Sidney Hill of E-Commerce News is talking something that is not on most people’s radar at this point: The social media supply chain. The social media supply is all about connecting social media and business enterprise. There is so hard and fast rule explaining how it will work or what form it will ultimately take because, well, frankly, it hasn’t been created yet. But the idea is simple enough to imagine: You create an online network that connects your virtual/brick and mortar store with the huge social network you have created, and you do it seamlessly.
Seamless integration is the key because time right now is wasted created networks and trying to figure out how to connect them together. Once the complete social media supply chain is created it will be easier and faster to unite social media marketing with social media sales in order to drive revenue.
Linking Social Media and Enterprise Systems
When it comes to supply chain professionals, Cecere noted that very few of them are tuned in to the world of social networking, so they can’t be expected to know how to apply the technology to their business operations. “A lot of supply chain professionals have asked me if they should just connect customers and suppliers to their personal Facebook pages,” she noted. “The answer to that is no.”
It makes no sense to connect business partners to your personal Facebook page, Cecere argued, because Facebook is not a business-oriented platform, at least when it comes to things like moving goods through a supply chain. It’s also a mistake, she added, to believe supply chains can benefit from plopping social media functionality on top of ERP or supply chain planning systems, which in essence is what some of the vendors hawking social business applications are advocating.
Cecere does believe some vendors are on the right track in creating applications that can support social networks that ultimately can improve supply chain performance. She cited applications called \u201cStreamworks\u201d from SAP (NYSE: SAP) and \u201cRollstream\u201d from GSX as examples. She also cautioned, however, that even these applications will not deliver business value by themselves.
Getting value from social media applications will, in Cecere’s opinion, require a complete redesign of the contemporary supply chain. “We have to design supply chains from the outside in,” she declared.
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