Knowledge management has become a popular business management discussion topic over the past few years. Some of this discussion is no more than hype-generated by software product vendors and consulting houses. However, there is a compelling value proposition holding that the intellectual capital of most organizations can be better managed to create internal efficiencies and external business opportunities. This paper discusses three knowledge management initiatives recently undertaken in the Asia Pacific region that have delivered real business improvements with quantifiable benefits and demonstrable outcomes. Two of these case studies involve major Australian-based financial institutions, while the third relates to a government treasury organization.
2. Case study 1—major Australian bank
A major Australian-based bank with global operations recognized the opportunity to be more effective in its product support services provided through its call centre. The call centre supported a number of products based on managed funds such as superannuation, insurance and investment trusts.
2.1. The problem
Call centre consultants were reliant on reference to a number of paper-based procedures, product support material and investment price listings. None of these information sources were managed in a way that could ensure accuracy and currency of content and consultants were forced to sift through documentation to find relevant material. This was both time consuming and because of the quality of information-sourced led to delays in response and a degree of inaccuracy in advice provided. As the call centre is the interface between the bank and its current and prospective clients the situation was creating a poor impression of services provided to customers. Further, there is the issue of organizational liability for provision of incorrect information to clients.
To compound the problem consultants were experiencing a 23% turnover rate with the average...