Thursday, April 28, 2011

Social Media and Supply Chains

I recently came across an interesting post at Warehouse Management Systems Guide on the topic of supply chains and social media.  The author, Luciano Cunha, paints a nice picture of using social media to link the customer and the retailer.

But I'd like to flip this on its head and say, what about social media within your supply chain sans the end user?

Sure its great to know and understand what your customer wants based on preferences and trends. media can be used within the "supply chain firewall" of the procurement, logistics, fulfilment and manufacturing teams. Whether these roles are in house or outsourced social media can help to break down the old silos of these functions to get people connecting.  

For example:

- Have them use YouTube videos to demonstrate how they load up a truck and share it internally to brainstorm on more efficient loading processes.

- Use virtual worlds to simulate how an assembly line is set up and have others role play on how they will do it differently.

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

Within IBM we use social media within the company as much as outside and it drives real value, simply by assisting in helping 400,000 people find each other and common interests and goals.  Innovation doesn't happen in silos.

No comments: