Technology has penetrated most professions. Management is no exception. Any given company deals with customers, employees, and suppliers on a daily basis. As the company grows, managing all this human resource can be a hassle. Thankfully, we are tech-enabled civilization and by nature, we look for answers in technology.
That technology, in this context, is portals.
What is a web portal?
A web portal is a web-based solution that provides a single point of interaction to various people who are involved with a business. By an extension of the definition, one can say that a portal enables the sharing of relevant information with the relevant people. This improves the collaboration and communication between the concerned parties.
The beauty of a well-developed web portal is that it integrates seamlessly with your website. This gives it the same look and feel and uniform overall experience. It helps keep things transparent and gives you better control over your operations.
Additionally, you can configure it for remote access. Meaning that people can access it on the go. This significantly reduces the response time.
Why you need a web portal
There are many different reasons for which you may want web portal development. However, it is only after using one that you realize how many different pain areas it can solve. Some of these are common. Such as:
Operating from different locations (national and/or international)
Having field officers or home-based workers
Providing data-access to outside parties
Transparency of information
Some of these are industry specific. Custom portal development will benefit you in either case but becomes kind of mandatory in this case.
Types of web portals
Customer Portals or client portals are perhaps the most common example of portals that you can find. It is basically a way of sharing access to certain modules of your CRM to the customer so that he is able to find relevant information and solve his query with minimum intervention by the company. Using it, a customer can also raise tickets, which your customer service department can resolve promptly.
A partner is any third party that is part of your everyday operations such as distributors, resellers, or service providers. They may require access to certain modules such as pricing and sales information to operate. However, you may not want to disclose the details that are not relevant to their work. In that case, you may opt for a partner portal.
You can use an affiliate portal when dealing with affiliates. This may involve sharing custom links and invoices with them individually and on a daily basis. This might be causing a decrease in the productivity of your team. An affiliate portal helps you maintain confidentiality while sharing the necessary documentation with your affiliates.
A vendor (or supplier) portal facilitates vendors to get the necessary data and resources through ‘self-service’. The automation of this process saves the company both time and efforts and reduces the operations cost.
A knowledge portal serves as a single point of contact for access to the knowledge base of an organization. In some cases, this information is available within the CRM for an additional cost. However, if you opt for a knowledge portal, you will be able to get a customized solution that can serve you and your clients’ needs specifically.
The benefits of using custom portals are manifold. You get a dedicated space for your customers, partners, affiliates on the web that is separate from your website. Custom portals can execute Custom Business Logic, which is a highly useful feature since all business needs are different. It is also an ideal solution from a security point of view.
You may choose from all the different web portal solutions available. However, as your organization grows, you may feel the need for a custom solution. This may be for improved functionality that is specific to your needs. It may also be necessary if you are using custom modules in your CRM that wouldn’t work with a standard product.
Either case, you are going to need a developer. At some point, we all do. Look for a company that has domain expertise in this field. There are several developing firms that are doing dedicated work on CRM. Make sure to look them up on the internet. Try to get a review if you can otherwise go through the documentation they provide. Go through their portfolio in detail and contact them if you feel that they might be able to serve the purpose.