The Role of Social Media in Supply Chain Management
Though slow to adopt, more and more supply chain managers and executives are seeing the benefits of social media and how it can improve business processes. With social media, supply chain officials can improve operations and reduce risks by connecting and sharing with others.
Social media use in logistics has evolved to the point where many platforms can be used to capture important information far faster than ever before. Here is a look at some ways you can use social media to improve your supply chain.
How to Use Social Media in the Supply Chain
Companies can use social media in several capacities to create a better supply chain. Social media has become one of the most powerful (and easiest) ways to build relationships, and people in the supply chain can use it for that purpose.
Social media can also provide real-time information like no other media. You can use it to gather information to listen in on what’s going on in your supply chain. This could include what’s going on with competitors, your partners, and others. If there are issues in the supply chain, there’s a chance you’ll “hear it” first on a platform like LinkedIn or Twitter, rather than from a phone call or email from a contact.
You can also use social media for gleaning insights about how others perceive the service you’re providing as well as tracking issues with your vendors and suppliers. Are your shipments late? Are bills being paid on time? Social media may be able to help you find the answer for no cost and little time invested.
For example, a connected supply chain on social media could allow everyone to know in an instant about delays or if a shipment wasn’t picked up. Warehouse pickups and deliveries could be noted in real-time, along with possible delays due to accidents or other matters. If something is happening along the supply chain that is going to have an impact, a quick tweet or post could be seen as a nice gesture so everyone else can begin making the necessary changes to adapt.
Finally, you can solicit information from your customers at any time to see how they think you are doing. This could be a great way to spot a problem before it causes damage to your brand.
Advanced Uses of Social Media in the Supply Chain Management
Once you are connected and sharing information with others, you can use social media to improve many areas of your supply chain beyond building relationships.
Social media allows you to reach other managers in the supply chain to coordinate shipments. If you have room on a truck, you can use social media to find others looking for a way to ship their goods. If you are looking for a carrier in a new territory, a post could help you find one quickly.
If there is a disruption in the supply chain (an accident, the sudden closing of a vendor, etc.), you can use social media to find other impacted parties and plan a coordinated response.
Since you are always trying to find better ways to improve the supply chain, social media gives you an excellent opportunity to develop meaningful partnerships with like-minded people focused on continual improvement. Thought leaders, influencers, and others are always posting valuable information that can make your supply chain more productive and efficient. Such contacts present a great opportunity to not only learn but also share best practices to help others.
Moreover, social media gives you a platform to share risks and unearth vulnerabilities to mitigate those risks moving forward.
Give Social Media a Try
Social media is a great tool to help with many parts of your supply chain process. When added along with Zebra Technologies’ hardware and software, social media can give you an edge and help you increase productivity and efficiency.
As a leading provider of barcoding and RFID solutions, Strategic Systems wants to help you reduce the cost and complexity of your investments. Give us a call at 1-877-389-7255 to see how you can maximize the benefits of all technology—from social media to mobile computers—to improve your supply chain process.