Social media is often quickly thought of as something we use to keep up with family and friends. But, is there business value in applying social media to logistics and supply chain management? Let’s get to know about it.
In the world of logistics, social media is like a mechanism for discovering and communicating with people one would like to interact with – texting and other forms of messaging are part of that. But a more primary benefit of social media is that it gives others permission to communicate with you.
Basically, in a logistics context, let’s imagine that you, the warehouse manager, have discovered that it you aren’t going to be able to fulfil an order to the company’s most important customer on time. Here, having a private social media group can help resolve, where the Vice President of supply chain, the account manager of the customer, the customer’s purchasing manager as well as the logistics director can be pulled into a social media platform to discuss the issue, resolve it and track the root of the problem. To put it in the light, risk management is what can be done by utilising social media.
Demand forecasting is another great advantage that can be taken into account. For marketing purposes, many leading companies in the FMCG sector are monitoring social media, from which the logistics industry can also utilise.
Although, the question should be ‘How can social media help in quantifying the business value?’ To answer this, one must understand that there are two contradicting philosophies to it.
First: Trying to measure the direct ROI of something as otherworldly as social media is the wrong approach altogether. One can track usage, adoption, how people are using the system, and what their connections are. But one cannot create direct correlations between usage and business numbers that are needed for ROI. Simply put, going and spending money on ROI would be honestly just a waste of money because the true value of using social media is your people are coming back to you.
Second: It involves using SMART method, which is having specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and timed goals relatable to social media and social networking.
To sum it up, we can put it in an apt phrase:
Social networking is not really about socialising, but about facilitating people-to-people communication and collaboration, and social media can (should) play a major role in logistics and supply chain management.
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