Adding Social Media to the Supply Chain
Is A Lack of Presence on Social Media Impacting the Supply Chain?
If you had to ask supply chain executives about social media, they’d probably get stuck somewhere after the word social.
Their goal is to ship. Not to socialize.
Today’s consumers keenly aware of the products they like and are equally in tune with what alternatives exist in the event that a company doesn’t meet their expectations.
Customers want more bang for their buck. They want great products at competitive pricing.
Today, people conduct a significant amount of business from their mobile devices. Within seconds, they can complete a purchase from the comfort of their home. As mobile usage increases, so does social media change the way customers interact with a brand and make purchase decisions. Customers research, crowdsource, and review previous online experiences before making a decision. A lack of social media engagement may not directly impact a sale but it can cost deter some active customers from buying.
For an online retailer, the most important job is making sure that their customers get what they want when they want it without mistakes or delays. This has been especially challenging up until now because human errors are a significant factor in warehouse supple management.
For supply chain companies, exceptions are the norm (delayed shipments, supply shortages, and unexpected demand spikes). Social media can help companies identify and resolve exceptions faster and more effectively. Responding to these customer requests involves many people beyond the classic supply chain from communication to marketing.
Customer Service with Social Media
Proactive engagement with the customer in today’s fast-paced and highly connected world is essential. In a time where it’s easy to switch company loyalties, companies need to be active and engage with customers. Most companies, especially retailers, know how to do this already. Now, they need to translate improving customer satisfaction on a warehouse management onto a social media level.
Improving the Supply Chain
Social networking enables companies to generate more – and better – ideas for improving the supply chain processes. It can also solve and existing problems by tapping into knowledge and insights of the enterprise. If consumers are “crowdsourcing” to purchase, why shouldn’t supply chains use the same process to innovate, develop better products and change the overall supply chain system?
Yes, social networking can drive positive results in the overall improvement and development of the supply chain process. The term social media may be foreign to top level executives in the industry, but social media isn’t about socializing, it’s focus is on communication, collaboration and customer satisfaction- all core components to a successful supply chain.
Ever wonder what the exceptions are in the supply chain? Curious what customers complain about after completing an order? Here’s an infographic from SKUVault that highlights the issues from the perspective of the supply chain.