Picture the scene: it’s two hours until your bid deadline, you know you’ve previously written a piece that would perfectly answer the question in front of you – but you can’t remember which bid it was for. All you can do is flick back through recent bids and hope to stumble across it – not good for the blood pressure!
If you’ve ever been in that situation, you already appreciate one of the biggest advantages of maintaining a good knowledge base – having easy access to your information means a reduction in the time spent per bid, resulting in reduced costs and improved productivity.
We manage knowledge bases for many clients via Knowledge Central, and over the last 12 months we estimate that it’s reduced the amount of time we spend on each of their bids by at least 60% (that’s not a typo!).
And there are plenty of other benefits to a well-maintained knowledge base:
Knowledge retention – without a proper system in place to handle knowledge transfer, you risk losing all of the valuable knowledge that employees acquire over time. The same goes for the loss of information once a bid is submitted and filed away in the archives. And that creates problems for the people tasked with picking up the pieces.
Detailed information – the level of detail in the knowledge base is invaluable not only for PQQ activities, but also for solution design and description work. Subject matter experts using knowledge base documents as a starting point to describe their part of the solution are less likely to miss out something vital.
Clear win themes – businesses with good knowledge bases have a much better level of self-awareness when creating win themes and storyboards. They understand their ability to meet their customer’s requirements and are more likely to present a winning solution. They also know which areas of their business model need improvement.
Unified tone of voice – final bid documents are written in a uniform tone of voice, as the information comes from a single source, edited by a knowledge manager. This makes the evaluators’ job easier, and presents a professional image, resulting in improved scores and win rates.
Joined-up working – knowledge bases are often used by marketing departments in the creation of new marketing collateral, and by HR departments to support induction and refresher training programmes. In both instances, because the information comes from a single, reliable repository, it allows presentation of uniform messages to all audiences.
So if you’ve been toying with the idea of creating a knowledge base for a while, take the plunge and get started now – you’ll be glad you did!