The logistics industry has been notoriously slow to adopt and integrate social media into its everyday practices, particularly in comparison to many other industries, like telecommunications and even insurance and chemicals. As Adrian Gonzales found in his compelling 2013 article "The Social Side of Supply Chain Management," nearly two-thirds of supply chain executives reported no formal social media implementation into their companies; further, 30 percent reported blocking social media sites from employees' use.
Yet the tide is turning. Gonzales also found that an overwhelming majority of execs within the supply chain industry believed social media in logistics would have a positive effect on the industry as a whole.
Indeed, social media has the potential to:
Increase In-company Efficiency
Apps and websites specifically designed for in-company communication and sharing work like Facebook or Twitter, while instantly connecting management and/or employees to one another at the speed of a text message. Ranjin Sinha points to the Home Depot, with their use of The Warehouse website, as a fine example of an early adopter making strategic use of social media that can only be accessed by its employees.
Reduce Overall Costs
Aside from avoiding expensive disruptions to companies' operations, social media can reduce logistics costs in some surprising ways. First and foremost: advertising. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts cost nothing to set up and have the potential to reach millions. The dialogue that logistics companies can create with their customers through social media is becoming a staggeringly powerful tool that combines advertising and customer service, all in one.
Encourage Industry-wide Improvement
Social media not only connects companies with customers, it connects like-minded businesses with one another. When logistics companies share ideas - and inevitably compete - via social media outlets, the entire industry improves, advances and expands as a result.
Despite a slow start, social media in logistics is finally showing the industry - and the world - what it can do to the meet the needs of cutting-edge supply chain companies. Contact us for more information about supply chain solutions that will work for you!