The full article first appeared on MoreThanDigital.Info. You can read it in full here.

Why finding knowledge in companies is an underestimated cost factor.

In modern companies, more and more information is being digitized and stored, making it more difficult to find the information you need. This is due to the following factors, among others:

  • Different data sources: Information is often stored in different systems and on different platforms, which can make searching difficult.
  • Unstructured data: Often the information stored is not sufficiently structured or is stored in amorphous forms such as Word documents or emails, which can make searching difficult.
  • Lack of accessibility: In some cases, not all employees have access to all relevant information, which can make searching difficult.
  • Changes in the company: Staff changes, the introduction of new systems, and changes in organizational structure can lead to important information being lost or inaccessible.

An in-house search engine is therefore a valuable solution to provide employees with the right knowledge at the right time. Inefficiencies caused by using different data sources can be reduced by collecting all information in one central place and making it searchable. This can speed up the search for information and help complete projects with better quality, reduce costs and improve customer service. Another advantage of an in-house search engine is that it can help to preserve and share existing knowledge within the company. Due to generational change and shorter employee retention times, it is becoming increasingly important to make existing know-how accessible. A search engine can help ensure that this knowledge is not lost and can be used by all employees.

The business case behind an enterprise search is that it can help increase efficiency in the company by speeding up the search for information and increasing employee productivity.
A small math example looks like this:

  • Suppose an employee spends about 30 minutes a day searching for information.
  • Suppose the company has 100 employees.
  • Assume that implementing an enterprise search reduces the search time by 50%.

The enterprise search would help employees save a total of 15,000 minutes per week, which corresponds to 250 hours. Assuming that an employee earns an average of 25 euros per hour (an applicable hourly rate would be correspondingly higher), enterprise search would bring the company savings of 6,250 euros per week or 325,000 euros per year.

An enterprise search can not only help to increase efficiency in the company by speeding up the search for information and increasing employee productivity, but it can also have a positive impact through softer factors. For example, it can increase employee satisfaction by finding information quickly and effectively, improving their work performance.

It also improves the employee experience with IT systems in the company by simplifying and improving the use of the various systems. When employees can find the information they need more quickly and easily, they are less frustrated and the company’s IT systems are viewed more positively overall.

Finally, an enterprise search helps to ensure that decisions are made based on better decision-making. When all relevant information is quickly and easily accessible, employees have a better basis for making decisions. They can focus on what is important and worry less about whether or not they have all the relevant information. This helps ensure that decisions are of better quality and that the company is more successful overall.

Of course, the actual savings of an enterprise search engine depend on various factors, such as the actual search time of employees and the effectiveness of enterprise search. Nevertheless, this example shows that implementing an enterprise search can be quite a worthwhile investment if it can help speed up the search for information in the company and increase employee productivity.