KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: CASE OF GRECIAN BANK
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The need to grow the bank’s business as well as expand the services offered to the customers is the basic foundation upon which the knowledge management system structure is to be based. (Tiwana 2000) informs that business needs often lead and inform the knowledge management. Through interviews and surveys, it is possible to determine which organizational drivers are key towards the success of the knowledge management within the bank. Many times professionals confuse IT for example with being Knowledge Management. However IT is in fact a stakeholder in knowledge management, but is not the only constituent in knowledge management. The Grecian bank has four specific categories of solutions which they seek to cover:
Excellence in operation: in this context, the aim is to improve the excellence of the internal bank processes. The first step in ensuring security and management excellence is with regard to using the existing knowledge so that the processes of service provision are made more efficient. The strategy here will include standardization of the procedures involved in ensuring services reach the bank customers, creativity and innovation of processes and continual improvement of practices. The cornerstone of the knowledge management system is directed at making Grecian more effective in the market place.
Focus on the customer: Grecian bank is renowned for excellent personal and direct customer service. However, with many more competitors taking interest in loyal Grecian customers, it is not surprising that the bank has been on a losing streak when it comes to customer maintenance. It is important to think of the customer as the final beneficiary of the system. Whereas the knowledge management will increase efficiency in bank operations and make work easier for employees, all this will finally translate to increased sales volumes and high levels of customer service. The most important knowledge to the bank therefore is that of the market itself within the industry that it operates and knowledge of the expected and potential customers.
The sales team requires an excellent knowledge foundation for all services offered by the bank, this makes it easier to access and match services offered by the bank to customer needs. In essence an excellent knowledge management system will improve customer relationship management. Loyal customers will be given excellent and efficient services, a quality which is designed to attract new customers, (Tid 2000). By making an already excellent customer care and service even more efficient, Grecian bank will be in a position to compete with bigger competitors.
Focus on new and creative processes: knowledge management is based on the creation and dissemination of new knowledge within the organization with the purpose of ensuring growth and development of the business as well as meeting the organization goals. Much of the knowledge from external sources will be taken through this process. Whereby knowledge on the industry, competition and advances in competition and market resources will be processed and made available to various teams that may have need for the same. The main aim is to reduce the time in which services can reach the consumers in addition to improving the quality of service that reaches the customer. All this is in addition to reducing the cost of the service to the bank as well as the customer. In this essence, the bank will create a niche that it is strategically placed to fulfill.
The bank’s knowledge management system will make use of business process information techniques. basically, the is excellent research dedicated towards understanding the best practices within the industry and which have ensured that majority of the top banks remain at the top. The knowledge is vital towards ensuring that Grecian can at least reach the level of competition. This includes the following techniques:
Transfer of practices: often there are best practices not just without the organization but also within the organization. Without a proper knowledge management, such knowledge would take time to reach other branches and locations of the bank. However with a good system, knowledge management and transfer takes shorter time.
Designing corporate strategy: knowledge management needs to be designed so that it can support business strategies. Knowledge management is especially vital when the bank is facing two conflicting and tense strategies. For example the current banking industry is designed to encourage innovation based business however Grecian Bank has always been renowned for focus on best practice approaches.
The proposed knowledge management system which will be based on ePath learning software operated in two sections. The first section will be based on feedback, that is, a database that is built on information from both employees and clients. There is only one way that the ban can discover its strengths to the clientele database, strengths which can be explored to defeat competition and this is through feedback. Customers will be given the opportunity to be honest with regard to the services of the bank and also fastest ways the bank can serve them better. Based on this information, the bank will build a database which will be forwarded to research and consultant experts who will find the best way to meet customer needs and improve efficiency.
It is also important to note that to improve innovation; employees need to have a platform through which they can contribute towards building efficiency. Since they are on the ground, the best way to manage challenges in completing tasks, improve efficiency and increase excellence is through processing of feedback from the same employees.
The second section of knowledge management will be based on shared project files. Majority of the time spent on projects by employees in one location on a project is often replicated in a different location. Too much time is spent in meetings with members of the same team playing catch and attempting to bring together their ideas. This section will allow teams to share not just results but also ideas and progress. Team members can keep in touch, commenting their progress on the project thereby reducing duplication of activities and reducing the time required to complete a project. In the same way, the bank expects that this will improve team efficiency and togetherness of the employees. (Gottschalk 2005) shows that this is especially important when the bank is developing new services and products in response to customer needs and the competition’s progress. Information of sales projections, assets and processes that are required for success and the market potential can be found, entered through the knowledge management system and objectively analyzed to make research within the organization much easier. This information can be used to meet the needs of the customer and fill potential gaps in the marketplace.
Creation of the knowledge: the bank generates a lot of data on a daily basis. It is important for the company to have a system of taking care of new knowledge. This new information can then be used to solve new problems and challenges that the bank may encounter when attempting to improve efficiency and increase quality of services.
Knowledge coding: once the data is collected, it needs to be analyzed through the system so that it can be turned into information that can be reused. Without proper coding, the information gathered is useless and indeed cannot be utilized in any way.
Applying the knowledge: it is often difficult for the bank to make use of the information they have. In this step, the knowledge itself is turned into an asset which is documented and shared to be utilized by management. This is the process where available information is given value.
Transfer of knowledge: where information is not immediately useful, it is wise to consider sending the same to third parties such as consultants and market researchers. These third parties are useful towards ensuring that such information is turned into valuable knowledge. The knowledge is made for easy adaptation, learning and utilization within the industry (Ishikawa and Naka 2007).
Management Of The Knowledge Management System
At the top of the system is the chief knowledge officer, who is responsible for the entire strategy of the knowledge system. He ensures that a balance is created between the overall business strategy and the knowledge management strategy.
Directly below him, is the knowledge manager who is responsible for planning the day to day of knowledge management. He takes the strategy, implements it through simpler plans and breaks it down into day to day roles that ensure the system is working efficiently. Both of these managers are in charge of a team whose efforts are directed at ensuring the bank is a learning organization, ready for change and equipped with all the necessary information.
A knowledge management system cannot exist without the support of IT. IT forms the cornerstone of all skills, techniques and tools that are applied to ensure the success of knowledge management. The following are the most vital tools for knowledge management:
- After action review: which is a tool designed to improve lessons learnt from each action.
- Gone well tool: is a quick tool through which managers can quickly evaluate the success of a decision or the failure of it.
- Knowledge café: which will be used to evaluate and bring to light topics that require discussion and consensus thereby building stronger teams.
Gottschalk, P. (2005). Strategic Knowledge Management Technology. Idea Group. Hershey Pa, Idea Group Pub.
Ishikawa, A., & Naka, I. (2007). Knowledge Management And Risk Strategies. Hackensack, Nj, World Scientific
Tidd, J. (2000). From Knowledge Management To Strategic Competence Measuring Technological, Market And Organisational Innovation. London, Imperial College Press.
Tiwana, A. (2000). The Knowledge Management Toolkit: Practical Techniques For Building A Knowledge Management System. Upper Saddle River, Nj, Prentice Hall Ptr.