Should social networking be implemented for the supply chain? That is a topic of interest to Adrian Gonzalez of Adelante SCM. He argues in a blog post on Logistics Viewpoints that social networking can be applied to the supply chain because it is “about facilitating people-to-people communication and collaboration, which is at the heart of managing and executing supply chain processes.”
Gonzalez highlights supply chain operating networks as a way that businesses can use social networking for potential business benefit. These groups can collaborate and share insights into practices, suppliers, contracting organizations, and other aspects of the business. Although the supply chain may seem too large and complex to enable collaboration through social networking, APQC has seen similar developments in highly technical areas such as product development.
Gonzalez also conducted a survey of supply chain professionals on the use of social networks. Respondents indicated that the ability to connect with colleagues and external contacts through sites such as LinkedIn had the greatest potential to improve supply chain and logistics processes. APQC has witnessed the potential for this through the Supply Chain Benchmarking LinkedIn group it manages with CSCMP.
For supply chain functions, the creation of relationships both inside and outside of the organization through social networking has the potential to improve processes, enable greater efficiency, and create business innovation. Is your organization using social networking for supply chain? Are you part of a supply chain operating network? Share your experiences below.