Social Media in Sustainable Supply Chain Management


image: circle of technologySocial media provides individuals, communities, businesses, and non-government organizations the ability to connect with business in meaningful discussion from anywhere in the world in real time.   Our sustainability consulting has observed how many businesses have already realized value by incorporating social media into traditional business processes including marketing, sales, customer support, and product development.  But what is social media’s role in sustainable supply chain management?

“To capture their suppliers' best ideas, leading procurement organizations work with suppliers to accurately define innovation requirements and help business partners understand how and when to be involved to improve process efficiency.”  –Procurement Strategy Council

As our sustainability consulting has discussed in a previous post, Key Components of Social Media for Stakeholder Engagement, there is an emerging role of social media in stakeholder engagement and for businesses to communicate their broader corporate responsibility agenda.  We now explore social media success in sustainable supply chain management.  As with any program, we advise:

  • Defining a Clear Vision: What is social media expected to do for your supply chain.  What are your social media goals?  Are you seeking to simply communicate or engage with your key suppliers?  
  • Identify Stakeholders and Online Communities: Stakeholders are a bit easier to identify (key suppliers), but online communities can be a little bit tougher to define.  Theme based or centered on sustainability concepts such as efficiency or sustainable materials, where are your existing and potential suppliers collaborating?
  • Actively engage:  Social media is an always on platform.  This implies being present to the ongoing conversation: listening, contributing to the conversation, providing timely feedback, and incorporating that information into materials, processes, and products.

Our sustainability consulting believes that in order to be effective with its business sustainability plan an organization must have a defined engagement strategy.  At Taiga Company , we encourage clients to build sustainability programs that leverage social media engagement tools to implement direct and measurable impacts on social, environmental, and economic goals.  This includes active interaction within the supply chain.

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