When we are working with management teams on Strategic Social Media for their business, there is a moment when it all clicks into place, we call it the ‘THUNK’ moment. When the merry-go-round that is Social Media all slows down and the team can see a clear route through that is meaningful for them.
Most organisations will have people who do something on Social. Someone from accounts might be posting on Facebook, someone in HR on Instagram, a few people who sometimes post on LinkedIn.
In most cases its random, uncoordinated and doesn’t contribute anything to the business. We bring you all together working as one, strategically and with purpose.
We see Social Media not as a series of point solutions but as the central hub, the glue that holds the organisation, and the success code of the organisation, together.
When we think like this, we can see how Social has a role in each of our departments and divisions and we begin to see how it can all be linked to provide a more efficient internal world and, a more effective external world.
As Social Media grows in importance for all aspects of our lives, it becomes more and more integral across all business functions as we know them today.
You may already understand the direct and perhaps obvious benefits Social Media has on Sales, Marketing and Business Development with Social Selling & Influence but, did you know that it adds significant efficiencies and gains to all functions?
In this series of blogs, I’m going to look at how Social Media can dramatically improve the functions with your organisation, today we are exploring….
As a business professional you know that procurement is a strategic element of how your organisation and sector functions.
Whether you are buying complex services or equipment and materials, the intricacies of timelines for design manufacture and delivery, storage, transportation, and delivery, often from around the world.... supply chains can be complex.
The procurement team is the crucial link between an organisation and its suppliers. This underlines the importance of the need to invest in the latest people and process ideas that will enable efficiencies and effective collaboration, continuously improving processes, optimising relationships and extracting value from our business networks, whether they are internal or external.
What does this have to do with Social Media...?
We can have all the automation in place that we like, good procurement relies on trained, experienced people connecting with people…
4.2 billion people are active on Social Media today, there are 4.7 billion people with access to the internet today, 41% of them are using Social Media for work, its likely you are too but how can you make that more strategic and to your advantage…?
So in this lifetime, internet access is very nearly equal with Social Media activity…
It’s hard to find someone in your supply chain who isn’t on Social these days than not. If you take out the very young and the very old who’s left…you, me, our prospects and out suppliers…
If the Management, Technical, Sales, Marketing and BD teams have all switched to Social Selling & Influence, shouldn’t you be switching to Social Buying & Evaluation?
I used to work with an organisation that was very forward thinking with all of this, they developed their own internal collaboration hub. These days you can just buy one or use free version of hubs like SLACK, ASANA, CHANTY or TEAMS.
With these internal Social Platforms, we can collaborate openly on bids and confidentially with suppliers and have a full audit trail. All the things we just can’t do with email.
We train and enable our Technical, Procurement, Materials and Finance teams so they are active on external Social. This way you have a wide team of people connecting and engaging with suppliers who want to work with you, its likely you will find great deals, perhaps better than your current arrangement.
Strategic Social Procurement brings it out of the "back office" as a cost centre and puts it forward as a strategic function, that is external facing.
What is the industry saying..?
In some recent research by Procurious and Coupa, a survey of 500+ professionals reveals where procurement must focus to establish leadership and earn executive trust.
The article states: -
"The research also reveals that nearly two thirds of professionals have seen trust increase with the c-suite over the past three months. Similarly, more procurement leaders report having a seat at the executive table today compared to May, when we asked the same question as part of our Supply Chain Confidence Index."
Tania Seary, Founding Chairman of Procurious says, “Procurement plays a critical role in navigating the uncertainty we face today. The function’s stellar performance opens the door for more – more recognition, trust, and opportunities to lead. It’s time to take advantage.”
The article goes on to say: -
"Procurement leaders looking to capitalise on this newfound opportunity should focus on delivering results that increase resiliency and continuity, and improve the bottom line. according to our research, the top three areas the c-suite wants procurement to contribute to are mitigating supply risk (70%), containing costs (69%) and driving business continuity (64%)."
2020 has changed how organisations are buying
We’ve seen an significant shift in procurement during the pandemic as people start connecting their digital supply chains with social networks.
High Performance Procurement with Social
High Performance Procurement and Supply Chain specialist are looking to looking to crowdsource insight from the market so they can provide business as usual, base procurement advice, but in addition to that become trusted advisors to the business.
High Performance procurement teams are looking "outside in” and are talking to new and existing suppliers. Finding people with insight that can help. Let's not forget that forward thinking sellers are not "pitching" on Social or saying, "buy my stuff, contact me…", they know there is no differential in this. Salespeople today are providing insight and educating the buyer through "Social Selling & Influence".
Driving high performance
Reduced cost: The pandemic has increased the need to strip out cost, while at the same time taking into account the organisations belief systems and culture with regard to transparency.
Sustainability: As well as providing carbon efficiencies, companies need to be transparent about anti-slavery, anti-child labour etc. Sustainability is key criteria for doing business in the 2020’s.
Reputation: Purchasing and Supply Chain can no longer work in a silo it needs to manage its internal and external reputation. It needs to move from a cost centre to a strategic profit centre.
Innovation: Organisations need to flex, innovate and even disrupt, procurement need to look for and collaborate with new innovative suppliers.
It's Social Networks That Are Driving Transformation in Procurement
Social networks can provide transformation in procurement and supply chain by bringing people together and creating conversations and communities. As well as providing a feedback loop between business and global supply chains.
It is the job of procurement and supply chain to find diverse suppliers….they are all on Social.
Allowing us to get closer to our global suppliers through social enables us to collaborate more easily and at scale. This is perhaps more import now, than ever, in these times of lower budgets, time to market pressures, quality impacts and a need to offer a customer experience in all areas of contact with the outside world.
At the same time, successive waves of supply shortages, price hikes and lengthening lead-times are causing severe supply constraints and related sourcing and procurement complications.
All of this forces a narrowing of profit margins, delays in production delivery and time-to-market, causing quality issues and impacts the bottom line.
Lets talk about how Social Media networks interface and enhance your digital supply chains and procurement process.
Live Social '21
Crux / DLA Ignite
Procurement leaders looking to capitalise on this newfound opportunity should focus on delivering results that increase resiliency and continuity, and improve the bottom line. according to our research, the top three areas the c-suite wants procurement to contribute to are mitigating supply risk (70%), containing costs (69%) and driving business continuity (64%).