Companies involved in procurement are looking at new ways to collaborate, innovate and knowledge share.
Among the tools being looked at by procurement professionals are bespoke social media platforms to connect customer and supplier R&D departments to encourage idea sharing and customized innovation. Specialist procurement sites such as Procurious facilitate this process among experts and specialists, aiding both knowledge sharing and discovery.
Information found on social media needs to be treated with caution (owing to the number of bots, the potential for fraud and vested interest etc.) so member sites such as Procurious, and specialist groups, such as the Procurement Professionals group on LinkedIn (with over 280,000 members) are becoming increasingly popular among procurement specialists and other industry/job category type groups of professionals.
Surveys show that over 30% of consumers turn first to social media for their news – tailored to their personal preferences thanks to Google’s algorithms which track news tailored directly to that particular user. We now prefer to read or view real-time, trending and breaking information online rather than traditional news outlets. For procurement, the ability to monitor news and information in real-time is invaluable. Just why are companies turning to social media as the latest tool in their business development, or are they?
The Supply Chain
Social media can act as an important barometer to help monitor impact of world events and plot new routes, for example, following a major disaster. Being able to adjust and find an emergency supply with an early warning system could provide a significant competitive advantage. Clearly then, social media is an increasingly important tool not just for the supply chain, but also for procurement. For those who chose to use this tool effectively, the opportunities to build and maintain stronger, more collaborative and more informed relationships with suppliers can be vast.
Innovations in procurement – Social Signals
Segment the people you know on Google + and use it, Yammer and Salesforce Chatter to share best practices. Procurious and CorporateBrainz, the new social networks for procurement, provide an opportunity for busy Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs) to keep abreast with latest developments in procurement. Twitter and other social media platforms can be used to follower key suppliers and to highlight supplier wins while, conversely, Glassdoor enables CPOs to snoop on their suppliers. Social media* can do so much more than that. As a tool, it can be used to find signals for leading patterns of indicators and conversations that may translate into demand signals.
Social media is a growing tool used by procurement professionals. There are many reasons using Twitter can be great for purchasing and supply, here are the top three:
- It’s free. It’s succinct or link to an article or useful information in seconds. Procurement professionals can reach out and collaborate with millions of people and connect with the right people in seconds.
- It’s who you know. Twitter makes it easy to locate people who can help with procurement challenges. It creates a community focused on ideas, issues and answers relevant to you.
- Everything happens in real time. Stories, news, research and ideas are shared and built up, which is ideal for procurement professionals.
Collaboration and Sharing
Pooling data gleaned from searchable information can significantly speed up knowledge transfer and problem solving using layers of private social technologies that everyone can use to communicate and collaborate. This can help to overcome the common problem that companies have of systems not talking to each other without some enormous IT effort. Social technologies enables even the very smallest vendors to sign on and contribute and share.
For procurement, using social media to engage with suppliers is an increasing trend. Connecting with suppliers on platforms such as LinkedIn, and Twitter provides not only an easy and fast way to connect with suppliers on mass, but can keep procurement up-to-date with the latest news around their suppliers. If you’d like to know more about how to build established, trusted, relationships with your suppliers, partners, collaborators, colleagues and customers to grow and enhance your business, then contact a member of the Claritum team today to talk it through.
*Find out more here
More also on social media and procurement here