Pointing the way to social media collaboration with suppliers

KSurette    October 29, 2014

White Point

Organization Name:  White Point Beach Resort

 Industry:  Accommodation / Hospitality / Tourism

 Name of contact:  Donna Hatt, Marketing Manager

Web references:  White Point


There’s no denying the important role social media is taking in a business’ interaction with its customers.  Smart businesses are seamlessly integrated social media into their marketing, customer service and purchasing functions.  Social media also has a role to play in effective supply chain management as well, serving to enhance collaboration between companies and their suppliers.

White Point Beach Resort’s mission is to provide an exceptional hospitality experience, in spectacular surroundings, by delivering quality service in an atmosphere of comfort, openness and friendship.  {Source: White Point}  Located along Nova Scotia’s South Shore, White Point has realized the value of engaging their suppliers in social media campaigns. Their efforts have increased both awareness of, and business activity, for the resort and their suppliers/partners.


When it’s doing what it’s supposed to, the supply chain function is collaborative – people (and companies) working together to meet the needs of their customers.  A successful social media strategy for supply chain engagement incorporates some of the best features of social networking to bring together trusted partners to communicate and collaborate.

At the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Global Conference in 2011, during a session on social media in supply chain management, the moderator  asked the question “Is social media in supply chain management a waste of time?”  He went on to say:

 more business-to-business (B2B) companies will use “social networking” solutions … to enhance external communication and collaboration with customers, suppliers, logistics service providers and other partners, as well as improve internal communication and collaboration between co-workers and across functional groups. {Source:  Is Social Media in Supply Chain Management a Waste of Time?}

White Point Beach Resort is no stranger to collaborating with its suppliers.  Established in 1928, White Point has gained a reputation for offering excellent service in a world-class setting.  Built as a hunting lodge, White Point has expanded its offering through the years to take advantage of its beautiful setting along Nova Scotia’s rugged south shore.  White Point has long offered increasing value to its guests, by  partnering with local suppliers to offer vacation packages that expose visitors to the many cultures and activities in the area.  With the increasing use of social media in our everyday lives, White Point has been able to successfully use this evolving forum to increase offerings to its guests, exposure and opportunity for its partners, while building its own clientele.

In November, 2011 tragedy struck White Point, when the main lodge burned to the ground.  The decision was made to rebuild, preserving the casual nature of the original lodge.  As part of the rebuild, local artists were sourced, and their talents were showcased on the walls of the new lodge.

One year later, as part of its first anniversary weekend celebrations, White Point wanted to create an event which would highlight the work of local artists to its fans and the general public.  Twenty four artists whose works adorned the walls at White Point were invited to participate in the Artists of White Point Showcase & Sale.  Promotion of the event was entirely social media driven.  A poster and blog posts were created to highlight the background of each participating artist, and integrated into White Point’s social media platforms.  Word was spread via Facebook and Twitter, and individual artists were encouraged to share the information with their friends and business contacts.  As a result, the 1-day event was a huge success. With 500-600 people attending, $17 000 in sales activity occurred within a 6 hour period.  Plans are underway for the second installment in 2014, using many of the same social media tools (Facebook, blog postings) to spread the word.

Artists of White Point Showcase 2014

These artists are not marketers and have no budgets, but do amazing work.  We’re glad to be able to support them. {Source:  Donna Hatt, Marketing Manager, White Point Beach Resort}

White Point has used this same collaborative approach with a partner/supplier it has worked with for years.  White Point has long been included in CAA Atlantic’s listings of places to stay, and a number of CAA members have taken advantage of the discount offered by White Point.  In an effort to increase awareness of the resort as a year-round destination,  White Point invited CAA to participate in a weekend event to kickoff March Break.  The objective was to present CAA’s membership with a winter event in Nova Scotia, as an alternative getaway for those who could not afford a trip south, and an opportunity for White Point to increase winter bookings.  Two nights’ accommodation at a VIP rate are offered to CAA’s membership, along with special events for families.  CAA staff are onhand to cultivate relationships with their membership.  The event is heavily marketed through both organizations’ websites, and reservations are heavily driven by Facebook and Twitter campaigns.

Winterfest 2014 promotional material

CAA Atlantic has a significant membership base, and our ability to propose and leverage a weekend event during the winter that generated mutual benefits was perfect. {Source: Donna Hatt}

As a result, the weekend is a sellout every year.

Lessons for others

The examples above show how White Point has successfully engaged individuals and companies in their supply chain.  As Donna Hatt put it:

Engagement in Social Media through collaborative initiatives has  been a strategic and successful means by which we are able to expand our market reach and audience interaction in a more relevant, timely and meaningful manner.

At the 2011 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals conference, a panelist remarked

 Five years from now, we won’t be talking about social media in supply chain management–it will just be supply chain management.  {Source:  Is Social Media in Supply Chain Management a Waste of Time?}

White Point is looking at that milestone in it rearview mirror, well ahead of schedule.


CAA Atlantic (www.atlantic.caa.ca)

Facebook (www.facebook.ca)

Logistics Viewpoint (www.logisticsviewpoint.com)

Submitted By:  Kevin R. Surette – SMBP Student, University of Waterloo.

To contact the author of this entry please email:kevinrsurette@gmail.com

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