The Importance of Knowledge Management in the Information Age

Modern organizations are awash with information, and utilizing an organization’s intellectual capital and accumulated experiences into something actionable for business has become a challenge in the Information Age. It’s a recognized competitive advantage to turn disorganized data repositories into efficient, easy to access, and searchable vaults of information. Because organizations struggle with effective and efficient ways to accumulate and leverage their intellectual capital, knowledge workers have lost opportunities to make timely and informed business decisions that would’ve benefitted from the client and market insights that Knowledge Management provides.

What is Knowledge Management?

As a concept, Knowledge Management is about equipping individual employees with the collective knowledge of the company so that people can harness prior work across the organization for the benefit of work in the present as well as the future. It in essence institutionalizes in-house knowledge for the sake of allowing your workforce to learn from and utilize core assets you have already created.
As time goes by, a great deal of the knowledge an organization creates is based upon collaboration, whether it’s derived from shared ideas between colleagues or insights picked up from interactions with clients or vendors. Capturing these lessons learned during everyday exchanges is key to capturing knowledge into something that can be codified into processes and checklists and utilized for the benefit of the rest of the company long term.

Organizations looking to institutionalize knowledge capture can turn to information management platforms that that make collected information easy to re-use down the road and can offer helpful search tools and templates to locate, tag, and organize every in-house asset so that it can be called upon constructively and efficiently whenever it is needed.

Why does Knowledge Management matter?

We live in the Information Age where information itself acts like a powerful currency that an organization can leverage as intellectual capital in the marketplace. Organizations that can effectively capture, manage, and leverage their intellectual capital, will win more business, deliver client value more efficiently and outperform their competition.

In real world terms that means that organizations that do Knowledge Management well, are less vulnerable to losing subject matter expertise over the passage of time due to lost assets or staff turnover. And employees are liberated from the drudgery of inefficient information searches that research has shown eats up as much as 30% of a knowledge worker’s time. The bottom line here is that when employees spend less time searching for the insights they need, they’ll have more time to produce value-adding initiatives and be attentive to their actual job descriptions.

An all-too-common struggle for organizations has been keeping track of relevant existing assets that can win new deals or assist with projects currently in the pipeline. Whereas organizations that adopt Knowledge Management can properly tag documents with metadata and have benefitted from placing information in a context that facilitates its re-use in a relevant way later.

Additionally, by compiling knowledge into an accumulated knowledge bank, organizations can codify the lessons they learn over the years into checklists and processes that help ensure past mistakes are not repeated. The 2020 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends revealed that 75% of respondents prioritized “creating and preserving knowledge” as an important strategy for their future and immediate business, and yet only 9% of those same respondents claimed they are equipped with the means to pull it off.

Possessing a platform that enforces, guides, and automates the steps required for knowledge capture and re-use ensures organizations are able to use Knowledge Management the right way. And in a way that can address concerns about redacting confidential client information from people not authorized to see certain things by implementing automated workflows that help ensure a flawless anonymization process with reviews, approvals and publishing. Knowledge Management can also streamline organizations with periodic reviews of assets to help maintain the most current versions, archive anything that is obsolete, or apply new tags as internal terminology evolves.

All of this points to the reality that as the business landscape continues to evolve, leveraging knowledge from within an organization is now a priority and no longer simply a “nice-to-have” luxury. Those that aren’t thinking about adopting Knowledge Management are already behind.

How can M-Files help make a difference?

The end goal of Knowledge Management is really to future-proof your organization by codifying your institutional knowledge and avoiding any repeat of past mistakes. Because at its most basic level, Knowledge Management is all about allowing knowledge to be filed and re-used as an asset. Properly done, Knowledge Management means avoiding ever having to re-invent the wheel by enabling all employees to call upon accumulated assets and to improve workflows and become more proficient in what they do, regardless of their level of expertise.
And when M-Files enters the equation as the single source of truth for all enterprise data, the task of Knowledge Management becomes that much easier. M-Files is a metadata-driven information management platform that was designed to address common knowledge management challenges with tools that automate processes related to capturing, codifying, and re-using knowledge that can be leveraged for business time and time again.

The metadata-driven M-Files platform can address common Knowledge Management challenges to help capture, codify, and re-use knowledge. With metadata, views, enterprise search, templates, and workflows, M-Files provides the right tools for organizations to keep up with the new realities of doing business in the Information Age.


Seven benefits of investing in CMMS training

Implementing a CMMS doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. But it likely will without a proper training program.

The importance of training can’t be stressed enough when setting up a new CMMS. It’s the key to ensuring employees actually use the software and use it the right way. If everyone is onboarded to the CMMS correctly, you will not only see increased efficiency, productivity, and performance improvements, but you’ll see it sooner.

Let’s explore why implementation fails in the first place, how CMMS training can help, and the different ways your organization can participate.

Why implementation fails

Approximately 70% of all CMMS implementations fail. We’ve identified some common ways that software implementation fails. Further down, there are some strategies for avoiding these common problems with training.

  1.  Lack of support
    Execs usually provide the budget to purchase new software, but aren’t always committed to the implementation process. If the decision-makers aren’t fully invested in the project, things like training often get pushed down to the bottom of their priority list, and it becomes harder to convince fence-sitters that this is a good solution.
  2.  Unclear goals and priorities
    Without clear goals, teams are bound to fail. Missed targets are huge morale killers, and teams who lack that motivation are less likely to want to learn new skills or adopt new software.
  3.  Poor training and engagement
    Not knowing and not wanting to learn how to use a CMMS often result in failed implementation. Everyone impacted by the new software should be consulted or offer input when assessing vendors or purchasing the CMMS software. This eliminates the risk of choosing software that is too hard to use or an unwanted solution.

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Benefits of CMMS training

Increases adoption

It doesn’t matter how great your software is if nobody learns how to use it properly. Training increases user adoption, which is critical when implementing software. Being properly trained means your team will see the value of the software, understand how to use it, and be more likely to adopt the system.

Saves time and money

If not properly trained, your team will waste valuable hours on trial and error just to learn the system. Skipping training also means your users risk developing bad habits or not knowing the best practices for using the software. Training ensures everyone gets off on the right foot and helps everyone learn the best practices when setting up and configuring the system.

Creates consistency

Proper training ensures everyone on your team is on the same page, following the same best practices, and working together instead of creating work for one another. When training, use the same tools and resources for every department so your whole team will be equally skilled and successful. Make sure the resources are referenceable and accessible should your team need to access them later. (This will make training and onboarding new techs easier).

Accelerates adoption

It can take hours to figure out how to perform some parts of your job with CMMS software, especially if you don’t have previous experience with CMMS software or if you’re switching from a system where things are done differently. Save yourself endless hours of guesswork with training sessions.

Collect valuable data

Training helps you understand the best practices for entering data. Good data is the foundation of a productive CMMS. It doesn’t matter how efficiently you use your CMMS, if the data is bad, you’ll never see accurate, positive results. Good data and data entry habits can improve productivity, reduce downtime and save money.

Flexibility to explore features

Training ensures you are using the system in the best way for your business’s unique needs. Even the most experienced CMMS users might miss helpful tips and insights if they skip training.

Strengthens commitment

Training reinforces management’s commitment to making the CMMS work within the organization. It’s a way to show maintenance that you’re investing in their success and giving them all the resources they need to achieve their individual and organizational goals.

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CMMS training resources

Training isn’t a one size fits all solution. Most vendors provide onsite or online training. Others offer video tutorials, training workshops, or recorded webinars. And the level of hands-on training depends on the unique needs of your team. Consider surveying your team to get an idea of their learning style and build a training plan based on their answers.

Whether you choose free or paid training options, invest the time upfront to get your employees properly trained because training makes the difference between CMMS success and failure.

Keep in mind that training is an ongoing process throughout the lifetime of the CMMS. Send your maintenance team to refresher webinars and knowledge-transfer workshops to help reinforce best practices. Also, make it a habit to use help centers and video guides to supplement your teams training. This way, your team can stay up to date with new features and updates without having to relearn the entire software again.


Enterprise Service Management: A Unified Platform for Employees, Partners, and Customers

Are your employees struggling with the piles of documents? Are your partners unable to collaborate with your employees? Are your customers expecting you to provide omnichannel engagement? If yes, an enterprise service management (ESM) solution is there to help.

Per Gartner, “Organizations are treating Enterprise Service Management (ESM) software as an opportunistic tactical approach to consolidate software or get access to simple functions quickly rather than pursuing an enterprise strategy that requires in-depth analysis of the long-term risks and benefits”.

Enterprise service management system helps deliver a great experience to all service recipients, including employees, partners, contractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders. It manages a wide range of service requests, from simple credit limit updates and duplicate invoice requests to complex business processes like product installation and employee separation.


Listed here are the top 5 benefits of enterprise service management:

Improved customer service

Enterprise service management system aligns with various business needs and provides an end-to-end automation solution to all queries, requests, and complaints. It records customers’ interactions, updates the repository, helps customer service executives to tackle queries, captures feedback with the help of a survey, and provides self-service management, thereby enhancing customer service

Empowered employees

ESM based on low-code process automation helps employees with pain-free, personalized, productive, pervasive, and predictive services. It simplifies document management, answers customers’ frequently asked queries, frees them from doing mundane tasks, and empowers them to utilize their time in productive jobs

Unified view of customer information

The platform helps businesses get a unified view of communications sent from different departments and their customers’ respective responses. It also helps in end-to-end monitoring with real-time tracking of customers’ interactions

Better support to partners

The platform seamlessly integrates with your partners’ applications providing you an extended enterprise experience and your customers with superlative service. Processes such as duplicate invoice requests, goods return requests, and incorrect shipment, which deal with partners external to your organization, can be unified with your business processes

More responsive and quick query resolution

Based on past interaction with the customers across the channels, it helps human agents to respond contextually to each customer, providing them with a better solution to their problem and delivering a superior customer experience

In Conclusion

In a nutshell, an enterprise service management system eliminates the silos and provides a unified platform for employees, customers, and any third-party vendor to interact and optimize business productivity.


Failure codes: What they are and why maintenance teams need them

While the term might sound ominous, failure codes are nothing to fear. They’re simply alphanumeric codes specifying the reason an asset breaks down.

With failure codes, technicians can quickly select a pre-set code when completing a work order to explain what went wrong. And by classifying repairs this way, maintenance managers and reliability engineers can spot the trends that will help prevent the same thing from happening again down the road.

How to make failures your friend with the FRACAS system

Underlying failure codes is the problem ? cause ? action (PCA) framework, which works like a decision tree. A maintenance team looks at all the possible failure modes and corresponding solutions they could potentially encounter, then joins the problems, causes, and actions (solutions) together in a failure code hierarchy. These custom PCA codes are specific to each operation.

Let’s take a look at a real-world example of the problem ? cause ? action framework at work in an automotive repair shop:

root cause analysis for an automotive repair shop

In this example, the maintenance team might have created failure code B03 to represent the problem of “shot bearing,” C05 to represent the cause “bearing fatigue,” and D01 to indicate the solution “replace bearing.”

When it comes time for the technician to perform maintenance on the asset, they can document exactly what happened and log that valuable data for future reference. And while many maintenance issues require some degree of troubleshooting, with failure codes future technicians will see all possible solutions to the identified problem/cause, speeding up the repair process and reducing downtime.

Utilizing failure codes can help your organization:

How to use failure codes in the real world

Let’s say you own a fleet of backhoes and recently they’ve been breaking down a lot. In the past, you would have to manually search through work order histories to try to spot failure trends and common causes. With failure codes, you can instantly spot repeat offenders.

Fiix's desktop work order administration window

Let’s say that in this case, the failure analysis reveals pneumatic hose failure to be the reason behind the majority of those backhoe work orders. Armed with this information, you can now investigate why your organization is suffering so many of these hose failures. It could be operator error, temperature fluctuations, supplier defects, incorrect installation, etc. The point is, now that you know what is happening, you can instead spend your time figuring out why.

Learn how to perform a failure mode and effects analysis

How failure codes support reliability-centered maintenance

Reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) is defined by the technical standard SAE JA1011Evaluation Criteria for RCM Processes, and of the seven main questions it poses, we can see that five of them focus on equipment failure:

  1. What is the item supposed to do and its associated performance standards?
  2. In what ways can it fail to provide the required functions?
  3. What are the events that cause each failure?
  4. What happens when each failure occurs?
  5. In what way does each failure matter?
  6. What systematic task can be performed proactively to prevent, or to diminish to a satisfactory degree, the consequences of the failure?
  7. What must be done if a suitable preventive task cannot be found?

Because RCM is all about identifying and containing an asset’s failure modes, anything that supports this is a natural ally. Failure codes allow teams to easily and completely capture failure data, and this in turn empowers them to improve maintenance operations from day to day. That’s why they remain such a powerful tool for RCM-focused maintenance teams.

Mastering failure codes in Fiix

When it comes time to create your problem, cause, and action failure codes in Fiix, you can choose any names you’d like (as long as they’re alphanumeric). But for some extra inspiration, check out the technical standard ISO14224, which was originally developed for the petroleum industry but contains universal suggestions on which codes to create and conventions for naming them.

If you’ve already created failure codes in another CMMS or legacy spreadsheet system, you can save time by importing them into Fiix in .csv format.

Last but not least, we’ve got a detailed video on Getting started with failure codes and a full suite of how-to articles is available in our Help Center (which can also be accessed at any time through the Help button in the bottom-left of your CMMS). There, you’ll find articles detailing how to enable failure codesbuild out your hierarchy, and use codes during work orders.