Why Document Your Relationships?

Your interactions need to be documented for many reasons. It allows for immediate distribution of information among team members and enables you to track multiple interactions as both qualitative and quantitative information within a database. Depending on how many metrics you want to track with each interaction, it can be truly astonishing how much knowledge you can gain with the right dashboards and reports.

Below are a few consequences of tracking your interactions. These can be applied to business development, government relations, industry relations, supply chain needs, customer relations, and public participation.

Instant recall. Whether you are a team of two, or two hundred, you can instantly recall everything that has been said by or to an external stakeholder over many years, something sorting through emails and notes will not afford you. You will have the power to search by several metrics including individual name, organization name, date and time, method of communication, team member, type of comment, and keyword to find exactly what you need within a matter of seconds.

Ability to understand. As an example, DIMEC Advantage tracks up to 50 different types of data from a single interaction, offering up thousands of different ways to sort, filter, analyze, and report on your relationship information. With customized dashboards, you can instantly understand the information that is important to you, empowering you to perform your job with stronger due diligence.

Targeted strategies. Anecdotal assessments are strong in teams of one, and the ability of the human mind to analyze situations and calculate appropriate reactions should not be understated. However, when people come together to understand input, then strategize a path forward, it becomes essential to leverage reporting and analysis tools. Even if the final calculated strategy is similar to what your team savant dreamed up, now you (and your boss) can understand the ‘why’. Remember what your math teacher said- “show your work!”

Employee turnover and institutional memory. Organizations own the relationships their employees have with external parties. Sorting through emails or notes takes time and leaves gaps in knowledge. As unfortunate as employee turnover can be, every organization owes itself - and those with whom they interact - the ability to immediately pick up where a departed employee left off. They must protect – and enhance - their institutional memory.

The primary deterrent for organizations to document and track their relationships is money, but stumbling through meeting minutes, emails, and notes to try and figure out what’s going on will add substantial costs through both time and risk. With the proper data management processes and the right tools, you will understand your relationships faster and with less effort, will make well-informed decisions, and will be able to predict - and control - the future.