Suggestion Box vs. Idea Management Software

Suggestion Box vs. Idea Management Software

We’ve all seen them. Suggestion boxes. But are they really innovative? Do they really provide companies with everything they need to capture suggestions and ideas? If you’re looking to evaluate the necessity of your suggestion box consider these four points for why idea management software can beat a suggestion box:

1. Ideas have a voice. Suggestion boxes often create nameless, faceless contributions. For all you know, your suggestions could be from the same individual and short of a handwriting analysis, you would never know which ideas come from where. Idea management software gives you the flexibility to get anonymous feedback depending on the issue and consultation, but it also allows you to get ideas from your employees while our analytics help you see who’s the most innovative.

2. You can see the ideas. While some things must be classified, businesses who are transparent in their practices with customers and employees build their ethos. It’s not surprising that transparency is assurance, not just in your financial books but also in your practices. The suggestion box is nebulous, confusing, and unclear on it’s eventual process beyond sliding in a piece of paper. Idea management software gives you that transparency.

3. Idea submission is flexible. While suggestion boxes and where they are hidden may keep out crucial demographics, idea management software and it’s implementation can be extremely accessible to all individuals. When we’ve implemented idea software in the past, we’ve done it with public sectors like The Independent Commission on Policing and Mental Health for anonymous, accessible public consultations for anyone of any technological skill level and for big media clients who know their way around a keyboard. Suggestion boxes, in the flesh or online, don’t have that flexibility.

4. The idea process is collaborative. The suggestion box leaves no room for collaboration and discussion. You submit your idea and who knows if it’s utilised for innovation or thrown in the bin? The benefit of idea management software is that the process becomes clear and collaborative.

Consider these major points in your innovation process and whether or not the suggestion box is really serving your company in it’s best possible way or if  idea management software is idea

image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Simon Hill is CEO and co-founder of Wazoku, an idea software company, an Associate Director with the Venture Capital Firm FindInvestGrow and an active member of the London technology and entrepreneurial community.

Simon Hill




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No Comments

  1. Noam Danon on March 27, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Excellent post!

    We see these comparisons coming from customers, that say “but we have a suggestion box scheme – why do we need an idea management?”.

    These are exactly the answers we provide – which also explain why most suggestion box schemes fail, and idea management comes to the rescue.

    I would just like to add 2 more crucial differences, at least with the Qmarkets idea management software

    1. Focus campaigns and challenges – it all works much better when instead of saying “submit any idea that may help the company” to running very specific campaigns around specific challenges the company is facing.

    2. A structured workflow for idea evaluation – one that will avoid bottlenecks, allow a distributed and effective process, and will also notify the idea submitters of the status of their ideas as they progress through the stages.

  2. Jacob on June 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Good post!

    Just would like to add that there are users that rather send ideas with a voice but not with a face. They should be given the option to do his anonymously.

  3. Leila on June 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Great points on why idea management software may be a better option than a physical suggestion box. However, choosing one system over another also depends on the organization and their needs. I recently wrote a blog post comparing a physical suggestion box to idea management software and the 10 points that are important to consider before choosing one system over the other:

  4. Steven on October 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Great info – I am looking at putting together a beta list of providers who can help

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