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supply chain networkingHow do we justify a Social Supply Chain? Companies are not going to have any MORE Information than they have now, but they will use it differently/better because of what is happening with social technologies. Much of this information is beyond the four walls, but he wall between employees, vendors and customers is falling down. Thus highly socially networked companies that take advantage will find themselves in a more favorable position and see improvements over less networked companies. This means increased working capital, decreased inventories and better service levels.

The challenge in going "social" is to copy the real-world relationships found in today's supply chains. Take a look at Facebook. Why did they succeed where others like MySpace did not? One thing that Facebook found is that a Facebook user's social network better reflects real-life interactions. Facebook is successful because it crashes the barriers between people who have already demonstrated the desire to communicate with each other in the real world.

Facebook's failures have been when they were too open with information sharing. How often are you in the same room with the boss, co-workers, your parents, and your neighbor?  In the real world, we give different information access levels to each of these groups. They were smart enough to fix this.

Your social supply chain must recognize and incorporate real-world relationships from your supply chains without being too open unless you tell them to be. So your network must allow each member of the supply chain to easily connect and share the only the right kind of information.

The supply chain is facing a lot of hurdles, some new and some not. So now we have global competition, transportation costs, shorter shelf lives, energy costs and others. Is an Enterprise Social Network the answer? Most companies don't seem to have gone down this path yet. It is looked on as a way to bloster up supply chain management. But it is also a current buzzword. It is not making friends on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. You have to be able to find and analyse data emerging from the social networks; then adjust your supply chain accordingly. Some of these benefits are: market identification; route optimization; hidden trends.

Everybody knows of the success of social networks among consumers. In businesses, there is still confusion about the best technology for businesses plus concerns about it lowering worker productivity. There are a lot of great tools available: discussion forums, employee profiles, promotion of knowledge sharing between different organizations. Discover what social-business approaches offer for improving enterprise collaboration.

To make Enterprise Social Media work, stop thinking about it as a technology deployment; instead, look at an Enterprise Social Network platform as a means of fostering new ways to communicate and forge relationships with other employee, suppliers, customers, etc. Read why it's important to prepare a formal enterprise social media strategy for business success. Learn why more enterprise social networks fail because of humans, not technology. Last modified on Wednesday, 15 May 2013
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