Knowledge management - Knowledge database - Wiki & Co

Implementing knowledge management with software



Sandra Effenberger
Sandra Effenberger

Why is it becoming increasingly important to manage knowledge and what advantages do knowledge management tools offer companies?

In an increasingly networked digital world, the management of knowledge has long been a critical factor for success. Customers want fast and competent information when they contact customer service. Employees need all the data they need to complete their tasks promptly and on time, and strategic and operational decisions also require the right information at the right time.

In the following, you will learn how knowledge management tools work, what is behind the terms Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) and Knowledgebase and how your company can optimise processes and improve customer service through knowledge management software.

Definition: What is knowledge management software?

In order to manage services optimally and efficiently, it is crucial to organise the knowledge in the company in such a way that all employees involved can access all necessary information at any time. Knowledge management software takes on a central function here. It can be used to store, archive and use documents (e.g. work and process instructions, manuals, documentation, parts lists, etc.) as well as information from any other source (e.g. e-mail traffic, telephone notes, visit logs) in digital form.

Originally, such knowledge management tools were introduced within the framework of ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) as "Service Knowledge Management Systems" (SKMS) with the aim of centrally providing data, information and knowledge that an IT organisation needs. An essential element of SKMS is the so-called Knowledgebase (KNB), a dynamic database in which all information is stored.

Today, knowledge management tools are not only used in IT, but also in other areas of companies, such as human resource management, customer service and quality and emergency management. Here, too, it is important to manage knowledge efficiently and make it available in order to secure and accelerate processes and increase the overall service level.

However, modern knowledge management software with integrated KNB does not only offer the possibility to integrate documents manually. Rather, modern, powerful SCMSs are characterised by the fact that they grow dynamically, for example by automatically documenting and archiving successful solution approaches. For example, a malfunction that was reported via the ticket system and solved by the customer service department can be transferred to the KNB so that it is displayed to the person in charge or even the customer himself in the event of a similar case.

"Information only becomes knowledge in the hands of someone who knows what to do with it." Peter Drucker

What are the advantages of knowledge management software?

The most important advantage of all knowledge management tools is certainly that the professional and experiential knowledge in the company is thus centrally stored and decentrally available. In its simplest form, this is often done via an intranet or a company wiki, although an integrated SKMS is much more flexible and, above all, more reliable in comparison. Because while intranets and wikis have to be maintained mainly manually - with the risk that information is only stored incompletely or not updated regularly - integrated knowledge management software does more.

Modern knowledge management tools are not isolated solutions, but are integrated into operational processes. They can thus not only be manually fed with data, information and knowledge like an intranet, but also generate new knowledge from stored workflows that are run through several times a day, which is directly stored and made available. In this way, even decentralised companies can directly use new knowledge from the field service, customer care or order processing and thus continuously improve their customer service.

How do companies benefit from knowledge management?

Companies of all sizes benefit in different ways from modern knowledge management software:

  •     Customer enquiries can be answered more quickly and in a targeted manner.
  •     Complaints are recorded in a structured manner and solutions are documented centrally.
  •     Less need for internal coordination due to unclear data or information.
  •     Fewer costs for avoidable duplicate or blind work due to missing or incomplete information.
  •     Customer and employee satisfaction increases.
  •     Cross-departmental processes require less manual coordination, as all parties involved can use all necessary information at any time.

How does EcholoN support knowledge management in the company?

The central element of EcholoN is the integrated, multidimensional knowledgebase, which is available in all editions. Even in the low-cost Express Edition for small and medium-sized enterprises, it is linked to a ticket system that enables the rapid recording of faults, enquiries or other messages from customers or employees. All information necessary for processing is clearly listed here, for example on the requester, the process or possible solutions.

When the request is processed and the ticket is closed, the experience gained is directly transferred to the KNB and is immediately available to other employees in the system. In this way, many simple problems and customer requests can be solved. For more complex problems involving different areas, solutions can be determined in a structured manner and documented without gaps.

Through additional modules, EcholoN can be extended with further SKMS functionalities and thus becomes a software tailor-made suit for companies from very different sectors and areas. This is possible because EcholoN offers its own workflow engine with which almost any company process can be modelled and mapped. In addition, external systems such as SAP can be integrated via connectors.

Because all workflows are also connected to the integrated knowledgebase, the company's knowledge database grows with each step and expands to include process-relevant information. This can be used in the daily work environment, for example, to process customer enquiries by e-mail or telephone more quickly. Similarly, extracts from the KNBN can also be prepared directly for customers, suppliers or other stakeholders, for example in the form of web-based FAQs in self-service. In this way, frequently occurring questions or problems can be clarified more quickly and without delay, while for more complicated concerns there is still the option of solving them in direct contact, for example by phone or email.

A major advantage of EcholoN as an SKMS is the high degree of flexibility: the software has a modular structure and can be expanded at any time, even during operation, to integrate new functionalities. Of course, the previous knowledge stored in the knowledge database can still be accessed. In this way, knowledge management can be rolled out step by step in the company and used in more and more areas of the company.

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