Supply chain management (SCM) includes everything that is part of the process in which a company manages its products from suppliers to manufacturers to wholesalers to retailer and finally to the consumers. Everything that goes into coordinating and ensuring the complete integration of the process between each one of these stages, always making sure there is enough inventory, on-time deliveries, and quality is excellent. Now, it may not seem like it at first, but social media can play an important role in supply chain management in terms of offering all of the different partners an opportunity to build relationships that can tap into issues, create a platform for new ideas and even a place to get insight into the different processes of the supply chain. Technology and supply chains mix well and there are plenty of ways that they interact, which you can read more about on the David Kiger Blog, one of these in 2017 is social media.
Social media can play an important role in the interaction of all of the parties involved in the supply chain from warning drivers about accidents via Twitter to getting real-time progress reports. Many companies are getting on board and using social media as a regular part of their supply chain, find out how to do this exactly. Before you get started, like anything else, there will be.
First of all, let’s begin with some of the benefits of using social media in your supply chain. Many supply chain professionals look to social media to have an edge on the market by understanding pricing trends, identify new innovations and other trends that can be helpful in making critical decisions in the supply chain. Social media is the way into the collective insight, which can help professionals in this area understand how and when the market is shifting. In different social media networks, companies can identify best practices, collaborate with stakeholders, help get immediate feedback to mitigate mistakes, and increase efficiencies. With social media, companies are expected to continue moving forward to find different ways to use social media to their benefit and improve their operations. The more companies understand how to use social media to their advantage the more they will be able to interact in this new interconnected world.
When organizing how you are going to use social media in your company, try seeing how you can include these different activities in your supply chain. You can notify stakeholders that a product has left or has arrived a specific location, as well as any relevant information about a particular location like a warehouse. Companies could also use social media to keep track of needs in the market for specific items to be shipped and kept in stock. Social media also provides a channel of communication to explain, detail or inform stakeholders, clients or suppliers when the chain has been broken to avoid serious and even further consequences. Additionally, companies can keep track of influencers and thought leaders in the market, analyze trends from competitors, suppliers, consumers and even determine innovations with some of the most relevant trends. Risk identification is also a big part of how social media can benefit company’s supply chain, with specific strategies geared towards identifying risks and sharing different vulnerabilities that you may be open to. Uncovering these risks opportunely can mean the difference between a situation you can manage and control and one that spins out of control before you can do anything about it. Keeping track of other important issues like avoiding non-compliance, by staying on top of global regulations and compliance factors via social media. Besides you can also search and look up new suppliers, carriers, customers, vendors and even business partners, without mentioning that fact that you can also collect innovative ideas and prioritize them to ensure the most effective implementation possible.
When considering everything companies are doing with social media, you could separate this into three categories: communication, education, and monitoring. Any one of these can continue helping you to make your supply chain more efficient. Communication has been broadened and made sensorial in the last years. With all of the new technology that is surging, along with the constant use of social media, communication has become something you are truly involved in and that you can interact with independent of the location you are in. You can control this channel of communication to be as public or private as you like, and depending on the uses that you will be giving these channels it will be particularly useful to make use of these differences. Using social media as a platform to educate your audience will be perfect when launching a product, organizing an industry conference or even simply attract attention from new suppliers or other stakeholders. And finally, the one that we most talked about in this post, monitoring. Social media will truly be one of the most effective ways of monitoring your market, your company and your supply chain.