The High Cost of Not Finding Information

More and more we find that people don’t understand how much money it costs when you simply cannot find the information you need. There are many causes for this malfunction — some procedural, some educational, and some technical. The quantity of time spent in ineffective searching for vital information is enormous, leading to overwhelming costs to builders. These information disasters are a growing threat, and one that few businesses can ignore.

Businessman with binoculars.

In today’s world there are all kinds of information disasters. All businesses deal with outdated, incorrect, and lost information on a daily basis. There are several reasons for this dilemma. First, information is scattered in multiple repositories and databases all over most organizations. No one knows what exists or where it is, and there is no single unified access point or process to find it.

Second, with the advent of the World Wide Web, every professional worker has become an information searcher. Without information training and skills, most people don’t know where to look, how to ask for what they are seeking or when it is OK to stop looking. One answer looks very much like another unless the searcher understands what constitutes valid information.

Third, most employees are inundated with too much information, and they are limited by the tools they have to help them. Everyone seems to be working longer hours and getting less and less done. We are bombarded by e-mail, copies of presentations, alerts of new interesting articles, meetings and all of the other information trappings that go with being a knowledge worker. We spend hours trying to track down something that we found only yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared. We try to reach colleagues who have missing pieces of the puzzle, and they and their computers with the notes from that meeting in January have disappeared for vacation or, worse, left the company altogether. In short, we spend a lot of time spinning our wheels looking for things and not finding them.

We know that roughly 50% of most Web searches are abandoned. That translates into 50% fewer online sales, 50% more frustrated customers trying to solve a problem or get information, and 50% more phone calls that must be handled. Some studies suggest that 90% of the time that knowledge workers spend in creating new reports or other products is spent in recreating information that already exists. According to an IDC study “The cost of intellectual rework, substandard performance and inability to find knowledge resources was $5,000 per worker per year.”1

How do we know when a project has taken twice as long as it should have for lack of access to information? The fact is that knowledge workers rarely turn out measurable products, and each project is slightly different from the one before. If they can’t find the information on which to base their output, they may have to submit poor quality work to meet a deadline.

Top companies overwhelmingly agree that having organized accessible information leads to highly improved decision making, decreased labor expense, and increased efficiency. According to another IDC survey “76% of company executives considered information to be mission critical and their company’s most important asset. Yet, 60% felt that time constraints and lack of understanding of how to find information were preventing their employees from finding the information they needed.” 1

Several studies have proven that new approaches to this dilemma significantly increase ROI for improved access to information. ROI figures vary from 38% to over 600%. It is very clear that the cost of not locating information in your business is substantial. Unfortunately for the company these costs are hidden, thus rarely apparent to your bottom line.

Information disasters are caused not by lack of information, but rather by not connecting the right information to the right people at the right time. People use information within the context of what they are doing. They need to have access to the right information, but only when they need it. And they need to be assured that the access is guaranteed, easy, fast and reliable.

Effective document management is much more than simply storing key documents. It’s about finding what you need when you need it. And for builders who must keep track of thousands of documents, a secure online archive is a powerful way to quickly and easily address the risks associated with right to repair laws, CSI codes, CDL lawsuits and warranty claims. dwellingLIVE’s proven information strategies deliver organized accessible information that improves decision making, decreases labor expenses, and increases operational efficiency for your company.