Stop Re-inventing the wheel, engine and the body – The true value of an intranet
Over the years, the intranet has become an important part of business communications for millions of people. If you’ve used a well-designed corporate intranet you may know what it does, but can you explain why it’s so crucial to business success?
It isn’t until you stop and examine the intranet for what it is that you begin to see its true value is in avoiding the costs and inefficiency of employee’s re-creating knowledge, content and skills that already exist. We believe that a properly deployed intranet can be defined simply as a ‘knowledge reuse platform’, making it an indispensable tool in streamlining how your organisation operates.
The benefits of avoiding the recreation of documents is well understood but this is the tip of the reuse iceberg – if an organisation does not effectively communicate corporate strategy and policy, managers will re-create it. If an organisation does not makes it skills, expertise and resources discoverable, operation teams will re-create them. And finally if documents and organisational wisdom is hidden away in email attachments, DropBox or local drives they are unlikely to be reused.
Unfortunately, traditional deployment of an intranet in the workplace is thoroughly inefficient. While your employees can make use of the basic messaging and file sharing functionality, no two members of staff within an organisation will follow the same steps in completing a given task. Different people will save files in different folders; different people will send files through different means; different people use different computers in different ways. When one of your colleagues goes to look for one of your files, they will have no idea where you have saved it on your machine until they start digging. Time will be wasted as your colleagues start recreating the same files from scratch, potentially at a lesser quality than the original.
Avoid duplication & expertise wastage with FLEX
FLEX puts re-use at the heart of your company’s information bank. Not only does FLEX allow for a quicker, cheaper and easier deployment of your company’s intranet, it gives your staff the building blocks of information they need to complete their tasks as efficiently as possible. FLEX exists to reduce inefficiency; FLEX allows you to create seamless structures for your corporate communications to follow.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true value of the intranet. By placing re-use at the heart of your information resources you don’t just avoid recreating content – your staff become fully equipped to choose the right tool for the task at hand. An example of this in action would be the Kraft/Cadbury acquisition in 2010 – an intranet was built to show the employees how similar the two companies were, helping smooth the process, teach the who’s who and the what’s what, getting everyone on the same page from day one.
The human element of your workforce is without a doubt the most expensive tool you have. Expertise wastage and resource loss, therefore, can have a huge impact on any business. An example of this would be a company designing oil rigs; if you are trying to put together a quote for an off-shore oil rig and you have only ever worked on on-shore rigs, you will need an expert opinion before you can put together the best possible quote. With FLEX your intranet grants your staff access to the company’s full expertise, helping them find which of their colleagues can best assist with the task at hand with little-to-no effort. By equipping your staff with the company’s full expertise, your business is equipped with what it needs to thrive.
FLEX helps you streamline your management process
Finally, we have the most important thing that the intranet offers your corporate communication – the chance for your managers to sing from the same song sheet. The Harvard Business Review has shown that leadership participation is crucial to collaboration, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to your internal business strategy. The most expensive problem you can come across in corporate communication is your managers not understanding and not working from the same overall business strategy. Where managers aren’t communicating properly, people will begin filling in the blanks themselves, recreating different strategies and forging ahead into different areas. By building an information silo that everyone can easily work within, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page, quickly and efficiently fixing the consequences of a lack of management communication.
The true value of a properly deployed intranet in corporate communications, therefore, can be summed up in three different areas. First, you solve the problems of document loss and document duplication in the workplace; second, you severely diminish the chances of expertise wastage across your organisation; third, you mitigate the chances of strategy duplication among your management. With FLEX you can build your intranet into the knowledge reuse platform your business needs, reducing time wastage and increasing employee efficiency across your entire organisation.