How easy is it to access your company documentation? 


Does your team spend hours sifting through piles of information instead of executing their tasks?


Then, your knowledge and documentation management process might be flawed. 


Despite the development of multiple knowledge and documentation management systems, a big chunk of organizations are still grappling with inefficiencies related to knowledge silos. This means that valuable expertise remains trapped within individual teams or departments - which can easily affect productivity - and, most importantly, team collaboration. 


According to an Adobe Acrobat survey, 47% of employees say that their companies have a digital organization system that’s hard to navigate




This disorganization is caused by several factors, including poor naming systems, inconsistent organizational protocols, and duplicated documents. 




This, however, shouldn’t be the case if you have proper knowledge and document management systems in place. Leveraging these tools eliminates information chaos among your team members and saves your business from costly mistakes. 


With this in mind, should you invest in knowledge management software or a document management system? Although the two may seem alike, they address different aspects of documentation. 


In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between knowledge management and document management and how integrating both can transform how your organization handles information. 

What is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge management (KM) is the strategic process of identifying, creating, collecting, and sharing an organization’s key assets. It goes beyond simply storing information; it's about harnessing the power of your workforce's expertise, company insights, and best practices to boost innovation and decision-making. Knowledge management aims to develop a culture of continuous learning and make the information available to everyone who needs it. 


For businesses, this means gathering and sharing resources such as frequently asked questions (FAQs), training documents, video tutorials, and any other information in a centralized location.  


However, to manage organizational knowledge, you need to know that different types of knowledge determine how companies manage and utilize their information. Here’s a closer look:


  • Tacit knowledge: Think of that veteran customer service team member known for their skill in signing up new, long-term customers. Their knowledge is difficult to articulate and is deeply rooted in intuition, personal experiences, and insights. This is a good example of tacit knowledge
  • Explicit knowledge: This is the tangible and formal knowledge that can easily be documented, articulated, and shared within the company. Examples of explicit knowledge are data reports, databases, manuals, whitepapers, SOPs, and written procedures. 
  • Implicit knowledge: Some team members have practical knowledge, combining tacit and explicit knowledge. This means they have acquired knowledge through practice and following existing company procedures and processes.  

Why is Knowledge Management Important?

Are you planning to introduce or change your knowledge management process? Your business could benefit greatly. Here’s how:

Better Team Collaboration

It’s now common for teams to work in different geographical locations. In fact, data by Statista shows that approximately 28% of employees were working remotely by 2023, a 15% increase from 2020. 


If this is your business model, you really need a proper knowledge management system. 


KM will break down information silos and facilitate knowledge sharing among all your team members. When employees can easily share their expertise, lessons learned, and innovative ideas, it boosts teamwork and overall project outcomes. 


Additionally, in a collaborative environment, there’s a sense of community and collective ownership of organizational knowledge.

Preserves Organizational Memory

Picture this: your longest-serving employee in the production team just retired. This employee had decades of experience in quality control. But now, the rest of the team is struggling to maintain quality, resulting in multiple product returns. 


This could easily happen if your team doesn’t have a structured approach to passing tribal knowledge. However, with proper knowledge management, you can preserve and capture these valuable insights and critical information. This reduces the risk of knowledge loss and ensures continuity in operations - especially when hiring new team members. 


You can build a sustainable knowledge base that evolves with changing workforce demographics. 

Better Employee Retention

Once you hire new employees, you hope that they will stay with the company long-term.  


Effective knowledge management goes a long way in keeping your employees happy and satisfied. You can provide new hires with comprehensive onboarding and training, accelerating their integration into the organization. 


This is because a KM:


  • Documents best practices, procedures, and institutional knowledge.
  • Captures and transfers crucial company information from departing employees to successors.
  • Reduces disruptions in operations and maintains employee confidence during transitions.

Reduces Duplicated Processes

KM eliminates the need for manual and duplicated efforts. Your employees won’t have to spend hours retrieving data because all the information is readily available in a centralized repository. 


Every employee, regardless of department, can access any information needed to execute their tasks without consulting managers or supervisors.  


Standardized workflows can also be documented within KM systems, which promotes consistency and reduces errors in routine tasks. Furthermore, these KM systems are usually automated, which makes it easier for employees to complete their tasks and focus on more strategic initiatives.

Improves Customer Service and Satisfaction

Every company wants its customers to be satisfied. This is why organizations invest in customer support teams.


To boost these teams, it’s essential to have a company KM platform that holds key information— be it tutorials, how-to guides, or other materials that provide more details about a product or service. Therefore, customers can consult the knowledge base and the self-service tools before making the call.


What’s more, your customer service representatives can access up-to-date product information, troubleshooting guides, and customer histories to resolve inquiries more efficiently.

What is Document Management?

Document management is the systematic process of storing, organizing, managing, and tracking electronic documents and files. It includes contracts, invoices, emails, reports, images, and essential company assets.


Think of document management as the foundation of a centralized repository. It’s the best place to start if you want to manage all your records.


While it appears similar to knowledge management, it’s simply a digital library that’s a part of KM. 


Companies can use document management to: 


  • Ensure document integrity and accessibility through version controls and encryption
  • Streamline document workflows by automating approval processes and notifications
  • Maintain regulatory compliance by keeping documentation that adheres to regulatory requirements such as ISO certification or FDA compliance

Why is Document Management Important?

Your business can benefit from document management in different ways. Let’s take a look at the key advantages:

Improves Business Efficiency

Have you ever spent hours searching for a critical document, only to discover it's outdated or buried in someone else's email? This is what document management helps you avoid.


Once you digitize and automate your documentation, you don’t have to spend time manually looking for files and folders in your cabinets. Most documentation management tools today have a search function that makes it easy to locate your document in case you need to make any changes or append a signature.


Better organization equates to a more efficient team.

Enhances Security and Compliance

According to data by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, the volume of public cybersecurity complaints hit 880,418 in 2023, a 10% increase from 2022. These losses were worth $12.5 billion.




This is the risk that organizations face today, especially when handling sensitive or confidential information. But with proper document management, you can utilize security features such as encryption to protect your documents from unauthorized access and breaches. 


In addition, when your documents are safe, you mitigate the legal and compliance risks commonly associated with such attacks. 

Minimizes Business Interruptions

Locking your company documentation in cabinets or storing them on USB drives exposes them to risk in case of a disaster. 


Cloud storage on document management tools safeguards your information against physical damage or loss due to events such as fires, floods, or other natural disasters. They also offer backup and recovery solutions to ensure critical documents are easily retrievable.


These capabilities greatly benefit your organization since they minimize downtime during unexpected disruptions.

Streamlines Company Workflows 

Say goodbye to endless email threads and searches for the "latest" document version. Document management centralizes your document storage so that any department or team member can access it.


Therefore, you can collaborate and co-edit a document or even share real-time feedback with your colleagues and clients. Such systems allow teams to work on projects more seamlessly and faster.

What is the Difference Between Knowledge Management and Document Management?

Your business needs a work environment where information flows freely, and operations run smoothly. For this reason, it’s important to understand the key differences between knowledge and document management. 


Here’s how these two distinct yet complementary systems differ:

Scope and Focus

For one, the primary focus of KM is to harness the collective expertise and knowledge within your organization. KM systems facilitate the capture, sharing, and application of knowledge to improve decision-making and enhance learning. 


On the other hand, document management is more concerned with ensuring that the company’s documents are stored in an organized manner. This way, they can be easily retrieved and are protected against loss or unauthorized access. Therefore, a document management system will help you maintain document integrity. 

Data Formats

Ideally, all your company documentation should be easily accessible. With document management, you can mostly store and organize structured data that’s already categorized in predefined formats. 


document management system (DMS) will manage easily retrievable documents such as contracts, employee reports, and invoices. These structured documents are easily managed using features like access permissions and indexing.


But with KM, you can handle both structured and unstructured data. Unstructured data is more complex, so it needs advanced capabilities. A knowledge management tool is equipped to create, share, and utilize any type of knowledge drawn from your emails, tacit knowledge, external and meeting notes, and day-to-day interactions. 


For instance, if you collect insights from customer interactions or have action items from your department meetings, you can consolidate all this information into an accessible process or procedure using a knowledge management system.   

Organizational Impact

As with every operation in your business, you need to determine whether your organizational system aligns with your goals.


KM is more comprehensive since it captures the organization's collective knowledge and collates it into processes that every team member can utilize. It also enables the free flow of ideas across the organization. Your employees can effectively collaborate to develop new ideas that contribute to innovation. 


Alternatively, document management has a greater impact on operational efficiency and regulatory compliance. This process streamlines every document-related process, reducing time spent searching and managing information. 


You can scan documents, index, archive, and store them electronically to keep your company information safe. Your organization has a better chance of complying with legal and regulatory requirements when the documents are accurate and updated accordingly.

Choosing The Right Solution For Your Knowledge and Document Management Needs

To effectively manage your knowledge and documents, you need to have the right tools. Think about your current organizational system and ask yourself: 


  • Does it align with the overall company goals?
  • Is the information captured in the right formats?

Now that you know the differences and benefits you get from knowledge and document management, you can select the best solution. 


In short, your organization needs a comprehensive solution that offers features such as user permissions, version controls, powerful search functionality, collaborative editing, and a user-friendly interface.


One tool meets these needs.


Helpjuice is the ultimate solution whether you want to manage your knowledge or company documents. As a versatile software, it offers a central repository to securely manage your information. 


Integration is one of our standout features. We’ll create a unified system that works well with your existing business systems - so you don’t have to use multiple tools. Your employees and customers can locate information much faster.


This is quite evident from clients who have already used Helpjuice. A good example is Neil Wilks, the Head of Technology at Auger.


The company had scattered files with no centralized repository to store all its information. This challenge made it hard for the team to locate the vital documents and processes. 


At the same time, Auger’s knowledge base was also growing immensely, so they needed a system. Integrating Helpjuice has been a game-changer.  Neil says, “The time taken to locate information on the knowledge base is 500% quicker for the user than it was previously."


Transform your organization's knowledge and document management process with Helpjuice. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today and elevate your processes.