Social Media and Supply Chain Management with Ryder System, Inc.

ChristinaWild    November 8, 2017

Creating a supply chain that is both efficient and properly managed can be difficult. Between ensuring visibility across channels, product development, customer service and accurate inventory management, maximizing the performance of a company’s entire supply chain can be complicated. For a company like Ryder, though, supply chain management is what the company excels at.

Ryder is a Fortune 500® commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation and supply chain solutions company. With over 50,000 customers, Ryder boasts a 99% on-time delivery rate, 80+ years of experience and a fleet of more than 230,000. Ryder has been recognized for its industry-leading practices in third-party logistics, environmentally friendly fleet and supply chain solutions, and world-class safety and security programs.

Social Media and Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management involves optimizing a company’s operations to maximize both speed and efficiency. The most effective supply chains deliver products as fast and efficiently as possible without sacrificing quality. As social media and social tools become more and more common in the workplace, it’s no surprise, then, that it is being widely adopted as a tool to help ensure an effective and reliable supply chain as well.

Take for example Ryder’s use of a software platform called Ryder NaviShare.The software helps run multiple areas of Ryder’s supply chain, but  also provides visibility into shipments and deliveries. Ryder’s retailers utilizing the software can log in and pinpoint exactly where their deliveries are at any given moment. It works like this: The technology is accessible through a customer-facing website and mobile application that utilizes cellular and GPS technology to link shippers with onboard vehicle technology. The system, which is currently being used by key customers, provides real-time visibility and event management capabilities to shippers, and delivers information updates and routing instructions to drivers. NaviShare will be available to all Ryder customers in North America in the third quarter of 2017.

Ryder’s NaviShare allows for increased visibility across the supply chain and encourages data sharing and collaboration among members of the supply chain: a user (which can be a shipper, driver or dispatcher) is able to toggle among multiple features for each load, including stops, maps, updates and messages. Additionally, NaviShare facilitates streamlined communication among drivers and carriers, meaning that dispatchers and customers can make critical shipment decisions in real-time. “Here at Ryder, we’re focused 100% on creating a collaborative, fully transparent supply chain solution for our customers,” says Erin Charnley, an Account Manager at Ryder in Toronto. “Our solutions are meant to facilitate data sharing and visibility across all levels of the supply chain.”

Also crucial to any supply chain is proper inventory management, which Ryder is able to address through its NaviShare system. The collaboration between retailers and Ryder enables cooperation across the supply chain to improve the flow of products or services through it. “With over 3,300 retail locations in the U.S., we count on Ryder to make regular multi-stop deliveries for our retailers,” said Robert Hudec, Director of Outbound Transportation, True Value. “Naturally, time is gained or lost in the process of making anywhere from one to 15 stops. For that reason, it is essential that our retailers are able to pinpoint exactly where their deliveries are, as well as when they’ll arrive at their destinations. With NaviShare, [we’re able to attain this level of visibility].”

Supply Chain Management and the Customer Stakeholder

Customers are a critical stakeholder for most businesses and can influence the nature of individual supply chains by applying pressure around particular concerns they might have. For example, many aspects of a supply chain are of interest or concern to customers, such as a company’s environmental or social impact. Ryder utilizes popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to create supply chain transparency for its customers. A quick look at Ryder’s Twitter profile and it’s easy to see that the company is committed to green energy with its push towards electric vehicles and charging stations. Further down, Ryder’s charitable work (the company donated a refrigerated truck that helped deliver over 22k meals to first responders and evacuees of the California wildfires) and its emphasis on road safety (Ryder’s DriveCam technology promises to take safety to new heights) proves that the company is as focused on social matters as it is on supply chain management.

Ryder’s Facebook page is similar, with photos of employees doing charity work and taking part in team building activities.  “Creating an efficient supply chain means ensuring that all members of the supply chain are collaborating and sharing ideas, from internal management all the way to customer stakeholders. Being able to use social platforms to introduce new ideas, listen to feedback and understand what our customers are looking for provides us with the ability to ensure our supply chain is running smoothly,” says Charnley.

Additionally, Ryder uses the video sharing platform Vimeo to demonstrate its new products and keep customers up-to-date.

Lessons for Others

Ryder successfully uses social media and social platforms to simultaneously keep its supply chain informed and as a tool for collaboration. Ryder’s use of Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo keep customers and other stakeholders in the know, while also providing them with a platform to share feedback and better understand the company’s culture. At the same time, Ryder’s social tools allow for its supply chain to have better visibility into inventory levels, processes and activity planning.

Organization: Ryder System, Inc.
Industry: Logistics and Fleet Management
Name of Organization Contact: Erin Charnley, Account Manager

Authored by: Christina Wild

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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