Knowing what your business knows to help find your niche

Your company has undoubtedly developed a pool of knowledge over the years about what it does and how to best perform those tasks. Over the years, though, the details can become blurred. In automation, the lines can be blurred from the beginning.

Sometimes, your organization just needs to sit down and figure out where your niche is:

To define, quantify and develop your organizational knowledge, follow this outline:

  • Determine how much it would cost you to replace your most knowledgeable employees. Not just their knowledge in “hard skills,” but the understanding of your business and corporate culture held by your top employees. They understand what makes your company unique. Sit them down with the NAICS codes and I would bet that your top employees can pick the top two codes that define what you do. These people are the backbone of your organizational knowledge. Without them your organizational IQ drops—a lot.
  • If you have been in business for any length of time, you have developed processes and procedures that help you do what you do efficiently and profitably. These processes probably have been developed through lots of trial and error. Your processes and procedures also constitute organizational knowledge as they help make you unique and have value. How much are these processes and procedures worth to you? Can you buy them? Can you survive without them? I doubt it.
  • Plan to develop your organizational knowledge. In your strategic planning, are you looking at those in your organization who are the most knowledgeable and valuable to the company? Are you planning on transitioning and capturing this knowledge for those who are not as seasoned?

By investing time into understanding, or re-understanding, what your organization knows, all of your organization’s resources can be better, and more efficiently, used for doing its best at what your organization does.

Read more about understanding your organization’s knowledge at Automation World.

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