Social Media, Supply Chains, & Tacit Knowledge
Adrian Gonzalez is organizing a “mega” session during October’s Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference in Philadelphia. The title is, “At the Social Media Inflection Point: Texting, Tweeting, and Friending the Next Wave of Supply Chain Innovation.” Adrian kindly invited me to join the panel, along with Tom Nightingale, VP Communications and Chief Marketing Officer at Con-way, and panelists to be named later from Home Depot, Volkswagen, and Trendset Information Systems. Tom and I spoke with Adrian on this week’s Logistics Viewpoints podcast to talk about social media issues in supply chain management. [powerpress url="http://logisticsviewpoints.com/wp-content/uploads/TGriffith-TNightingale-Podcast-20Jul2011.mp3"]
The ultimate goal of any effective supply chain management system is to optimize the deployment of assets to maximize fulfillment of demand (or customer service). The objective is to balance the two.I focus on the tacit knowledge as I think about supply chain management, a field with an extensive history of knowledge management, and social media. (Tom’s firm, Con-way, has gained explicit benefits through their enabling shipping carriers to be matched with available freight via TweetLoad.) While supply chains are built with a great focus around clear and reliable data related to the chain's needs and resources, social media may provide signals that haven’t had time to make it into the formal system. Social media may also provide a way, through the aggregation of posts, to improve predictions around the movement of material in the chain. Imagine a flood of tweets focused on a popular jean design being added to other market prediction tools.... What other ways might social media play a role in supply chain management? I acknowledge my lack of expertise in the field and hope to hear from the real experts.