Consultancy agency Kirkman Company has adopted a new knowledge sharing platform. The new system by Uman went live this summer and helps the 80 something consultants of the agency to work a lot more effectively and efficiently.
Since its foundation over twenty years ago, Kirkman Company has executed hundreds of projects. All of this knowledge, ranging from research, offers, best practices and methodologies, is of great value for current and future activities, not to mention the professional development of the consultants.
Efficient archiving and unlocking of this knowledge is an important strategic asset voor each consultancy agency, but it can also be vastly challenging. Because, how do you accumulate all of this information in a clever way?
“We had been dealing with fragmented data and documents for quite some time already. So for our employees, finding the right information was quite challenging”, says Sander Kloppenburg, Data Experience Leader at Kirkman Company.
During the corona pandemic, the cries for a different way of working only got louder. “When you’re not permanently next to one another anymore and there is less informal chat, there is a growing need to make knowledge more easily transferable. Oftentimes the old situation was time consuming and inefficient already, but now it became simply impossible to work. We needed to change the way we shared our knowledge.”
He uses the example of securing knowledge within the organization and the continuous process of mutual knowledge sharing, which are permanent challenges. “Very often our people had to reinvent the wheel while we have acquired a wealth of knowledge from successful projects. But reinventing the wheel was faster than finding the correct information that was already there.”
“During sales programs but also in projects we found ourselves digging for relevant information, recent models and best practices in our storage spaces and folders. It created the situation that a lot of knowledge stayed in people’s heads and there was very little exchange. Certain colleagues became ‘the usual suspects’ whom you could ask anything but if you work like that it takes a long time to find the right match.”
This is why last year Kirkman Company decided to go on the look-out for a new system for knowledge sharing. They landed with Uman, a Belgian company that mainly focuses on the B2B consultancy market. By using smart AI, uman can unearth the right knowledge in ‘mere seconds’, the platform promises.
Kloppenburg: “uman definitely helps us to dig up our in-house knowledge quickly and to make sure we can easily share it and make it available. This way our teams can work out better proposals and plans for client cases faster and help our clients more efficiently.”
“The beauty of uman is that now we can also see which are the top contributors and what knowledge and expertise are used and applied most often and are also valuable for our clients”, he explains.
According to Charles Boutens, CEO at uman, the platform has yet another advantage. “It is relatively low maintenance for consultants. In other platforms you have to upload and tag all documents but thanks to the AI driven solution of Uman, that is not necessary. Uman builds on the daily workflow and current tech stack and continues to learn.” Of course Boutens is ‘thrilled’ to have gained the trust of Kirkman Company, which is at present the Belgians’ largest client in the Dutch consultancy industry. Since its foundation in 2019 uman has concluded two funding rounds. It also offers its system to marketing agencies and IT providers.