I know what you mean but the amount of requests we get for technical info; everything would go through a manager. Our teams have to use a bit of sense otherwise you will tie up your managers with basic admin.
It might help to decide what is truly "secret" in your company anyway. There's probably very little which is a risk and then control those documents instead.
Requests for technical documents go through Customer Service here, and there are "canned" documents prepared that are for release. Requests for food safety related docs go through me, and I also have some "canned" docs available.
Anything more detailed go through the President, who is one of the owners.
We have a VERY small company, so it's manageable. If you are PepsiCo, you probably have an entire department that does that. Companies in between, you have to decide which is more of a problem, the loss of manager time or the loss of docs.
Having those "canned" docs helps out a lot, since most of our requests are similar.
The worry about trade secrets, which cannot be patented or copyrighted, is that once they are released to anyone, they are no longer a trade secret. Better to have something available to share that does not reveal anything important.
This has actually turned into an interesting discussion, and it is cool to see how others handle this issue.
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