programs, investing in collaboration tools, or leveraging technology solutions like knowledge management systems.

Step 5: Designing a Knowledge Management Matrix

You’re now ready to create a knowledge management matrix that aligns key knowledge areas with appropriate KM strategies. Consider factors like relevance, quality assurance, and the confidentiality of the managed knowledge. Then assign responsibilities, allocate resources, and set timelines for implementation.

Step 6: Executing and Monitoring the Matrix

Implement the knowledge management matrix and continually monitor its effectiveness. Periodic matrix reviews and updates should be made based on feedback, lessons learned, and evolving organizational needs.

Step 7: Fostering a Knowledge-Sharing Culture

Cultivate a culture that values and promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing. It motivates employees to contribute their expertise and provides a platform for open communication and the free exchange of ideas.

Step 8: Evaluating and Improving KM Strategies

The only way to know if a knowledge management matrix is having a positive impact on company performance is to measure relevant metrics such as productivity, decision-making efficiency, innovation, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction. The insights gained should be used to identify areas for improvement and refine your company’s knowledge management strategies.

Drive Business Performance With Knowledge

Successful knowledge management requires leadership support, employee buy-in, and an ongoing commitment throughout the organization. By consistently capturing and leveraging knowledge, you can enhance company performance, drive innovation, and achieve competitive advantages.

When KMS Lighthouse client AIG implemented our knowledge management solution to improve first-call resolutions and overall customer satisfaction, it saw a 150% improvement in its ROI forecast. The system’s advanced search capabilities made it easier for call center agents to access and share relevant information, providing customers with exceptional experiences compared to other insurance companies.

At KMS Lighthouse, balancing people, processes, and technologies is what we do best. Contact us  to learn more about how investing in knowledge management can improve your company’s performance.


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