How SKF Links Supply Chain Management and Social Media

c2griffi    February 21, 2015

Organisation Name: SKF

Industry: Manufacturing and Engineering

Name of Contact if Available: Media Relations Department

Web References: SKF

SKF Logo

SKF was founded in 1907 by Sven Wingvist when he invented the self aligning ball bearing. SKF is the worlds’ largest bearing manufacturer. Spanning 130 countries with over 100 manufacturing sites, SKF employs about 48,000  people. In addition to a clientele list including GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney, SKF is the bearing supplier for Ferrari Formula One race cars.

Ball_bearing_self_aligning

Animated SKF Self Aligning Ball Bearing

 

The Benefits of Linking Social Media and Supply Chain Management (SCM)

1.5 billion people use social media on a global scale. Approximately 70% of Fortune 500 companies use Twitter, have a Facebook page and utilize You Tube. Embedding social media  throughout the supply chain increases conversation  between companies and customers. Companies can collect information on a broader scale, resulting in a better, more informed decision-making process. Nicholas Moores, blogger of  Effective Supply Chain Management Through Social Networking had this to say about the benefits of SCM and social media.

One key benefit of today’s immediate and ubiquitous media industry is the way in which a company can reinforce its brand and raise its profile. Twitter promotes itself as the “largest real time conversation ever created”, and shows you how in 140 characters you can grow your business profile, monitor trends in your industry and attract customers. Similarly Facebook allows for a dialogue between company and customer. The customer is able to speak directly with the company, and the company in turn is able to publicly exercise their great customer service for all to see, and to advertise promotions to attract new business.

 

The SKF Social Media Supply Chain

Innovative Technology

The Connectivity Room is a group of SKF innovators operating outside of the traditional organization chart who create internal and external apps for use in every link of the  supply chain. Apps are created and tailored by the team for factory operators, marketing, sales, service and clients. An extensive library of free mobile apps (Apple and Android) are available. These apps give a wealth of support, information sharing and conversation between the company and the customer.

smscm2

Customer Service

Just one example of their innovative technology is the SKF Belt Calculator App. It provides field engineers and technical sales people with the ability to check belt drive design quality from any site. Users can find alternate solutions within seconds, email drawings and install instructions on their mobile devices. These apps are available in many languages. There’s even the ability to check and rate the app.

customer service

Increased Productivity

The SKF Shelf app has streamlined processes and paperwork freeing up more customer service time. They estimate that the 3500 SKF sales engineers have saved 25 minutes per day by streamlining their process. This equates to an extra 200 sales engineers servicing and supporting customers.

productivity

Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube are used to promote new technologies and educate current and future clients and competitors. Their close working relationship with Apple has aided them in providing continuous improvements which are passed on to their customers.

smscm

Lessons for Others

Unfortunately SKF Media Relations did not respond to my request for comment about their use of social media in supply chain management however the following is a quote published in Tire Business.com when SKF launched their social media accounts September 11, 2013.

“Our goal for starting a social media program is to provide customers with useful product and technical information that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, whether online at home or on a mobile device,” said Brian Jungmann, marketing communications project leader, SKF. “We also encourage our social media followers to interact with us and to let us know what new information they want to receive.”

It is possible to successfully link social media and supply chain management providing continuous improvement that can be beneficial to both company and customer. Good use of social media encourages two-way conversation. Companies can use these platforms to inform, teach and advise while customers can use these platforms to offer ideas, opinions and honest feedback.

Submitted By: Cindy Griffiths

To contact the author of this entry please email: griff05@sympatico.ca

If you have any concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.