As a business procurement professional you know that procurement is a strategic department.

Buying raw materials, how we store them or how we get them delivered just in time, buying products that we then resell often from distant and different parts of the world .... we all have complex supply chains.

Sourcing and procurement is the essential connection between a company and it's suppliers.  This is why companies need to invest in the latest people and process ideas that will allow, faster and lower cost collaboration, improve processes, optimize relationships and extract more value from the business networks we have.  These networks may well be internal to Procurement department, but also maybe outside of Procurement but within the company, maybe within third parties.

At the end of the day, exceptional procurement and sourcing begins with people.

What has this go to do with social?

If we look at Simon Kemp's Q4 Digital Snapshot

There are 3.75 Billion people in the world active on social media and while the Procurement or Supply Chain Directors may not be active on social, their staff are.

So will be the staff of your suppliers.

So here's a thing.

Why don't we stop using email to "collaborate" and start using social?

We can use products like Slack, Teams, Chatter, Oracle Social Network as platforms on which we can collaborate.  We can collaborate openly on bids and we can collaborate confidentially with suppliers, and we have a full audit trail.  Something we should have with email, but it so often doesn't work out.   

We can also activate the people within procurement, finance and supply chain so they are active on external social.  We would do that as you will find suppliers wanting to work with you, probably at a lower rate and higher quality than your existing suppliers.

Isn't it time to bring procurement out of the "back office" as a cost centre and bringing it forward as a strategic department, that is external facing.

The world is global and enabling us to get closer to our suppliers through social (a frictionless medium) will enable us to collaborate faster and easier.  In these time of lower margins, time to market pressures, quality impacts and a need to offer a customer experience in all areas of contact with the outside world.

(There are also other benefits, to Human Resources (HR) this will help them find and retain staff and it will help Sales as people have a better view as a business and it will help with inbound).