Knowledge Mapping

This module focuses on the basics of Knowledge Mapping, its importance, principles, and methodologies.

Key Questions

  • What is K-map?
  • What does the K-map show, and what do we map?
  • Why is K-mapping so important?
  • What are some of the key principles, methods, and questions for K-mapping?
  • How do we create K-map?

Background

Each of the past centuries has been dominated by single technology. The eighth century was the time of the great mechanical systems involving the Industrial Revolution. The nineteenth century was the age of steam engine. After these, the key technology has been information gathering, processing and distribution. Among other developments, the installation of world wide telephone networks, the invention of radio and television, the birth and unpresented growth of the computer industry and the launching of communication satellites are significant. Now people started to think that only information is not enough, what matters is Knowledge. So there has been seen a shift from Information to Knowledge.

A bit of information without context and interpretation is data such as numbers, symbols.

Information is a set of data with context and interpretation. Information is the basis for knowledge.

Knowledge is a set of data and information, which which is added expert opinion and experience, to result in a valuable asset which can be used or applied to aid decision making. Knowledge may be explicit and / or tacit, individual and / or collective.

The term-Knowledge Mapping- seems to be relatively new, but it is not. We have been practicing this in our everyday life, just what we are not doing is – we are not documenting it, and we are not doing it in a systematic way. Knowledge Mapping is all about keeping a record of information and knowledge you need such as where you can get it from, who holds it, who expertise is it, and so on. Say, you need to find something at your home or in your room, you can find it in no time because you have almost all the information / knowledge about -what is where- and -who knows what- at your home. It is a sort of map set in your mind about your home. But, to set such a map about your organization and organizational knowledge in your mind is almost impossible. This is where K-map becomes handy and shows details of every bit of knowledge that exists within the organization including location, quality, and accessibility; And knowledge required to run the organization smoothly – since making you able to find out your required knowledge easily and efficiently.

Below are some of the definitions:

It's an ongoing quest within an organization (including its supply and customer chain) to help discover the location, ownership, value and use of knowledge artifacts, to learn the roles and expertise of people, to identify constants to the flow of knowledge, and to Highlight opportunities to leverage existing knowledge.

Knowledge mapping is an important practice consulting of survey, audit, and synthesis. It aims to track the acquisition and loss of information and knowledge. It explores personal and group competencies and proficiencies. It illustrates or "maps" how knowledge flows through an organization. Knowledge mapping helps an organization to appreciate how the loss of staff influences intellectual capital, to assist with the selection of teams, and to match technology to knowledge needs and processes.

– Denham Gray

Knowledge mapping is about making knowledge that is available within an organization transparent, and is about providing the insights into its quality.

– Willem-Olaf Huijsen, Samuel J. Driessen, Jan WM Jacobs

Knowledge mapping is a process by which organizations can identify and categorize knowledge assets within their organization – people, processes, content, and technology. It allows an organization to fully leverage the existing expert residency in the organization, as well as identify barriers and constraints to fulfilling strategic goals and objectives. It is constructing a roadmap to locate the information needed to make the best use of resourses, independent of source or form.

-W. Vestal, APQC, 2002

(American Productivity & Quality Center)

Knowledge Map describes what knowledge is used in a process, and how it flows around the process. It is the basis for determining knowledge commonality, or areas where similar knowledge is used across multiple process. Fundamentally, a process knowledge map cntains information about the organization? S knowledge. It describes who has what knowledge (tacit), where the knowledge resides (infrastructure), and how the knowledge is transferred or disseminated (social).

-IBM Global Services

How are the Knowledge Maps created?

Knowledge maps are created by transferring tacit and explicit knowledge into graphical formats that are easy to understand and interpret by the end users, who may be managers, experts, system developers, or anyone.

Basic steps in creating K-maps:

Basic steps – creating K-maps for specific task

  • The outcomes of the entire process, and their contributions to the key organizational activities
  • Logical sequences of all the activities needed to achieve the goal
  • Knowledge required for each activity {gives the knowledge gap}
  • Human resource required to undertake each activity {shows if recruitment is needed}

What do we map?

The followings are the objects we map:

  • Explicit knowledge
    • Subject
    • Purpose
    • Location
    • Format
    • Ownership
    • Users
    • Access right
  • Tacit knowledge
    • Expertise
    • Skill
    • Experience
    • Location
    • Accessibility
    • Contact address
    • Relationships / networks
  • Tacit organic process knowledge
    • The people with the internal processing knowledge
  • Explicit organizational process knowledge
    • Codified organizational process knowledge

What do the knowledge maps show?

Knowledge map shows the sources, flows, constitutions, and sinks of knowledge within an organization. It is a navigational aid to both explicit information and tacit knowledge, showing the importance and the relationships between knowledge stores and the dynamics. The following list will be more illustrative in this regard:

  • Available knowledge resources
  • Knowledge clusters and communities
  • Who uses what knowledge resources
  • The paths of knowledge exchange
  • The knowledge lifecycle
  • What we know we don? T know (knowledge gap)

Activity: 1

>> Can you create your personal knowledge map which shows the types and location of knowledge resources you use, the channels you use to access knowledge?

Where does knowledge tear?

Knowledge can be found in

  • Correspondents, internal documents
  • Library
  • Archives (past project documents, proposals)
  • Meetings
  • Best practices
  • Experience
  • Corporate memory

Activity: 2

>> What are the other places where you can find knowledge?

What are the other things to be mapped?

Benefits of K-mapping

In many organizations there is a lack of transparency of organization wide knowledge. Valuable knowledge is often not used because people do not know it exists, even if they know the knowledge exists, they may not know where. These issues lead to the knowledge mapping. Followings are some of the key reasons for doing the knowledge mapping:

  • To find key sources of knowledge creation
  • To encourage reuse and prevent reinvention
  • To find critical information quickly
  • To highlight islands of expertise
  • To provide an inventory and evaluation of intellectual and intangible assets
  • To improve decision making and problem solving by providing applicable information
  • To provide insights into corporate knowledge

The map also serves as the continuing evolving organizational memory, capturing and integrating the key knowledge of an organization. It enables employees learning through intuitive navigation and interpretation of the information in the map, and through the creation of new knowledge through the discovery of new relationships. Simply speaking, K-map gives employees not only -know what-, but also -know how-.

Key principles of Knowledge Mapping

  • Because of their power, scope, and impact, the creation of organizational-level knowledge map requires senior management support as well as careful planning
  • Share your knowledge about identifying, finding, and tracking knowledge in all forms
  • Recognize and locate knowledge in a wide variety of forms: tacit, explicit, formal, informal, codified, personalized, internal, external, and permanent
  • Knowledge is found in processes, relationships, policies, people, documents, conversations, links and context, and even with partners
  • It should be up-to-date and accurate

K-mapping – key questions

Knowledge map provides an assessment of existing and required knowledge and information in the following categories:

  • What knowledge is needed for work?
  • Who needs what?
  • Who has it?
  • Where does it benefit?
  • Is the knowledge tacit or explicit?
  • What issues does it address?
  • How to make sure that the K-mapping will be used in an organization?

Note:

  • K-maps should be easily accessible to all in the organization
  • It should be easy to understand, update and evolve
  • It should be regularly updated
  • It should be an ongoing process since knowledge landscapes are continuously shifting and evolving

Offline Readings:

  • K-mapping tools
  • K-mapping tool selection
  • Creating knowledge maps by exploiting dependent relationships
  • Creating knowledge structure map?
  • White pages
  • KM jargon and glossary

Online Resource: http: //www..voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki? KnowledgeMapping

K-mapping Tools:

  • MindMapping
  • Inspiration
  • IHMC (cmap.ihmc.us/) (need to have.NET Framework and JavaRunTime installed in your computer)

(Learn more about KM tool selection at http://www.voght.com/cgi-bin/pywiki?KmToolSelection )
________________________________________

Categorised K-mapping

Social Network Mapping:

This shows networks of knowledge and patterns of interaction among members, groups, organizations, and other social entities who knows who, who goes to what for help and advice, where the information enters and leaves the groups or organization, which forums and communities of practice Are operational and generating new knowledge.

Competency Mapping:

With this kind of mapping, one can create a competency profile with skill, positions, and even career path of an individual. And, this can also be converted into the? Organizational yellow pages? Which enables employees to find needed expertise in people within the organization.

Process-based Knowledge Mapping:

This shows knowledge and sources of knowledge for internal as well as external organizational processes and procedures. This includes tacit knowledge (knowledge in people such as know-how, and experience) and explicit knowledge (codified knowledge such as that in document).

Conceptual Knowledge Mapping:

Also sometimes called -taxonomy-, it is a method of hierarchically organizing and classifying content. This involves in labeling pieces of knowledge and relationships between them. A concept can be defined as any unit of thought, any idea that forms in our mind [Gertner, 1978]. Often, nouns are used to refer to concepts [Roche, 2002]. Relations form a special class of concepts [Sowa, 1984]: they describe connections between other concepts. One of the most important relationships between concepts is the hierarchical relation (subsumption), in which one concept (superconcept) is more general than another concept (subconcept) like Natural Resource Management and Watershed Management. This mapping should be able to relate similar kind of projects and workshops conducting / connected by two different departments, making them more integrated.

Knowledge is power, broadly accessible, understandable, and shared knowledge is even more powerful!

Profitable Tips For All Restaurant Owners

What were the last three things you did to increase your restaurant profitability? Below profit protection is constantly on your mind, you will get hurt. Eroding margins, fickle markets, escalating food prices, rising utility rates, outrageous credit card fees, and a host of other factors eat into your margins daily, thereby reducing your ability to pay the bills, let alone yourself.

We recently consulted with a client that has not paid himself for 17 months. He called us out of sheer desperation saying, "I just can not go on working for free." The sorry fact is that there are many restaurateurs working hard for very little income, and we think it should stop.

In my profession as CEO of the leading restaurant consulting firm in the US, people rarely call me when things are going well. The kinds of calls that I receive daily are along the lines of, "Why can not I make any money" or "My food cost is through the roof" and this is the most painful one, "I can not afford to Stay open anymore, what can I do? "

Why do not you invest a few minutes into yourself right now and read over the tips below. In fact, print out a copy and share it with your friends that run an operation as well. Yes, some tips may seem obvious, but are you using every tool at your disposal to solidify and enhance your profits? Your restaurant owes you for risking your neck to get it open, so I'd like to suggest that you start holding it accounting.

1. Do not serve water automatically. Sounds simple, but water service does not increase your profits or sales. Put systems into place where you serve alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, sodas, milk – anything but free water. Serve it upon request only.

2. Set up the dining experience on the first visit to the table. Tactfully done by the server, profitable items should be promoted, desserts can be suggested, and guests will appreciate a quick, "Run down" of the dining experience. Plus, server competency will be rewarded for taking responsibility for the positive experience that they will have. My wife's favorite server line is, "Want to split a dessert with coffee?" Not only have we just purchased a dessert that may have been too much for one of us, we've also bought 2 coffees. These additional sales make a big difference, and they're easy to execute. Having a hard time selling desserts? Encourage your servers to use this statement and see what happens.

3. Concentrate on improving product delivery systems to eliminate waste. For example, if your servers are throwing away iced tea lemons at the end of each shift, instead of at the end of the day, re-evaluate this system. By valuing everything, you may be surprised what gets thrown away. This includes portion control items such as creamers, crackers, butters, jelly and silverware as well.

4. Understand that guests dine on a budget, and be sensitive to it. Servers that sell beyond the dining budget will experience reduced tip income, and the restaurant will experience reduced visits. Ensuring that your guests come back repeatedly is much more important than increasing their check average for just one visit.

5. Selling a more expensive item does not always equate to increased profitability. Make sure that your servers understand which items are most profitable for the restaurant, and promote those. It makes no sense to promote items that may have minimal profit contribution. Tell your servers what items you want them to sell.

6. Use the best menu. Ensure that your menu is costed out properly; Current with market conditions, and designed to insure that the most profitable items are the ones being promoted. It makes sense to enlist a consultant to do this for you, as the return on investment will be immediate and lasting. This is your # 1 selling tool.

7. Work with your food vendors to insure that you are buying the right items for the menu specifications. Are you overbuying on an item that does not require top grade quality? An example would be the purchase of a # 1 quality baking potato, when a # 2 quality would suffice.

8. Buy key items in bulk. On the topic of food vendors, make certain that you are promoting menu items that you are able to bulk buy on a negotiated cost effective basis – and can sell at a premium. This simple step will quickly aid in bringing meaningful dollars to the bottom line.

9. Offer your guests a complete dining experience. This includes the sale of beverages, appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, side items (such as a vegetable) and add-on items (such as sour cream or cheese). Make sure that you are not inadvertently missing out on the sale of key parts of the meal. Table tents, menu inserts, promotional signage, sales tracking, and staff pre-shift meetings are all ways that you can ensure that all meal parts are promoted and sold effectively.

10. Bundling meal parts together will increase the quality of your guests dining experience and maximize their dollars spend. Bundling may consist of an appetizer / salad / entrée combo or salad / entrée / dessert combo. Diners will not be surprised by the dollar value, and they can knowingly order within their budget.

11. Do not forget the grapes. Effective promotion of your wine offerings should be systematic and routine. Guests should be fully aware of the pricing and offers, both by the glass and by bottle. Wine service is a skill that every server should have.

12. Get an Operations Analysis. As operators, we frequently get caught up in the heat of the battle, and can not take the time to analyze our operation critically. Engaging a restaurant consultant to look for ways to improve service, enhance income, and reduce waste should result in immediate financial improvement. Do not skimp on this, thinking that you have your bases covered, because the food service industry changes daily. In cold hard terms, your restaurant should be a money making machine to benefit the owner (s). If it's not generating the kind of money you think it should, you must get the machine repaired!

13. Do not overlook slow day parts. If it's quiet in the afternoon, are there promotions that may make sense for you to utilize to generate more revenues during this down time? Do not tolerate your money machine sitting open, but not generating revenues. Put it to work.

14. Children's menus. Most of them are boring, and priced to reflect that. Is it reasonable to think that parents would pay a bit more for more interesting and nutritious meals? This is a good opportunity to re-evaluate your children's menu and pricing. It's dangerous to neglect this important item, as parents usually examine this menu closely.

15. Are you maximizing food sales in your bar / lounge areas? For many, it's more enjoyable to eat in a bar than drink in a restaurant. It makes logical sense to have menus, silverware, condiments and promoted specials available for your drinking guests. If they do not eat on the first visit, you will have planned the seed for them to consider eating in your establishment next time.

Simply remember that it's not what you make, it's what you keep that matters. Hopefully some of these tips will be useful. Still can not seem to make the numbers come out the way you want? It may make sense to enlist the services of an advisor to walk you through the complexities of making money in the restaurant business.

The Business Of Home Video

The technology of home video has it's roots in the mid 1970's with the advent of Sony's u-Matic video cassette system. What? Never hear of that? It's because it never found it's market as a home medium because it was too cumbersome and expensive. It went on to become the standard for industrial videos.

In the early 1980's, Beta and VHS were introduced as home video formats, with VHS taking a rapid lead. Even then, it appears mostly to time shifting TV shows, since the separate cameras and recorders with interconnecting wires and short battery life made portable video a chore.

By the mid eighties, camcorders had come to market, combining the camera and recorder in one compact unit (for it's day). Still rather large for most people to cart on vacation, entrepreneurs, myself included, quickly discovered a commercial use for the devices – filming weddings and corporate events.

In 1985 I opened my first video production business in Connecticut and within two years I quit my full time job in the computer engineering business and went full time into video. Back then, if you showed up on time, could hold the camera steady and keep it in focus, you could make a steady income in the video business. Camcorders were still rather expensive, and properly editing videos required equipment and talent beyond the realm of the average person.

By 1990, cameras became smaller, easier to use, and less expensive. Computer based non-linear editing was still the realm of the broadcast world, but more affordable tape based editing systems allowed event videographers to hone their finished products. No longer could simple basic skills keep you in business, you had compete with new video businesses in your market and polish your skills as an editor. Still, as the analog tape-to-tape duplicating process used for editing clipped away the undesirable footage, it caused an unavoidable loss of image clarity.

Digital video camcorders hit the consumer market in 1995. This allowed much clearer looking videos, and editing digital tape to tape avoided the loss of image quality associated with analog video editing. VHS was still the mainstay for the finished product, but now that product had the sharpness of a first generation VHS tape, and not a ragged edged copy as in the past. Computer based editing was still expensive, but was beginning to make it's way to the mainstream event video producers.

By the year 2000, cheaper, faster and less expensive computers had hard drives large enough to store feature length videos at reasonable cost. Non linear editing became the choice of nearly every video business. Clients were expecting far more from their finished product, and DVD was becoming the preferred medium for delivery of the final video. Even though videos were not yet high definition, the DVD made video look much better than VHS. More and more new event video companies were popping up as the prices of camcorders and computers continued to fall while their quality and ease of use went up. 2000 was a pinnacle year for wedding videos, as brides lined up in droves to have their weddings at the turn of the century.

By 2005, the camcorder had become so small, so easy to use, and high definition video produced such a great result it seemed that event video people were on every street corner. Anyone with two thousand dollars could start a video business and produce quality results, at least from the technical perspective. The real competition was beginning to come not only from other video businesses, but from former clients as well. Instead of continuing to pay a professional one to two thousand dollars to record their wedding video, some clients were buying their own camcorders for five hundred dollars and letting a friend or relative shoot the video.

Small, pocket sized high definition camcorders, high definition video in camera phones and free editing software on cheap, off-the-shelf PCs have diminished the client's perceived value of the professional video by 2012. The expectation of clients is that that video professional must Be able to replicate what the client sees in the movie theater or on television. Trouble is, studios still spend hundreds of thousands or more on lighting, sound and talent. Now matter how good home equipment is, or how polished the skills of a professional event videographer, a client's stingy three hundred dollar budget is not going to buy the results that clients see on TV. Not willing to pay thousands, many clients are satisfied with You-Tube style video clips taken with the camera phones of their friends – provided it's free. And a professional can not compete with free and stay in business.

Today, as a result of the amazing small, inexpensive and high quality camcorders and free editing software, the video business is far more challenging for the event professional. There is still something a professional can offer that all your friend's camera phones can never match. That is a video that truly tells your story or deliveries your corporate message as it should be, with the look and finish close to that of an independent film. In the end, it is the knowledge and experience that are worth the cost. You can not buy that with an iPhone in the hands of a close friend.

Digital Signage – Powerful and Flexible Ways to Market Your Business in Tough Times

You gain new clients, increase average spend, save on print costs, introduce an elevated level of energy and vitality, and increase your profits. You have to have a good reason not to use it. Whether you're a hotel, Boutique, Pharmacy, Leisure Center, Car Dealership, Restaurant, or Take-Away, providing clients with eye-catching messages and information is vital.

Time to join your fellow SMEs who are tapping into the power of digital signage to attract attention, boost sales and avoid the costs associated with static, non-digital methods for presenting menus and promotions. Discover as many others have, the real benefits, savings and increased sales that exist within those pixels.

Impulse buying behavior

Where you have a market dependent on impulse ie Boutiques, Restaurants and Take-a-ways to name a few, you've got it made. Impulse buying disruptions the normal decision-making models in consumers' brains. The logical sequence of the consumers' actions is replaced with an irrational moment of self-gratification. Impulse items appeal to the emotional side of consumers. Some items bought on impulse are not considered functional or necessary in the consumers' lives.

Good signage solutions are designed to trigger these impulses, by exposing promotional messages at the right place and at the right time – you simply nudge consumers' to spot that something that stirs a particular passion in them – which in turn leads them straight to your tills .

Raise your company's profile

Many SMEs also realize that not only do they generate a great Return on Investment (ROI). Sure, we know they're eye-catching and that they can easily tempt passer-by's with mouth-watering images or up-sell on impulse using carefully crafted messages using the power of motion and change.

But now those screens are also saving money in creating a modernizing effect; At a lower cost than undertaking major leasehold improvements ie an "eye-catching" 40 "digital screen integrated into the design of your shop front, on display to anyone walking past." Digital Signage can introduce an elevated Level of energy and vitality to any shop front, adding a fresh look to your business promises. A more "high-end" appearance, this is easily achievable by any small business with a vision and desire to stand out from its competitors.

Not only does this provide SMEs with a prime promotional space on any busy high street, it also raises their profile. As digital signage becomes more established as a mainstream marketing technique it becomes more accessible to smaller businesses. The days of only seeing digital signage in Piccadilly Circus are over; The age of digital marketing is upon us.

Opportunity to profit from advertising time

These systems can also be used as a tool to generate advertising revenue by promoting other businesses and services; By selling advertising time on your digital display to other local businesses.

Revenue generation by advertising local non-conflicting businesses; A big brand like Budweiser may not get excited about advertising on your one – two screens inside your shop, but the local hairdressers or plumbers around the corner might. And with the local community Newspapers circulation falling – similar local retailers would be wise to follow.

Digital Signage can be an active element in anyone's marketing, unlike those never-changing listings within local directories and printed banners / signs – which when you add all these up – can cost the average retailer a fortune over time, and with a hard to measure ROI.

In tough times, you have to change the way you do business, by stopping the drip of less viable products that provide limited value to you. Digital Signage delivers real and measurable benefits to SMEs – proven business benefits.

Digital Signage = Smart Expenditure

The rising use of digital signage by small and medium-sized companies can be attributed to many factors, falling equipment costs – a 50% drop in the price of LCD displays over the last five years has previously made expensive solutions a realistic proposition for SMEs – Increased awareness and a realization of the competitive advantage that can be gained are all positive drivers. Smart expenditure, on this type of technology provides SMEs with a real affordable advantage in tough times.

The following excerpt from an article "Small businesses should make their technology pay" from SMEWeb.com (the online resource for SMEs in the UK) acknowledges this competitive advantage:

"Digital signage is another area which has seen leaps of progress over the past few years. And far from being a luxury, these screens can save thoughtful costs and so offer fast ROI – particularly for customer-facing businesses. Increase market share is to ensure your customers have the information they need about your company and products at the point of purchase.

Nowadays digital signage is far more than an elaborate poster; Used correctly it can provide real-time data; Stimulate demand by offering further information surrounding and complementary to products such as recipes or alternatives. Already they are being used extensively in restaurants and hotels – for example, to promote special dishes and update menus without the printing costs and allied transport overheads.

Small businesses need to be more responsive and quick off the mark than their larger counterparts – there's no better way to do this than using a digital sign which can be updated, either from a central location or locally, to reflect changing situations.

These are just two examples of the way that making smart investments in technology can make a real difference to the effectiveness of a business today. The challenge, particularly for SMEs, is to know what is available and how to implement them for the best return.

The key is to find a solutions provider that can give reliable advice and has a good relationship with a vendor so they can give you the inside track on the development of the product in future.

Hopefully we are through the tunnel of recession. However, it's worth coming up for air and taking a look at what there is to help smaller businesses. Far from being mere window dressing, the new electronics equipment just emerging onto the market can actually make a difference. "Time to open your eyes to the opportunities that digital signage has to offer.

Innovative Advertising Displays

You need a solution that addresses the fast growing need for digital signage displays in areas within the public eye, providing an effective form of advertising, information, communication or entertainment – you really need to be exploiting this, now.

Your best course of action would be to select one with a built-in media player and scheduling software; Allowing for simple plug and play methods for updating content, making them extremely user-friendly. Unlike many of your fellow SMEs, you will not be exploited into having to pay out for annual software licenses.

Using our Plug and Play displays, you do not need a computer or DVD support as the display has a memory card reader built-in. Simply insert an SD / CF Memory Card and power on. The screen automatically starts playing the images, video and music that are loaded onto the card.

You can easily set the position order and interval time (Breakfast, Lunch Hour Specials and Evening Dining) of each slide giving you complete control over every aspect of your digital signage – take a glimpse as to how easy our software is at Scheduling your playlists. The screen has a memory card locker to protect the memory card from public access. A wall mount also comes with the screen, so you can fix the screen on the wall without extra cost. Professional installation can be provided which also includes a walk-through of the product and its features.

Commercial grade displays are different from that of a TV purchased from your local electronic shop – these displays are more robust and rated to show content for more total hours, fit for purpose. All displays are designed for 24/7 use and have special LCD panels so that the color does not fade over time, as it would with other LCD panels found in TVs and PC monitors.

Their sleek, elegant tempered glass styling, ability to be in constant use (more energy-efficient) and wide viewing angle means that they offer many advantages over using home TVs for commercial display. As well as these benefits the Digital Advertising displays are also brighter than home TVs and have no buttons or controls on show. By placing a TV in a business environment, you typically lose or limit its warranty.

Additionally they can be easily networked or wirelessly connected to a PC for more frequent updates and even up to the minute RSS feeds.

Digital signage can be one of the most effective shopper marketing technologies in use in retail today; It can deliver the right message to the right place, at the right time, and in the right format; It has the power to impact sales, build brands and improve the customers' experience.

Cost of content and who controls it

There are companies that are claiming to be creators of Digital Signage, where the opposite being, there just jumping into the industry simply because it's hot. And with the analysts promising 33 percent or higher growth this year; This creates plenty of scope for others to follow.

One of their more noticeable mistakes, being content creation, an issue for these resellers, which in turn becomes an issue for their clients – these companies are simply not adept to creating interesting visual content – let alone the need and importance of refreshing content.

These companies often try to sell you expensive digital campaigns with their products – it should be noted that most of these content deals are just simple PowerPoint presentations that can be made by anyone with little experience. Alternately, most will provide you with contact numbers to very expensive Design Agencies that they have formed partnerships with – all this can be a real put-off for SMEs.

As an SME, you will want to cut costs when it comes to Digital Signage Content, so using in-house resources instead of giving the business to an outside supplier is one sure way of cutting costs. Most of us, have PowerPoint installed on our computers, and with powerful editing features such as adding videos, pictures and animations, you would be crazy not to use it for creating your own Digital Signage Content.

Integrating existing content such as logos, images, animations and video will be less time-consuming and inexpensive – this also ensures compliance with your existing image, listed by your company. Many SMEs may have internal / external marketing, printing and web design departments – these are great places to look for existing assets. Inevitable though, new content will obviously be required at some point in time.

Many providers and brands that may be part of your on-going promotions can also provide these assets. Existing logos and graphics can be retouched and animated, to provide a more dynamic and contemporary look. There is no reason why an SME can not produce and deliver a broadcast-quality experience to their clients, using in-house resources.

Small businesses in particular need to control the cost of content, to make their investment in a Digital Signage System, worthwhile. Therefore, when considering your Digital Signage Partner, it is best to choose a provider that will consider your size, budget and needs – one that specializes in designing low-cost media and content for SMEs.

A knowledgeable partner that has the time and desire to provide you with that one-to-one attention, dedicated to the highest level of customer satisfaction and service – walking you through every step of the specification and implementation process; Focusing on three things: improving sales, reducing costs and improving customer relations. A Digital Signage Partner with, a good proposal at good cost.