While it’s common for a community forum to be created to connect those with a shared interest or passion, more and more companies are using communities as a business tool to connect with suppliers or their internal distributed teams. Here's more on how they are using them:
External Communities with Partners or Suppliers
One way to leverage the power of community is by creating a partner or supplier community. The main purpose of these communities is to create a space where various supplier stakeholders can have an opportunity to directly communicate with the company and share ideas in a collaborative space. It can be also be very helpful in identifying pain points or uncovering new processes. Most community software should include a permissions system, so you can cordon off sections to specific member groups.
Internal Communities for Teams
In terms of internal communities, the most common use we see is for global teams that require a better way to collaborate. Email is a powerful tool, but fails when it moves to a larger group. It’s hard to keep feedback chronological, or even vote on ideas in a clear and simple way.
Here are a couple of ways that a community can be effective for use by your internal team:
- Creates a shared knowledge-base for your team.
- Ability to search the history of a team’s collective knowledge.
- Allows for voting/reactions to assist in curating the best ideas.
- Provides central location for file uploads, where your team can access and discuss them.
- Uses permission control to restrict access to the appropriate internal teams.
Modern community forum software is more than a place for enthusiasts or customer support. If you're currently relying on email as your sole way to communicate with your suppliers or team, you should explore some other options. Not only can a community forum help facilitate collaboration, it can save you money by ensuring your company knowledge is recorded, regardless of personnel changes.