Social media and supply chain managementSocial media has long been the domain of teenagers and college kids everywhere, but recently, sites such as Facebook and YouTube have begun to appeal to corporate entities for their ability to connect companies directly with consumers. Could social media soon be on its way to transforming corporate supply chains, as well?

According to Jason Busch at Spend Matters, companies that aren't taking advantage of social media as a marketing and research tool are missing out. What's more, Busch speculates that soon, companies will be able to use social media to interact not just with their customers but also with each other, specifically in the realm of procurement and supply chain management.

"Rather than simply request periodic qualitative comments and quantitative scorecard metrics, I could see a dynamic application that includes both inter- and intra-enterprise data - aggregate information in the case of the latter - that lets users share information and ask questions," Busch writes. For example, a company considering doing business with a new supplier could post a query such as, "Is this supplier reliable?" or "Does anybody have any stories about partnering with this supplier?" The answers could help the company save a heap of trouble if they're unfavorable.

"I think social media will eventually become part of the fabric of sourcing, contract management supplier management and even P2P applications," Busch writes.

Many companies already use social media as a part of their branding, including such famous names as Nike, Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
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