Northwoods Forest

Business Portals for Manufacturers

Well-organized information makes it easy for employees to find what they need.


Why do you need an Intranet?


Today’s knowledge workers waste up to 30% of their workday trying to find the information they need to do their jobs, according to data collected by Cottrill Research. Well-organized business portals can cut down that waste dramatically, and they can further enhance productivity.

Business portals, also known as intranets, serve many different internal audiences by organizing the information that users need in one, easy-to-navigate location. Northwoods intranet software can be fully customized to meet the needs of any given user.

A well-built employee portal can segment users by security level, department, and/or job title. You can also segment dealers, distributors, and shareholders, to keep dealer and client information secure from competitors.



Employee Portals



A basic employee portal contains HR information, such as vacation scheduling and employee handbooks. Employee portals can also contain tools customized to match an employee’s position. For customer service or sales representatives, an intranet can provide quick and easy access to client information and how-to documents. You can add communication tools that connect colleagues in different departments. You can also organize employee contact information in the intranet, to put an end to digging through directory listings.


Intranets for Distributors, Dealers, and Shareholders


Your intranet need not be limited to your employees. Add a log-in on your public website to allow your industry partners, such as dealers and distributors, to gain access to customized portals that suit their needs for technical documents, sales rep contact information, and so on. You can fully customize dealer portals for each client through tagging in Titan CMS. This gives them the information they need -- and nothing more. Thus, you keep your partners fully informed as you keep your information safe.



Organizing Your Content



Your business portal is pointless if users can’t find the content they need. The most common and egregious error in intranet-building is cramming every piece of information into a list of categories that is too narrow and too simple. You certainly will run into documents that don’t fit any of the categories or fit too many of them. These category decisions can create information roadblocks in a system intended to save time.

The index is the most-used page on any intranet because alphabetical order is the one and only clean, easily understandable organization method. The index lays out each piece of content available in one scannable list. Keep your titles clean and simple; most users scan rather than read.

Maintaining one list helps users learn the different ways they can interact with the business portal. As users scan the list, they inevitably run across helpful documents they didn’t know existed.


Safe and Secure


You keep certain information under lock and key for very good reasons. Data security matters, especially when personal information or trade secrets are involved. You need business portal software that can handle the security burden. Hundreds of manufacturers rely on Titan CMS to keep their public websites, intranets and extranets secure. Learn more about developing a safe employee portal with Titan CMS.


Measure, Analyze, and Improve


Your intranet, like your public website, will never stop evolving. Employee information and technical specifications require updates, and company needs and technological advances dictate new time-saving features and software.

Monitor your intranet, just as you monitor your public website. You need to know which features are working well and which could work better. Measure the results and act on them.

After implementing the new business portal software and getting your colleagues to jump in and start using it, start analyzing. Google Analytics or a heatmap tool will reveal where users are clicking and where they’re getting stuck. Take 10 minutes to watch someone navigate through different processes. These simple practices will give you the information and tools you need to continue improving and expanding your intranet.


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