I have a decentralized organization where each department has full authority to enter into partnerships with other organizations. We need a way to share information about our relationships with partners across different departments though, in order to make sure our approach to any one partner, even if that partner engages with multiple departments, is consistent.
Usually an organization uses a CRM and trains people to always log calls and messages with any organizational partner. However, I want to limit as much as possible the number of systems we need to use. Has anyone customized Discourse to serve as a lightweight CRM for organizational partners? And if so, how?
My current idea is to create a partners category where each partner is given one topic. The category will have a topic template that asks for information on each partner including which departments each partner is connected with. We then have people always search for a potential partner in that category first and read up on our history with that partner before reaching out if they’re interested in establishing a new relationship.
I’m struggling with how to make this behavior seamless though, and I’m wondering if there are other potential solutions that I haven’t considered, yet. Our current solution is also a google sheet that allows us to track each partner’s status in our partnership process and that allows us to go down the list quickly to make sure we’re keeping track of every one. We can also filter by department, which I’m not sure we can do if we move to this system.