FlashStock applies social media to supply chain and sees better results

lruslys    June 5, 2017

At FlashStock, operational efficiency is key to the growth and success of the company. Our core product is custom images and videos taken by our network of global contributors which is delivered to brands around the world through our machine learning technology. Even with this automation, we need to ensure that the customer is properly managed throughout the customer lifecycle. Having better insight into the process, through the collection and use of data, allows FlashStock to scale resources as needed for all client project sizes, effectively manage the pipeline of business, and ensure the proper management of those resources for optimal productivity. Some say having a well-oiled supply chain is a key competitive advantage. FlashStock views the supply chain as key for tracking and measuring that we are going above and beyond for our clients delivering what we promised.

With the growing demand FlashStock has experienced, the operations team at FlashStock led by COO Brett Mellon, implemented a number of key systems and processes to ensure that all the parts fed into the central system so that all participants or parties could have accurate insights into the delivery of the final product. Some of that was the implementation of social media type systems for collaboration and communication.

Yes, FlashStock uses social media as a tool to help engage with employees near and far. Yes, FlashStock uses social media to engage with customers to drive better business performance. And yes, FlashStock has been using social media to help ensure a more effective process for delivery of on time service level agreements with our clients.

Our clients are looking for images and videos that are not staged but are more candid and have a higher connect with audiences. It’s not as easy task competing with larger ad agencies who get the bulk of marketing dollars to work with on big campaigns and getting the “perfect” hero image. We help make it easy for brands to get their engaging images by simplifying the visual elements and logistics a photographer might have to deal with in the traditional sense. The technology does a lot of the heavy lifting by categorizing all the clients’ needs and then connecting with the most suitable contributors. FlashStock plans and maps all the necessary deliverables right out of the platform itself. Once a new client’s needs and visual elements are inputted, then using the system, contributors are notified that they have been assigned a project. The system tracks and monitors when images have been shot and uploaded by the contributors. There are many variables that go into doing full production work and can be a very lengthy process and expected delays with all the layers of complexity. For example, if a client’s product is included in the shots then product shipping details or on location shoot information needs to be tracked and shared with contributors and other stakeholders. All of this activity is tracked and managed in real time through the system. All this information allows FlashStock to be proactive and be able to provide status updates to clients or contributors if there is an expected delay, which could ultimately impact a client’s campaign launch or need for images for communication purposes.

Since implementing the new processes, the company and its clients have seen significant improvement of deliverables in meeting all SLA’s. This approach is much different than the traditional approach that ad agencies use leveraging large amounts of human capital which costs money and slows down the process. The central communication that the system provides allows everyone to seamlessly collaborate to ensure deadlines are met as close to as possible.

Lessons for Others

While I cannot share specific metrics how social media use has improved business performance at FlashStock, there has been increased team collaboration and improved execution on the deliverables of hundreds of clients. This will continue to provide benefits to FlashStock as the business grows.

Here are a few stats that speak to the potential benefits you can expect; “45 percent of the respondents said that “social networks will make supply chain processes more efficient, responsive, and cost effective” over the next five years. DHL is tracking some 30 million posts from 300,000 sources to help with risk mitigation to the supply chain.

Organization: FlashStock Inc.
Industry: Technology, SaaS, CaaS
Name of Organization Contact: Brett Mellon

Authored by: Linas Ruslys

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