Supply Chain 2.0: Introducing Supply Chain Social Networks
There is no doubt that modern technology within supply chain management is changing the way buyers and sellers interact and communicate. Leading this charge are new supply chain social networks that provide a platform for more seamless interactions with an entire web of users.
While tools like email and telecommunications are valuable in their own right, social media networks have introduced a new level of autonomy within buyer and seller communications. Think of it this way: supply chain social networks use many of the same features and practices of other major social media platforms, but are designed to represent an entire organization.
3 Key Differences of a Supply Chain Social Network
When you think of social media, the two platforms that come to mind are Facebook and supply chain networks like Mazree. With 71% of adult Internet users with an active Facebook account in 2015, the platform has defined the basic layout and functions of social media. However, there are three major differences between Facebook and supply chain social networks.
- Profiles Represent Organizations
The major difference? Supply chain social networks use member accounts. Personal social media accounts represent a single person while supply chain social network accounts represent the entire organization.
For example, supply chain social network account users will publish information and maintain communications on an organization’s behalf. The advantage of this format? There is real-time relevancy in the information exchanged between buyer and seller accounts. On the other hand, communication like email can quickly become obsolete if key recipients miss the latest thread.
- Opportunities for Automation
Another key advantage is that many of the functions available in a supply chain social network are open to automation. It’s a win-win situation when users can greatly reduce time spent messaging and instead invest their hours performing more valuable tasks.
How bad is the email brain drain? For many professionals, the time spent formulating messages, checking numbers, finding recipients, and formatting can be a time-suck. A recent survey by Adobe Systems Inc. found that U.S. professionals spend 6.3 hours a day checking emails. Personal social media platforms are no different when configurations are not designed to perform organizational tasks.
- Centralized Rules
Let’s face it, having one profile per-organization comes with the major advantage of being able to assign administrative roles. Then, organizations can centralize the guidelines and rules for their supply chain social network accounts – no more worrying about a user abusing the platform.
To be sure, accidentally leaking confidential information via social media has become a growing concern for organizations. A York College of Pennsylvania study on the IT etiquette of professionals found that IT misuse increased by 37.8% between 2011 and 2015. By centralizing the use of the supply chain social network, you can ensure that only information representative of your organization’s intent is posted onto the network.
With features and practices developed specifically for organizations, supply chain social networks offer many advantages over other social media platforms. For starters, these networks make the procurement of supplies much easier by offering accounts that represent the entire organization. This way, only the most relevant information is exchanged between members for more efficient communication, which is ultimately the goal of any organization.
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Learn more about the latest supply chain social network trends with our webcast series, Supply Chain 2.0: Using New Technology. This webcast is presented by special guest and Founder of Mazree, Curtis McEntire.
 Maeve D. “Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms”. Pew Internet Research. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/demographics-of-key-social-networking-platforms-2/
Patricia R. “U.S. Workers Spend 6.3 Hours a Day Checking Email”. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/check-work-email-hours-survey_us_55ddd168e4b0a40aa3ace672
 “National Professionalism Survey”. York College of Pennsylvania. http://www.ycp.edu/media/york-website/cpe/2015-National-Professionalism-Survey---Recent-College-Graduates-Report.pdf
About Curtis McEntire
Curtis McEntire is is responsible for managing the company’s overall execution and strategic direction. In 2006, Curtis began working for Intermountain Healthcare’s Supply Chain Organization where he developed a strong background and passion for supply chain management. With the initiative to make supply chain and B2B collaboration more efficient and effective, Curtis developed and launched Mazree in 2012. Curtis received a B.S. in Finance from the University of Utah and an MBA from Western Governor’s University.