Social media as tool for supply chain management in startups

 

By Surekha Pendse

Are you among those companies who use social media and the latest technology to their advantage? If the answer is no, then it time for you to stop and ponder: Why are you not using social media and other technologies to your advantage?

Social media has completely overwhelmed the business world. In the last two columns of our social media series we covered how it helps HR and customer service functions. In this part of the series, let’s look at how Social media improves the efficiency of supply chain management.  The all-time favourites of startups — the ecommerce industry uses the social media effectively to manage its supply chain.

Businesses have become very aggressive and especially for startups, innovation is the need of the hour, to think laterally and to affect efficiency in operations. Distribution, the previous concept has been replaced by the holistic concept of supply chain management. It takes care of the entire cycle of activities of materials, finances as well as information, to manage the flow from supplier to manufacturer through channels or directly to the customer.

Most companies do not take this all-inclusive view and thus may have a disruptive supply chain.

Social media enhances network communication, which connects diverse people and organization at multiple locations.
Social media enhances network communication, which connects diverse people and organization at multiple locations.

In the case of supply chain management, social media creates better communication, increased visibility and manages to cut costs, be it labor or operational. With a steady, sustained and effective supply chain, businesses augment customer satisfaction. Social media when used to enhance supply chain management creates a dynamo effect that spills over to entire organization.

Social media enhances networked communication, which connects diverse people and organization at multiple locations, to keep all stakeholders in the loop and accessible 24×7. The time lapses are avoided, thus increasing productivity, transparency and collaboration.

Sourcing is crucial part of supply chain management and social media offers the necessary network to choose your vendor from among millions of suppliers, thereby making it an easy task undeterred by geographical boundaries. Easy access and instant communication helps to build a good supplier network and strengthens the supplier bonding. LinkedIn and its various groups assist the sourcing process.

What are the positive takeaways of using Social media?

Social media builds transparency, improves efficiency, productivity of the internal team as well as deliverance, besides strengthening the bonding with suppliers, ensuring accessibility, visibility and improved overall communications of the team making the supply chain process cost effective, instantaneous, productive, streamlined and sustainable.

Surekha Pendse
Surekha Pendse

Surekha Pendse is a marketing and process enthusiast who loves working, reading, music and the internet, not necessarily in that order. She is a Welingkar’s Institute of Management alumni. Based in Mumbai, Surekha is a management consultant improving process in operations, marketing and social media marketing with more than two decades of experience to back it. You can get in touch with her at surekha@starsofstartups.in

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