Knowledge Management is a phrase that gets thrown around haphazardly, but there is often confusion regarding its meaning, goals and benefits. This blog post aims to clarify and expound upon what Knowledge Management is, why it’s important and its benefits within the field service industry.
What is Knowledge Management?
Knowledge Management is the process of creating, sharing and utilizing information within an organization. This is a multifaceted process that is founded in frequent and seamless communication, informational transparency and situational awareness.
In the Gartner Groups words: Knowledge Management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers.
Why is Knowledge Management Important?
Knowledge Management is a critical component of the digital transformation, as it relates to the organization of data within a company. And there is typically a lot of data that needs to be dealt with in the field service industry.
The importance of Knowledge Management can be emphasized by talking about the opportunity cost of not embracing Knowledge Management. For instance, if a company does not have internal tools or practices to centralize communication, encourage collaboration, or collect data to inform decision making, it’s going to miss out on a plethora of opportunities to improve. In other words, by ignoring the true value of the data within a company, the company itself will become less valuable.
What are the Benefits of Knowledge Management?
Knowledge Management benefits field service companies in numerous ways. Field service companies rely heavily on real-time data to navigate the fluctuations of demand for services, and field technicians can only be as successful as the quality of information they are provided about a service job. This means that there is a definitive need for streamlined communication, real-time access to inventory and parts data and a high level view of scheduling demand.
Knowledge Management enables this centralized and real-time information sharing, providing field service companies with the opportunity to leverage Data-Driven Decision Making and operational flexibility.
Enables Data-Driven Decision Making
Data-driven decision making is a staple of a modern business, and has potential for improving a multitude of processes across field service organizations. By digitizing the flow of information throughout a company, the previously siloed and manual method for organizing data is replaced with a centralized and automated process. This allows field service companies to easily access the information they need to make informed data-driven decisions.
For instance, advanced analytics and reporting dashboards within field service management suites, provide centralized and real-time performance metrics across an organization. Leveraging this data can help organizations identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to increase performance.
Collecting digital feedback from customers and technicians regarding service jobs and practices can also provide actionable insights moving forward. This data can help inform decisions that improve the customer experience, first-time fix rates, and operational efficiency. With increased access to operational data, both field service leaders and field service technicians alike are able to leverage the information they need, when they need it.
Increases Organizational Flexibility
The field service industry experiences frequent fluctuations in demand for services, employee and contractor schedules, and parts and inventory statuses. With so many moving parts, a rigid and manual workflow is not able to respond to these changes quickly and efficiently. That’s where knowledge management can help.
Leveraging Knowledge Management practices in your field service company increases your flexibility, allowing you to adapt quickly to new circumstances. And this adaption can be the very difference between your success and your competitors.
With the ability to make data-driven decisions and communicate with your internal team and your customers about feedback, your company is positioned to pivot your strategies exactly when you need to. This means that you can consistently provide the best experiences possible for your customers, while also making sure your technicians are satisfied with the current workflows in place.
In an industry where adaptability is the key to success, investing in tools that enable Knowledge Management might just be the key to yours.
How Does ServicePower Enable Knowledge Management?
ServicePower’s field service management software enables Knowledge Management in in three main ways:
- Digital Communication
ServicePower’s field service management suite provides a state of the art customer portal that allows customers to communicate their needs in real-time with technicians. This reduces costly redundancies and streamlines the sharing of information. In fact, ServicePower was recognized by the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management 2020 for the ability to “shorten interaction times with customers.”
- Increased Access to Information
ServicePower’s digital dashboard acts as a centralized hub for enterprise information. With increased transparency into business KPIs and real-time analytics, field service teams can access the information they need to make data-driven decisions from any device.
The field service management suite also includes the ability for field technicians to access mobile onboarding materials, real-time parts and inventory data for service jobs and pertinent customer information. By providing technicians with the ability to access this important information on the go, they are able to spend more time doing the work that matters.
- Automated Workflows
Automation is a critical aspect of Knowledge Management, and ServicePower’s software ensures seamless automation of service workflows with the help of Artificial Intelligence. ServicePower’s Scheduling Optimization capabilities were also recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management 2020, highlighting the products’ ability to streamline a complex service workflow.
For instance, ServicePower’s Scheduling Optimization allows field service companies to optimize service schedules in real-time based on configurable business-driven constraints. With the ability to view technician’s skills, certifications and the current parts and inventory levels, the right technician with the right parts will be assigned to the job every time. By allowing the software to organize and leverage this complex data for you, the previously time-consuming and difficult workflow is now streamlined and efficient.
Knowledge Management is a critical aspect of digital transformation in the field service industry, enabling data-driven decisions and increasing organizational efficiency. ServicePower’s field service management suite is designed to help companies leverage knowledge management by providing digital communication channels, increasing access to information and automating workflows.
Request a demo to experience the seamless Knowledge Management workflows for yourself- and start putting your data to work.