The growing influence of social media is something which corporates cannot afford to neglect. At the same time, there is a lot of confusion regarding what extent it can help in devising corporate procurement strategies. While there are a couple of challenges which makes it all an ill-fit in the standard procurement cycle, the advantages of adopting it are equally immense. And therefore, we bring you a comprehensive analysis on how procurement strategy can employ social media to its advantage.
Common procurement challenges
Procurement teams usually stick to the traditional tactics of meeting the client’s requirements. Perhaps this is the reason most of them lack the skills of using social media to their advantage. Some of the common challenges which most procurement leaders face are:
- Lack of peer connect
- Incomplete listing of suppliers
- Understanding the external environment
- Following best practices
Most procurers just focus on a single media platform, which limits their connection with peers in the same area of work. And, the issue is not just with limited connect with the peers, but focusing on one platform cramps up the supplier listing as well. With restricted list of suppliers, it becomes a challenge to procure in the most cost-effective manner.
Understanding the external environment is a critical aspect in managing social media. This helps in connecting and reaching out to the most appropriate target group. Often procurement teams fail to understand the external environment and leverage the medium to the brand’s advantage.
Lastly, contrary to popular belief, social media has some unwritten rules and best practices to be followed. Going wrong with social is a sure shot recipe for disaster – something which no corporate is looking for.
How to use social media to your advantage?
The simple rule of making the best out of social media is to stick to the basics, and then start innovating. When it comes to procurement, the first step is to engage the suppliers in an effective manner. The informal environment of social media makes it easier to engage with suppliers in a smooth manner by promoting open dialogue. Building good relations with the suppliers not only enables better procurement strategy, but it also improves the overall image and goodwill of the organization.
Secondly, social media has emerged as the source of all the latest news and updates. Procurers can gain access to all the real-time information about suppliers and market trends directly from these platforms. Not being active on it would mean your company is losing out on a free information highway.
Lastly, no other platform makes knowledge sharing so uncomplicated as social media. Procurement is one area which needs innovative ideas at regular intervals. Getting ideas from peers is perhaps the best possible way to keep one’s innovation skills sharp and sound.
SpendEdge’s take on Social Media
Improvising and reinventing are the two essential features of any foolproof procurement strategy. And as we see it, nothing speaks about innovation and improvisation the way social media does. Our experts on spend and supply chain management have repeatedly emphasized the power of social media in increasing visibility, and advocate the inclusion of this one element in the procurement process to provide an added advantage to category managers.
To know how you can leverage your procurement strategies