Social Media’s Impact on the Supply Chain industry is deeper than you might think. Many organizations are using the information gathered from social media to predict trends, ensure timely delivery of goods and source where a product is made.
Today’s world is getting smaller every day. Information is available to us at the click of a button, though it does still take time for a product to hit the shelves. The frustration to the consumer is in having to wait for a product to arrive at their local retailer or, worse yet, sell out quickly. There is nothing worse than missing out on a trend.
This is exactly how social media plays a hand in ensuring that we are all happy consumers. Weather we like to admit it or not we all follow trends. In particular with food. We have all been there when we have heard about a new product or a new flavor and have gone online to search where we can find it. Often times the first place that we hear about it is social media when someone shares just how fabulous it is.
Every Tweet, Facebook Like, comment and YouTube view creates statistics that organizations use to predict the popularity of a product. Think back to when Tim Hortons ran the contest where consumers got to vote on which classic donuts they would bring back. The contest not only heightened excitement around the campaign but also ensured that once the product was in the stores which regions would have the highest sales and therefore need more product.
This ability to access first hand information allows for the supply chain industry to adapt to circumstances beyond their control. Weather it be climate, issues at the manufacturing facility or just ever growing demand of a product Social Media allows for the supply chain to remain informed and ready to react. I had the pleasure of speaking with Dave Evanoff from Maidstone’s coffee roasting facility where I asked him his thoughts on social media’s impact on his day to day.
“It’s interesting to see how social media continues to grow and impact different areas of business that you may not expect. Social Media plays a role now in many aspects of our business including things as simple as vendor selection. By having the ability to look at a potential vendor and see their online footprint and business impact through social media, it changes the dynamic of the vendor selection process allowing businesses to make better choices and develop strong relationships quickly.”
The use of Social Media also runs deeper with the use of innovative platforms like Sourcemap. Sourcemap is a crowd sourcing platform that answers the question of “where things come from”. What is allows is for organizations to register the chain of supply to include not only the first tier but also second third and so on. What this allow is for the organization to better predict any short falls if there is an issue further back on the chain. This maps out clearly the idea that everything has to come from somewhere. Having this information at your fingertips in the event of a issue along the chain is like an added insurance policy for the organization.
Lessons for Others
What organizations can learn is that optimal transparency into how their product is made and how it gets to market can be achieved through the maximization of social media. The result is the ability to better understand what consumers want and what is involved to get it to them. In short happy customers. Simply put by using social media throughout the Supply chain process allows companies to focus in on an area of their operations that need attention.
Industry: Food Processing
Name of Organization Contact: Dave Evanoff
Authored by: Robyn Buonomo
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
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