Social Media Making an Impact on the Supply Chain Sooner, Not Later

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In 2011, Aldelante conducted a survey of supply chain executives and asked them what the impact of social media sites would likely be in the future. Half of the responding executives indicated social media would change the supply chain in positive ways, one-third answered that it would make supply chain processes more responsive, efficient, and effective, and 17.5 percent believed social media would have no significant impact on the supply chain.

In all, 80 percent of the executives believed social media would have a significant impact, and none of the responding executives believed the impact would be negative. Fast forward a mere two years, and social media sites are already showing a significant impact on how companies are managing their supply chains, and all of the changes seem to be quite positive.

According to leading bloggers in the supply chain industry, social media is making processes within the supply chain more transparent, is helping to improve supplier relations, and is even helping to improve internal communications within companies, which aids in speeding delivery of products.

Social media, when used properly, can help companies to predict product demands ahead of time so they can effectively meet those demands. Using social media can also help improve an organization’s assortment planning, and helps to refine shelf placement so products move more quickly and garner a better profit.

According to Forbes, 83 percent of all top companies are using at least one social media site in their overall business strategy. In the future, we won’t likely be discussing how social media factors into the supply chain, but rather it will be an ordinary and expected part of good, effective supply chain management. Experts at Forbes are convinced that companies who learn to use social media early in the game, and learn to use it effectively, will maintain a competitive edge heading into the next five years.

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