Global security’s and aerospace designer Lockheed Martin pride themselves as a leader in innovation as driven by its staff and partners. With over 118,000 employees in more then 75 countries, connecting ideas to the people that can make it happen is critical to the success of the company. The result is the Lockheed Martin’s social media initiative “Supplier Wire” program, which connects its suppliers to training, support and innovative resources through the company lead virtual accounts.
The website focuses on two main areas
Allowing suppliers to interact through through live chat, webinars and videos
- Innovation research opportunities:
Which is a controlled process that connects suppliers (or potential suppliers) to ways in which they can interact with Lockheed Martin to present new ideas and create new partnerships through the Small Business Innovation Research directory
“Supplier Wire allows us to reach a targeted audience and strengthen our relationships through enhanced connections in a virtual environment.” said Susannah Raheb , Lockheed Martin Corporate Supplier Diversity Leader.
The result of the endeavor is an increased diversity pool, which allows Lockheed Martin to tap into new resources, ideas and innovations it would not normally have. Having it completed online though social media platforms controlled by the host company means costs are reduced, information can be transmitted in a quick yet familiar setting and it assists in meeting their environmental stewardship program.
Lockheed Martin also uses LinkedIn, the worlds leading social media platform for business communications, to source new candidates for work. The site not only highlights employment opportunities, but allows the company to connect to current, past and potential workers with updates, employee profiles and interactive discussion.
This integration of social media into Lockheed Martin’s supply chain management has resulted in more followers on their LinkedIn page (approximately 160,000) then total paid employees.
Supply Change Management is just like any other type of business aspect, it is being impacted in a major way with the increased use of social media worldwide. It means that integration into daily use can not only immensely impact the daily activities of the marketing department, but also the supply chain and beyond.
David Weaver argues that it can positively impact a company in three ways:
- Strengthening supplier relations (As stated above).
- Creates transparency (resulting in an innovative way to keep up with dynamic supply chain information for both consumers and businesses).
- Enhancing internal processes and communication (For example according to Aberdeen Group, businesses engaged on various social platforms delivered goods to customers on time 94.3% of the time compared to 92.2% for those who do not participate).
Submitted by: Barry Rooke – SMBP Student University of Waterloo
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