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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 27, 2011
Business & Economy
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Knowledge Management in a Biotech Company
May 27, 2011   
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Bartosz BoŠko, chairman of Toorank Polska SA, the Polish subsidiary of a Dutch producer of premium spirits, talks to Bo┐enna Osucha.

What does knowledge management look like at Toorank?
Working together with a network of institutions and enterprises, we organize, identify, analyze, use and protect resources which are necessary for our organization to develop. We work with universities, trade organizations and research institutions while trying to strengthen our ties with various enterprises. Most of the companies we work with are foreign institutions and together we pursue new and innovative solutions in terms of products, marketing and the organizational structure. Working with the University of Agriculture in Cracow and the Medical University of Silesia, we obtain information about various crops and the use of plants in alcohol production. Polish schools of economics are a source of talented people to assist us with our commercial projects. Trade organizations provide us with the know-how on how selected components can be applied in production. Partners abroad present us with the opportunity to learn from their experience and obtain specialist knowledge on marketing for products from Brazil, Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands and Germany. Our current connections and joint projects have all the features of a typical cluster with one main company and businesses and institutions related to it.

What methods do you use to measure the results?
The methods can be divided into financial and non-financial ones. The latter include portfolio methods, a system called Dominant Areas of Thinking (DOM) and an analysis of key success factors. At the same time, we watch the financial indicators, especially those which concern product turnover and the payback period, which allows us to examine each project on an individual basis.

Has the company been restructured to enhance knowledge management?
Our company adapts its structure to changing competition on the market. For several years, we have had a hybrid structure that combines a hierarchical organization system with a network. The retail and marketing sections are structured as networks, while our production, accounting and administration departments are organized hierarchically.

What are the results of these efforts?
In the first four months of this year, the company saw its year-on-year revenue go up 10 percent. April was a special month for us compared with other companies in the sector, as our sales increased 52 percent in year-on-year terms.
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