In my previous article I addressed some of the common mistakes companies make when it comes to using the huge reservoir of information and understanding they have accrued.
After writing the article, I was curious to discover how well we walk the walk here at Renoir when it comes to knowledge management (KM) and how we have adapted our approach in these fast-changing times.
When I spoke to our Knowledge Manager, Rick Smith, he confirmed that our dynamic KM infrastructure, supported by our culture of knowledge sharing, is crucial to delivering the highest level of consulting services to our clients.
He explained that when he joined Renoir in 2011, while our intranet had some good features to work with, its functionality was insufficient, outdated and unintuitive. It also wasn’t easily scalable. These downsides vastly outweighed the positives.
He calculated that our knowledge-dependent staff (70% of our 300 employees) were each spending around four hours per week searching for relevant documents and templates, and around six hours per week ‘reinventing the wheel’. An internal analysis suggested that a more robust knowledge management and search solution could save us over £500,000 a year through improved productivity.
Convinced by Rick’s business case and initial specification, our CEO, Krisnha Paupamah, gave him the go-ahead to revamp our KM system and interrelated processes, focusing mainly on document management and client engagement.
Rick decided that the best approach would be to split our document management into two areas:
1) Sample documents focusing on each industry vertical and relevant methodologies, tools, templates and best practices
2) Client-specific files relating to sales, analysis, project administration and deliverables
This efficient system would enable us to provide the relevant people with easy access to the right information, increasing our core competencies with immediate positive effect.
When it came to the implementation, Rick and his team applied KM best practices and customised techniques proven to work in the consultancy arena. This enabled them to save valuable time, so we and our clients could start benefiting from the new system as soon as possible.
What difference did it make?
With more than two decades of consultancy experience, we have worked with clients around the world in virtually every conceivable industry. Today, before embarking on a project, our KM system allows our consultants to gather data from relevant past projects, such as typical industry findings and pitfalls, areas of opportunity and returns on investment. This enables them to truly hit the ground running.
Renoir consultants can now fluidly and effectively use our knowledge base to help companies improve their productivity and profitability. Easy access to the information they need means they can work more efficiently and spend more of their time actually helping clients.
Our KM systems also enable consultants to identify and contact colleagues with relevant expertise and specialist knowledge when they need advice, information or assistance.
So now, when they engage Renoir Consulting for a project, clients can feel confident that they will benefit from the collective knowledge of the entire organisation.
Embracing the power of knowledge
Knowledge management has the power to transform a company’s knowledge into something that can be shared, via documents, diagrams and procedures. It also makes it possible to draw on knowledge from a diverse range of sources and to learn from the context to derive even greater insight.
A consulting company’s foremost asset is its inherent knowledge, so of course it’s crucial that we make the most of it. However effective KM could also have a transformative effect on your business, enabling your employees to fulfil
their roles much more efficiently and giving you a competitive edge.
Talk to us to find out how we could help you leverage the power of your organisation’s knowledge.