How Social Media Will Transform the Supply Chain Management

Wardah Sabih    October 28, 2012

Social Media has indeed established itself as a powerful tool that can tighten the bonds between brands and consumers,however we have yet to find its implications in supply chain management.

How Social Media can transform Supply Chain

Social Media has established itself as a proven tool that can help businesses get in touch with their consumers, get them engaged with their brand and form long term relationships based on real-time conversations.

However, the question remains, can social media be leveraged such that it  helps answer the most crucial question in terms of supply chain management, what do customers want to buy?

As Software Advice’s Cunha pointed out in his article social media if combined with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)  features, could really help the business focus its efforts in areas that are the most lucrative. If implemented as a tool within the supply chain management, social media could help provide instant customer data and enable a business to make real time supply chain adjustments.

For instance, a consumer electronics retailer could release a picture of their new phone on their social media site and ask people whether they would like to buy the black one or the white one? Depending upon the results of the survey, the retailer would be able to adjust their outgoing shipments according to the preference of their consumers?

Similarly, a retailer could hold a social media contest or just simply post a question on a social media platform, asking their consumers about the features of their existing product that their consumers appreciate the most or any new trends or technologies, they would like to see embedded as part of the retailers brand?

Depending on the answers they receive, it could assist the retailer prioritizing and defining user needs, requirements and preferences  for amendments and enhancements to existing projects and applications and development of proposed ones.

In addition to finding its applications in supply chain management solutions that are driven by the end customer, social media can also find its applications within the supply chain in areas of of procurement and logistics.

According to Christopher Sciacca, social media can be used as a tool to get more people connected within the supply chain management and therefore can help break down the old silos that exist within a supply chain.

For Example:

– Businesses can use YouTube videos to demonstrate how they load up a truck and share it internally to brainstorm on more efficient loading processes or even use for effective and safe training videos.

–  Procurement buyers from around the world can Tweet each time they found a new supplier or are bidding for a new part or product to see if they can combine orders.

To learn more about how social media can impact supply chain management, please watch the following video:

Social Media In The SupplyChain ~ An interview with Jeff Ashcroft

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